EXPERT INSIGHT About Fran Marwood Fran Marwood is a forensic accountant and counter fraud specialist, with 25 years’ worth of experience helping clients with complex investigations across the UK and globally. He leads PwC UK’s Digital and Forensic Investigations practice. The team is based across the UK regional centres and London and includes 250 forensic accountants and investigators, technologists and specialists in intelligence, contracts and asset tracing. They help their clients to protect value by preparing for, responding to and recovering from crisis events and business threats. About PwC With offices in 156 countries and more than 295,000 people, PwC is among the leading professional services networks in the world. The UK firm has 22,000 employees across Assurance, Tax, Deals, Risk and Consulting. Fran Marwood Partner, PwC UK Tel: +44 (0)7841 491 400 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.pwc.co.uk/services/ forensic-services.html 57 MAR 2022 | WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM The use of economic sanctions to protect national interests or enforce peace has rarely been more prevalent than in more recent years. We have also seen the breadth of supranational (the UN Security Council) or unilateral (individual nations) sanctions programmes widen since the early 2000s. These often target not only individuals and organisations, but also sea vessels, specific addresses and locations (and even crypto-wallets), and entire national industries. The increasing globalisation of trade and investments, together with this expansion of sanctions, has made navigating this complex regulatory space even more difficult for our clients. They are exposed to greater risks and challenges to comply with sanctions programmes imposed by multiple government agencies and international bodies. In addition, new “smart sanctions” (e.g. sectoral sanctions imposed by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control) and targeted restrictions mean that measures to ensure compliance need to become iterative and more sophisticated. On top of this, increasing fines and penalties are making non-compliance even more costly. How are businesses responding to these changes? It is important for businesses to have a sound understanding of their global supply chain so they can assess the risk of sanctions exposure via third parties. We are seeing organisations looking to enhance their sanctions compliance programmes, monitor sanctions risks and regulatory development, and respond to them rapidly and cost-effectively. Our regulatory team can quickly and accurately assess and improve our clients’ sanctions compliance programmes. Technology is increasingly being used for continuous monitoring of sanctions risks. We are helping clients to outsource sanctions screening and alert review processes or build their own based on the latest tools, advanced methodologies and international best practices. How do you help your clients to better understand and overcome these issues? Historically, forensic work was more reactive in nature – helping clients to understand, quantify and evaluate fraud or misconduct following an incident. We are now doing much more proactive work with our clients to mitigate the risks of incidents occurring. The best defence to the growing threat of fraud is strong and proactive risk management. At PwC, we have developed a Fraud Risk Management solution, which is designed to help our clients understand the key elements needed for an effective control environment and to improve the processes and controls they have in place to prevent and detect fraud. The framework has five components: governance, risk assessment, monitoring and prevention, detection and response. It is about helping businesses to have an awareness of the risks that they’re exposed to across their supply chain. Key fraud risks need to be identified, and then mapped to the business’s control environment to facilitate effective ongoing risk management. Our team provides clients with datadriven insights to give greater clarity and flexibility in tracking and managing risks and resilience levels in supply chains and third parties. The use of economic sanctions to protect national interests or enforce peace has rarely been more prevalent than in more recent years.