Our solicitors specialise in pursuing the most complex of fraud cases in both the criminal and civil courts. We have successfully acted for many individuals and businesses, with a team comprising of lawyers who have the unique experience of previous involvement in security, private investigation and debt recovery industries, we are more than well-equipped to getting a resolution for you. Our international expertise and ability to act fast are fundamental strengths in maximising the possibility of a successful outcome, as well as minimising losses and obtaining speedy restitution. The quicker we advise you, the better your chance of success.
If you find yourself a victim of fraud, we can advise you on the best approach to take. The question of whether to commence proceedings in the criminal or the civil court (or both) can depend on a range of complex factors and issues relating to specifics of the case. This decision as to how to pursue someone for fraud often needs to be made within a short timescale, before all the necessary details have been gathered. It is highly advisable, therefore, to instruct an expert fraud solicitor who can guide you in the right direction to get the best possible outcome.
There are many differences between civil fraud and criminal fraud. Ultimately, the choice of court will depend on whether your priority is to seek punishment for the wrongdoing, or if you are more focused on getting your money back. Getting your money back as well as damages is usually quicker and easier through the civil court, but there will be are no punitive sanctions in the civil court, so proceeding in the civil court alongside making a report to the Police or Serious Fraud Office may be something to consider.
Fraud Proceedings in the Civil Court
The term 'civil fraud' covers a range of different types of actions, such as breach of fiduciary duty, bribery and conspiracy. These can be pursued by way of a private action in the civil courts to seek recovery of money or assets or the payment of compensation - a decision which will be made by a presiding Judge.
In order to directly pursue an individual under the civil law, there must be evidence of some kind to show there was wrongdoing such as a misrepresentation or misfeasance. If the prosecuting authorities already have information on the defendant, we will work to get access to this data to support your case. It's also important to keep in mind that the civil standard of proof, which requires proof on a "balance of probabilities" is lower than the criminal standard, where the prosecution must prove "beyond reasonable doubt" that the defendant committed the fraud.
Advantages of Civil Proceedings for Fraud
- You are in complete control of whether to bring civil proceedings and how those proceedings progress, however if you report it to the prosecuting authorities you have no control over the investigation or prosecution.
- If you are looking for your money back, civil proceedings is the safest approach to take
- Judgments can be enforced in abroad enabling victims to seize the assets of the defendant in other jurisdictions.
- It is also possible to very quickly obtain judgment or settle in the civil court, for example, where you have strong evidence against the defendant.
Fraud Proceedings in the Criminal Court
Criminal fraud will be prosecuted in the criminal courts by the prosecuting authorities, or in some cases, a private prosecution can be brought against a defendant. Sanctions are likely to be a fine or imprisonment, and a jury will decide the outcome of the case. Depending on the offence and the court in which the case is heard, a criminal Judge can impose a prison sentence of up to ten years or issue a fine, or both. If the defendant is convicted, the prosecuting authority can seek a compensation order against the defendant, though compensation is not guaranteed.
Advantages of Criminal Proceedings for Fraud
- The advantages of criminal proceedings are that; the prosecuting authorities have wide powers of investigation.
- If convicted, the defendant may receive a prison sentence or a fine, or both. (However, it is not guaranteed you will receive financial compensation.)
- If there are investigations ongoing in other jurisdictions, the authorities in those jurisdictions may cooperate, making it easier to obtain a conviction.
- You are not responsible for the costs in a criminal case, whereas in civil proceedings you will be, unless you obtain an order for payment by the defendant.
How Selachii Can Help
Selachii LLP is a dynamic boutique law firm working from offices in Kensington, London, solving a wide range of legal problems for clients.
If you have been the victim of a fraud or a scam, speak to one of our team today. Selachii is a dynamic, agile and forward thinking law firm based in Kensington, London, specialising in pursuing highly complex fraud cases. We tailor solutions specifically to the circumstances and needs of the client concerned, providing high-quality representation and cutting edge advice.