Reflections from the FIRE Starters Global Summit in Dublin – Criminal Law

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There was a distinct air of positivity and fun to be networked again at the FIRE Starters Global Summit in Dublin. Once again the event was well attended by a wonderful and dynamic group of international professionals from across the spectrum of asset recovery, fraud and insolvency advice and many new networks were forged at course of the fun three-day event.

In this article, Jersey partner James Angus, Guernsey partner Alex Horsbrugh-Porter, Cayman partner Shaun Maloney and Cayman senior partner Marie Skelly share a quick look at some of the sessions they attended.

Interactive case study of a UK high value litigious bankruptcy with multi-jurisdictional elements

David Hinrichsen of FRP, Mark Biggs of Eminent Crisis Management Group Limited, Laura Dymott of FRP and Molly Sandquest of FRP

The conference opened with an interactive and highly entertaining fictional case study of a litigious bankruptcy with multi-jurisdictional elements. Armed with various slices of documents, the delegates set out to investigate the affairs of the bankrupt and investigate his nefarious doings. Supported by the team of FRP and Eminent Crisis Management Group Limited, participants were whisked from casinos in Monaco to a safari park in South Africa in their efforts to recover valuable assets from the hands of a colorful cast of characters. The workshop was the perfect opening session for the conference, with delegates effortlessly interacting with each other and sharing their own wartime stories of recovery and enforcement.

The work of investigative journalists

Clare Rewcastle Brown, Sarawak Report Editor

Thursday kicked off with a very engaging session presented by Clare who spoke passionately about her investigative work triggered by a lack of coverage on the devastating deforestation and looting of ancient rainforests in Borneo. She took us on a world tour of intrigue, scandal, corrupt politicians and movie stars that culminated in the ultimate dismantling of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his corrupt family with the help of the US Department of Justice which was able to repatriate more than 1 billion dollars to the inhabitants of Borneo. The 1MDB scandal, which made headlines in 2015 and was described by the US Attorney General at the time as the worst form of kleptocracy in history, serves as a reminder of the importance of a free press to expose fraud serious.

The Nuclear Weapons of the Courts: A Comparison Across Borders

Howard Fischer of Moses & Singer, Eva Mukami of Oraro & Co Associates, Tomislav Sunjka of Sunjka Law and Luca Gavini of Duarte Forsell

A panel of experts from the United States, Brazil, Kenya and Serbia discussed the pros and cons of involving regulators and government agencies in fraud investigations. Recalling the film Team America, Howard reminded us that the United States considers itself the police of the world who can, and will want, to found their jurisdiction and resume an investigation even if only the preparatory stages of a fraud take place there. He noted some interesting distinctions between obtaining a freezing order as part of a criminal government investigation or a civil case: In the criminal case, the US Department of Justice can only freeze assets related to the crime and an accused can fund his criminal defense from the proceeds. However, in civil cases, the government can freeze assets that are unrelated to the offending activity and the funds cannot be used for the defense. While there is an obvious benefit to filing a complaint with a civil agency, one should also be aware that once the US government steps in, they will be looking at everyone, not just the person or the entity complained of, but also your client. In summary, parties should be careful not to involve a government agency which, while giving you access to weapons in the fight against fraud, can also create a big brother type relationship which is not always welcome.

Use of criminal proceedings in civil matters

Joanna Bogdanska from KW Kruk & partners, Jeremy Bressman from Kobre & Kim, Merijn Moeliker from Florent and Antonia Mottironi from Ardenter Law

Speakers provided insightful insight into the use of incarceration and private prosecution in each of their jurisdictions of Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United States and Poland. It is particularly interesting to note that the strict Swiss laws on bank secrecy do not apply to cases of insolvency and criminal fraud. Merijn spoke of the cost-effectiveness of pursuing criminal lawsuits rather than spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on civil lawsuits. Jeremy explained that there could always be a US angle in a fraud case, even if it is not obvious, because the US can exercise jurisdiction even over the activity in the early preparatory stages of a fraud. crime.

Tackling 12 months of trends in asset recovery and investigations

Grant Thornton Asset Recovery and Forensic Investigations Group

This was a lively interactive session involving discussions of some scenarios formulated by Grant Thornton in relation to an insolvent shell company with overseas subsidiaries. Discussions focused on the use of recognition of foreign office holders in other jurisdictions and the use of disclosure orders.

Around the world update

Denis Piskunov of Magnusson, Christina Preiner of Gasser Partners, Thom Dieben of Jahae Raymakers, Matthew Brown of Conyers Dill & Pearlman and Gemma Freeman of Dentons

It was a great update from around the world by committed speakers from the Netherlands, BVI, Estonia, Ireland and Lichtenstein. Matthew spoke about the recent Privy Council decision in Convoy vs Broad Idea. Denis spoke about organized crime litigation in Estonia, which has become a magnet for crowdfunding fraud due to the very low costs of incorporating a private company there. Gemma spoke about the effects of Brexit on Ireland in terms of recognition and assistance in the context of insolvency, which was very interesting.

Crypto in 2022: Better to Ask a Stupid Question Than Make a Stupid Mistake

Sam Goodman of 20 Essex Street, Carmel King of Grant Thornton and Syedur Rahman of Rahman Ravelli

A fascinating insight into the cutting edge of IP-based crypto asset tracing as well as current trends in fraud involving crypto assets. Carmel talked about recent scams regarding both DeFi, i.e. decentralized finance where there is little or no KYC and also non-fungible tokens (NFT). Syedur then talked about recent cases in the UK that involved obtaining disclosure orders against crypto exchanges as well as proprietary injunctions. Sam ended the interview with a summary of legal tools useful in crypto disputes, including ownership claims to know reception and assistance. Sam referred to Al Sanea’s recent legal proceedings in which the most recent authorities knowingly came under scrutiny.

Innovative ways to identify, retrieve and apply assets

Christopher Pease of Harneys, Dr Elvan Sevi Bozoglu of Bozo lu Izgi, Evin Durmaz of Manfrini Bitton Klein and Dienke Herman de Groot of Omni Bridgeway

Another interesting session from a panel of engaging speakers. Evin talked about a new law in Switzerland that would help get information into Switzerland, which was historically very difficult due to strict bank secrecy laws.


It was truly another great event in the bustling city of Dublin, connecting the thriving FIRE community across the world and at Ogier we are already looking forward to the next event. Slan agus beannacht!

This article was originally published by ThoughtLeaders4 FIRE.

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