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An elite panel of specialist lawyers has been formed to trace stolen assets following the upturn in global fraud.
An anti-crime arm of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), which hopes the panel can gain a lead over criminals by pooling information and expertise, has handpicked the lawyers.
So far 23 members have been appointed, the only English representative being City fraud specialist Steven Philippsohn of niche practice Philippsohn Crawfords Berwald, while a further 60 lawyers will be appointed over the next few years, making it the world’s largest anti-fraud panel.
Many of the lawyers are litigation, insolvency and fraud specialists working in offshore tax havens. They include: Diarmad Murray, a partner at Cayman Islands firm Walkers; Isaac Marrache, a partner at Gibraltar firm Marrache & Co; John Greenfield, litigation head at Guernsey firm Carey Olsen; Philip Sinel, a partner at Jersey-based Sinels; and Pam Bryan, a Monaco-based Lawrence Graham partner.
Its roots are in tackling fraud carried out in the maritime sector, for example tracing the assets of criminals who commit fraud at sea. The panel’s founder, Peter Lowe, is a lawyer and assistant director of the London-based International Maritime Bureau (IMB). But Fraudnet, as the panel has been coined, will be a “vital resource to other commercial and general interests”, as well as to the IMB’s members, said Lowe.
Panel member Martin Kenney, who runs his own practice, Martin Kenney & Co, said: “As serious forms of fraud continue to expand exponentially and multijurisdictionally, it’s important that those working in the legal, investigative and forensic professions are just as organised when tackling fraudsters.”
Other jurisdictions with panel lawyers are Austria, Bermuda, Greece, Hong Kong, the Isle of Man, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and the US East Coast.