Lawyer Monthly - April 2022

About Helen Hatton Helen Hatton is the head of Central Associates Limited and, in addition to her roles mentioned in this article, is a Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of International Banking Regulation and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers. She has also been appointed to the Strategic Advisory Board of the International Fraud Group and is a recognised international speaker on regulatory and compliance topics. About Central Associates Central Associates is a London-based intelligence and investigations firm. The company provides a broad range of bespoke services including people and asset tracing, litigation support and surveillance and counter surveillance. Helen Hatton Chairman Central Associates Limited Tel: +44 020-7459-4650 E: EXPERT INSIGHT 47 APR 2022 | WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM You have spoken out before about the Panama and Pandora Papers, which exposed secret financial systems that allowed the world’s wealthy to hide their money from taxing authorities and governments. What are the major challenges of locating assets that have been hidden offshore? The ICIJ is definitely an amazing organisation and much of their investigative work has certainly been in the public interest, although one can have an interesting debate on the sources and provenance of the data their work is based upon. Those points aside, there is no doubt that people quite often dodge their tax. The poor do it alone, the rich with so-called professional advisors. Those who dodge tax or aid and abet tax evasion all commit criminal offences. They should be prosecuted. I think investigations are often not progressed because there is misplaced mystique about “offshore”. There is a lot of misunderstood terminology, so people – even professionals – are not actually speaking the same language. People instruct us to look for trust bank accounts, for example, when a trust clearly cannot have a bank account; people instruct us to identify the beneficial owner of a trust when a trust clearly does not have a beneficial owner; people confuse a power of attorney with a nominee agreement, or shares held as nominee versus shares held under a declaration of trust. Requests which ask the wrong questions will inevitably not produce the answers required. Step one, therefore, is to work with an investigatory firm with solid offshore experience. Contact us! What advice do you have for other women wanting to follow the same path? Male or female, I think one just has to go all in. The harder you work the luckier you get. I am a big believer in mastering the detail, being totally on top of the paperwork, gripping the evidence. Advocacy is fine, but demonstrable fact, clearly explained, wins cases. That advice is aimed for the casework side of our working life, but it also applies to our role as line manager, team leader, director or indeed leader of a business. Avoid becoming one of those “bosses” who does not bother to read the minutes and has not learned the brief or reviewed the draft. I say ‘always sweat the detail.’ It may not be sexy, but it totally empowers you in any dialogue, whether with colleagues on an internal matter, in client interactions or across the courtroom or negotiating floor. On the advice list, I would also counsel people to be good colleagues. Help one another, be generous with your knowledge, be kind. It is not necessary to be personal friends with colleagues, but you do need effective working relations if you are to deliver the mission successfully.

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