Lawyer Monthly - April 2022

EXPERT INSIGHT WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM | APR 2022 ow did you get into white-collar practice, and what does that practice look like today? The story began in the late 1980s. I worked for American Express Bank in a wealth advisory role and was shocked to hear so many investors’ stories of dreadful mis-selling and the downright fraud they had suffered prior to seeking assistance from AMEX. I could see how the very strict internal control framework which we had to work to in AMEX protected the clients and quickly gathered that very few British investment houses had similar protections in place at that time. This led me to become interested in financial services regulation. In 1991 I took up an opportunity to establish the world’s first offshore enforcement function with the Isle of Man Financial Supervision Commission. It was a fabulous job. The island had become a refuge for UK advisors who had not achieved licensing under the UK Financial Services Act of 1986. They would form a Manx company using nominee shareholders and directors and under that cloak of anonymity carry on their (often fraudulent) investment business in the UK. In those days the Isle of Man courts required a local cause of action to trigger civil discovery proceedings and police needed either a Manx victim or perpetrator. As a result of these legal restrictions, nothing had been done to help these investor victims. However, after the introduction of the Manx Investment Business law, the activity of these UK operators comprised unauthorised investment business (as the Manx company they were using did not have authorisation under the regulatory regime of the Isle of Man) and my division could take action. It was my job to receive the investor complaints, investigate using statutory powers, get the company files from the company administrators offices, establish the beneficial ownership, track the assets, wind up the company in the public interest and through The Modern Landscape of White-Collar Crime Tax evasion, money laundering and other varieties of white-collar crime are among some of the hardest offences to uncover. This month we hear from Central Associates Limited Chair Helen Hatton on her firm’s work in the world of global intelligence, investigations and surveillance, while also looking more broadly at the world of white-collar crime and how her own career has taken shape. H

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