HomeCase studiesBanks & financial institutionsDay-to-day supportActing in a $20m trade finance and invoice finance fraud involving a worldwide freezing injunction and claims against defendants based in England and abroad

Why the client needed our help

Our client, a trade and invoice finance company which was part of a wider group of companies, had discovered a $20m hole in its trade finance book due to suspected fraud. The fraud involved apparent fake letters of credit coupled with false invoices being raised in the invoice finance facility and related to the alleged importation of rice from Pakistan to the UK and Dubai. We took the case over from a leading City practice as the client wanted the claim pushed forward more quickly and effectively.

How we helped

First of all, we dealt with the opportunistic strike out application by the defendants which was successfully opposed in full, with costs orders against the defendants. Next, we worked very closely with forensic investigators and accountants, using i2 software, to work out the mechanics of the fraud and trace money flows. We also dealt with amendments to the pleadings and then a complex disclosure exercise due to the quantity of documents in the claims. We then filed an application for specific disclosure against the defendants due to the paucity of their disclosure. We also instructed agents in Pakistan to make enquiries of the defendants and their alleged trading activities.

The outcome

We succeeded in having the defendants’ defences struck out for failure to properly deal with disclosure. Judgment was entered for our client in the sum of nearly $30m, including interest. An application was then made to continue the freezing injunction post judgment.

The defendants subsequently appealed the judgement which was successfully defeated. To date, this case remains the longest example of a worldwide freezing injunction remaining in place.

This was a significant claim for the client and we successfully obtained judgment for the entire balance, plus interest and costs. It also allowed the client to instruct agents to help recover the losses it had suffered.

Key contacts

Andy Wilks

Andy Wilks

Managing Partner

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