HomeCase studiesBanks & financial institutionsClient take-onSuccessfully obtaining a freezing order to help a leading invoice finance business deal with a fraudulent debt of circa £400k

Why the client needed our help

Our client, one of the leading independent invoice finance businesses in the UK, contacted us for advice on their options for dealing with a perceived fraud that had been perpetrated upon them. The client had recently agreed to provide funding to a business involved in selling advertising space in the printed press. They had advanced circa £400,000 to the company against a take-on ledger of circa £500,000 of book debts but it very quickly became apparent that none of the book debts were being paid, which aroused suspicions that the debts were in fact entirely fictitious.

How we helped

We were urgently instructed to analyse the responses received from the company’s customer base and provide our opinion on whether or not there was sufficient evidence of a fraud that had taken place. In addition, the company directors were seen as a potential flight risk and they owned a property, which the client was keen to ensure was not dissipated. Working through the night, we prepared supporting witness evidence to accompany an application for injunctive relief and a freezing order, preventing the company’s directors from dissipating any of their assets, including property and known bank accounts.

The outcome

We successfully obtained the required freezing order from the court at an ex parte hearing within 48 hours of our original instruction and arranged for it to be personally served upon the defendants the same day that it was obtained. Following a lengthy court process, we eventually made both directors bankrupt and, having obtained an order for possession and sale of their property, they were evicted. The property was sold to recoup all of the assets that remained available and subject to the freezing order that had been obtained.

We instructed Francis Wilks & Jones to take over a very complex trade finance and invoice discounting fraud which had been perpetrated against us and which had been commenced by a large City law firm with whom we had grown dissatisfied.  The case involved a claim of over $20 million and the two defendants in the claim had gone to great lengths to cover up the fraud and hide the misappropriated funds. We could not rate FWJ highly enough for their teamwork, dedication and legal and forensic expertise. We would highly recommend them for this type of work.

The managing director of a worldwide group of companies

Key contacts

Mike Lockton

Mike Lockton

Partner

Andy Wilks

Andy Wilks

Managing Partner

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