Corporate fraud

Our corporate fraud solicitors are renowned for their expertise, tenacity and exceptional track record of proactively defending clients facing serious allegations of Corporate Fraud. Based in Leeds, Sheffield and York we act regularly for corporate clients across the United Kingdom.

Corporate fraud lawyers

To discuss your requirements please contact Jeremy Scott on 07971 520 407.

Corporate fraud is when illegal or deceptive activities are committed by a company, or its employees, with the purpose of gaining a commercial advantage.

The corporate fraud solicitors at Lupton Fawcett have over 30 years’ experience of handling complex, high-value fraud cases.  We are renowned for our expertise, tenacity and exceptional track record of proactively defending clients facing serious allegations of corporate fraud and other forms of white-collar crime.

Corporate fraud is a particularly complex area of law and each case is unique in its challenges.  If you are facing investigation or prosecution for corporate fraud, call our team and begin to build the best possible defence to fight the case against you.

Allegations of fraud can be extremely damaging to the reputations of both a company and an individual, so it is critical that you respond swiftly to any accusations and seek expert legal counsel from a specialist.

If you are confronted with the daunting prospect of investigation or prosecution for corporate fraud, our business fraud solicitors can provide the resolute support you need to overcome such a stern challenge and can help secure a positive outcome, even if at first this appears to be an unlikely outcome.

We appreciate that fraud investigations are complex and stressful.  We will endeavour to minimise the impact on you and your business by offering clear, strategic advice at every stage of the process to allow you to make the possible decisions throughout any corporate fraud proceedings.

We will liaise with the relevant authorities on your behalf, taking as much of the stress away from you as possible.

What is our objective when defending you?

The primary objective of our corporate fraud solicitors is always to ensure our clients’ avoid prosecution where possible.

In the event that the investigation is not looking favourable and prosecution is the likely outcome, we will always discuss all the appropriate options available to you, including early resolution options such as deferred prosecution agreements.

If prosecution is unavoidable, we can provide you with robust legal representation to minimise the impact on your business and where possible, reduce the sentence passed by the judge.

Much of the work we do in defending our clients is unseen, resolving the majority of cases before they even reach the public eye. This is the best possible outcome for our clients, ensuring swift resolution and minimal damage to the reputation of the business and its senior personnel.

Our team can advise companies and individuals in all aspects of corporate fraud.

We can also help you to minimise the risk of future fraud by helping implement preventative measures such as robust policies and procedures to protect the business. We can provide training to staff to minimise the risk of regulatory breaches and in the event that an incident has already triggered an investigation, we can offer crisis management and legal representation.

If you or your business is facing investigation for corporate fraud and would like to discuss the details of your case in complete confidentiality, please contact our corporate fraud solicitors for a free initial consultation.

What is corporate fraud?

Corporate fraud refers to illegal activities carried out by a business or individual that are done with dishonest intentions or in an unethical manner. Often, this kind of business fraud is motivated by the desire to gain some form of commercial advantage for the perpetuating business or individual.

Types of corporate fraud include but are not limited to:

Fraudulent trading

Fraudulent trading involves a business pursuing business operations with the intention of purposefully deceiving and defrauding its creditors. Considered more serious than wrongful trading, fraudulent trading is classified as a criminal offence and is punishable by substantial fines and debt liabilities, commensurate with the severity of the fraud.

Wrongful trading

If a business continues to trade as normal, even though senior management and directors are aware that the business is destined to go out of business, this is deemed a civil offence. Because this type of corporate fraud is classified as a civil offence it means that any directors found to be complicit in the fraudulent activities may be held personally liable for company debts and they could face a ban of up to 15 years, disqualifying them from being able to act as a director of any limited company.

Asset stripping

Asset stripping refers to the process of selling the assets of a failing business for profit, leaving the business with nothing but the liabilities. That business is then put into liquidation to avoid debt liability. In other instances, rather than selling the assets, the directors transfer the assets to a similarly named company, again leaving the original company with the debt liability. Again, the original company will then be put into liquidation to avoid paying the outstanding debt liabilities. This is sometimes referred to as ‘phoenixing’.

Money laundering

Money laundering involves the illegal process of masking the origins of money obtained illegally by passing it through a complex sequence of financial or commercial transactions.

Tax fraud

When a business or individual deliberately fails to declare their income or intentionally misrepresents their expenses to avoid their tax liability, this is classified at tax evasion, a form of tax fraud. Other examples of tax fraud include smuggling goods into the country that are liable to excise duty, customs duty or VAT.

VAT carousel fraud

This involves the import of goods VAT-free from abroad. The seller then sells the goods on to domestic buyers, this time adding VAT to the price. The seller then disappears without paying the VAT owed to the government.

Furlough fraud

A relatively new form of Corporate Fraud, this is where an employer deliberately claims back wages under the job retention scheme for an employee they are aware is still actively working on their behalf.

Investment fraud

Investment fraud generally refers to a wide range of deceptive practices used to induce investors to make investment decisions based on misinformation. They can also include illegal insider trading, fraudulent manipulation of the stock market, share scams, pyramid schemes and boiler room fraud.

Other types of corporate fraud can include:

  • false Accounting;
  • invoicing Scams;
  • payment fraud;
  • cheque fraud;
  • receipt fraud;
  • mortgage fraud;
  • insurance fraud;
  • intellectual property fraud; and
  • bankruptcy-related fraud.

If you or your business face allegations of corporate fraud, our team of specialist solicitors are on hand to support you.

We will work tirelessly on your behalf to secure the best possible outcome for you and your business, offering you no-nonsense legal advice and expert legal representation at every stage of the investigation or prosecution.

What types of corporate fraud investigations and prosecutions can we assist with?

During our 30 years of defending corporate fraud cases we have been involved with investigations and prosecutions by all of the major enforcement agencies, including:

Serious Fraud Office investigations and prosecutions

Responsible for investigating and prosecuting instances of suspected serious fraud, bribery and corruption, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) will often initiate an investigation into a business or individual based on intelligence they have obtained. With the power to carry out dawn raids on your business, the Serious Fraud Office will carry out a thorough investigation to establish whether a relevant crime has been committed and if so, whether it warrants prosecution.

In some instances, the Serious Fraud Office may consider alternatives to prosecution and may agree to a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA), allowing suspension of the prosecution for a defined period of time, on the condition that the organisation under investigation complies with certain preconditions. Although this option does result in the company being charged, the proceedings will be suspended, bringing the whole process to a much more swift conclusion and allowing the business to continue trading.

HMRC investigations and prosecutions

With the power to undertake both civil and criminal investigations, the HMRC, like the Serious Fraud Office, has the power to use a dawn raid as an investigative tool. The evidence gathered during a dawn raid will be used as part of the investigation and could be used as evidence in any subsequent business tax fraud prosecution.

In recent years HMRC has tended to favour criminal investigations over civil investigations in cases involving money laundering; corruption; and where an individual holds a position of trust or responsibility.

Financial Conduct Authority investigations and prosecutions

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is responsible for regulating the financial services industry in the UK, ensuring the stability of the industry, promoting healthy competition between competitors and protecting consumers from bad practices and fraudulent activity. If your business falls within the scope of the FCA’s remit, it is essential you fully understand your regulatory responsibilities.

With significant investigatory powers, the FCA can impose significant financial penalties on businesses and in some circumstances can even restrict them from trading.

As an alternative to the appointment of enforcement investigators, the FCA may agree a way forward with the company concerned, potentially involving FCA supervision. The Financial Conduct Authority may also stipulate that the company make payments to customers in recompense for their alleged wrongdoing.

How can we assist with your corporate fraud defence?

We will robustly challenge any evidence against you and will work closely with the relevant enforcement agencies, like HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on your behalf, helping to minimise the disruption to you and your business.

We also have 30 years’ experience dealing with key agencies such as:

  • Serious Fraud Office (SFO);
  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP);
  • National Crime Agency (NCA);
  • Financial Conduct Authority (FCA);
  • Crown Prosecution Service (CPS);
  • Department for Business Innovation and Skills; and
  • Trading Standards.

We have an unrivalled reputation right across the industry for taking complex cases, defending you with the unerring tenacity and meticulous attention required in such cases, providing you with the best, most pro-active and most effective defence available.

The specialist Business Crime Solicitors at Lupton Fawcett pride themselves on assisting our clients at every step of a sometimes complex legal process.

We will:

  • provide you with assistance in relation to dawn raids, offering a 24/7 service if you require it;
  • prepare you for interviews with the authorities and will attend police interviews at any time, night or day;
  • work to secure bail on your behalf;
  • robustly challenge the authorities on search warrants and restraining orders;
  • meticulously prepare your defence for a trial; and
  • successfully defend you in court, including the Supreme Court if that is where the case ends up.

No matter what allegations of corporate fraud you face and irrespective of which authority is investigating you or your business, we have the knowledge and experience to help. You can speak to us in complete confidentiality to discuss the details of your case. 

Why choose us to handle your corporate fraud defence?

Simply put, our experience and expertise allow us to win cases which other firms would lose.

Our team of corporate fraud solicitors is renowned for its high success rates in complex and challenging cases.

We understand that even during an investigation, businesses must continue to operate where possible.  Our approach is always highly commercial, placing business continuity at the core of our advice and legal representation.  We appreciate the sensitive nature of corporate fraud cases, posing a potential PR disaster for any business and it’s senior personnel.

We will handle your case with the utmost sensitivity, endeavouring to keep any investigation or prosecution out of the public eye and ensuring that any negative impact to you and your business is kept to an absolute minimum and the reputation of you and your business is protected.

Lupton Fawcett is a leading full-service law firm in Yorkshire, and as such our Corporate Fraud team works hand in hand with specialist industry-focused legal teams across our firm, leveraging expertise and professional relationships to provide the best possible defence for you.

How we can help

Our team of business crime solicitors act regularly for corporate clients across the United Kingdom. We also provide specialist niche legal and commercial services for Irish companies doing business in the UK.

As a full-service law firm, we can support all your legal needs wherever you live in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

We have experienced corporate fraud solicitors ready to answer your enquiries via our enquiry form or telephone, so get in touch and together we can fight the accusations you face.

Your key contacts


“The team at Lupton Fawcett is extremely knowledgeable, approachable and technically excellent”.

The Legal 500

Every insight

Sign up for our newsletter

Please fill in the form below to receive legal updates and seminar invitations from our expert solicitors – straight to your inbox.


By signing up, you agree to our terms and that you have read our privacy policy.