Civil fraud

7 King’s Bench Walk houses a strong team of senior and junior barristers experienced in the handling of complex and high-value civil fraud claims.” (Chambers & Partners 2021)

“7 King’s Bench Walk has real depth in civil fraud.” (Legal 500 2021)

Civil fraud, both domestic and cross-border, is a core practice area for members of 7KBW, which is recognised as a leading set in the field.

7KBW’s expertise includes pursuing and defending all types of fraud claims, many of which are very high-value and cross-jurisdictional.  A notable recent success was in The Republic of Djibouti v Boreh [2016] EWHC 405 (Comm), in which members of 7KBW represented the Defendant, a prominent African businessman.  The Claimants’ allegations that he had accepted bribes and was corrupt were rejected and their claims were dismissed in their entirety.

Traditional fraud claims in which members have acted have involved claims for breach of trust, breach of fiduciary duty and torts (often against company directors), and accessory liability claims against those who have assisted or benefited from a fraud, including for dishonest assistance, knowing receipt and unjust enrichment.  Recent examples include the ongoing SKAT Litigation, involving very large claims by the Danish revenue authorities for alleged tax fraud, and Orb a.r.l. v Ruhan, a long-running, high-value Commercial Court case in which members of Chambers acted for both the Claimants and the Defendant.

Since a key element of civil fraud work is the location and preservation of misappropriated assets, members have particular expertise in obtaining and resisting interim injunctions, particularly freezing injunctions and proprietary injunctions, as well as obtaining orders for the preservation of property and other evidence.  Members also offer strategic and tactical advice regarding asset recovery. Examples of cases where members succeeded in having freezing injunctions discharged include: PDVSA Servicios SA v Clyde & Co LLP [2020] EWHC 2819 (Ch)  The Republic of Djibouti v Boreh [2015] EWHC 769 (Comm);  [2015] 3 All ER 577; Blue Holdings (1) Pte Ltd v United States of America [2014] EWCA Civ 1291; [2015] 1 WLR 1917; and Anglo Financial SA v Goldberg [2014] EWHC 3192 (Ch).

A significant proportion of cases in 7KBW’s other key practice areas also require expertise in fraud. For example:

  • Members are frequently involved in insurance claims involving underlying fraud.  Examples include Godiva Mortgages Limited v Travelers Insurance Company & Willmett Solicitors [2012] EWHC 3615 (Comm) (large scale mortgage fraud on multiple lenders by a partner in a firm of solicitors) and Société Générale v Württembergische Versicherung AG [2012] EWHC 3112 (Comm) (the alleged misappropriation of 15 metric tonnes of gold bullion in Turkey and Dubai, leading to a claim on the bank’s metals insurance policy).
  • In the shipping and commodities sector, 7KBW’s work includes all forms of marine fraud, such as letter of credit fraud, bill of lading fraud, scuttling, theft of cargo, phantom ships and phantom cargoes.  Recent examples include “The Brillante Virtuoso” (Suez Fortune Investments Ltd and Piraeus Bank SA v Talbot Underwriting Ltd) [2019] EWHC 2599 (Comm) (in which a claim under a war risks policy following the loss of an oil tanker was successfully defended on the basis that the vessel was set on fire by her owners in a staged piracy attack) and OMV Petrom SA v Glencore International AG [2015] EWHC 666 (Comm) (a claim for fraudulent misdescription of oil).
  • Chambers’ audit negligence work is another area which often involves allegations of fraud.  Recent examples include Cattles Ltd and Welcome Financial Services Limited v PwC (a very substantial Commercial Court claim by sub-prime lenders against their former auditors following the collapse of the Cattles Group) and 3D Gold Jewellery Holdings v PwC (a claim against PwC in Hong Kong for HK$400m alleging audit negligence in failing to detect a very significant fraud).

Members offer extensive experience in this field. Significant civil fraud cases undertaken by members include:

  • PDVSA Servicios SA v Clyde & Co LLP [2020] EWHC 2819 (Ch)
  • Group Seven v Notable Services LLP [2020] Ch 129
  • Simetra Global Assets Ltd v Ikon Finance Ltd [2019] EWCA Civ 1413
  • “The Brillante Virtuoso” (Suez fortune Investment Ltd and Piraeus Bank SA -&- Talbot Underwriting Ltd) [2019] EWHC 2599 (Comm)
  • Instant Access Properties Ltd v Rosser & ors [2018] EWHC 756 (Ch)
  • Bilta Ltd v Royal Bank of Scotland Plc [2017] EWHC 3535
  • The Republic of Djibouti v Boreh [2016] EWHC 405 (Comm)
  • Orb a.r.l. v Ruhan [2016] EWHC 850 (Comm); [2015] EWHC 830 (Comm); [2015] EWHC 262 (Comm)
  • OJSC Bank of Moscow v Chernyakov [2016] EWHC 2583 (Comm)
  • Blue Holdings (1) Pte Ltd v United States of America [2014] EWCA Civ 1291; [2015] 1 WLR 1917
  • Anglo Financial SA v Goldberg [2014] EWHC 3192 (Ch)
  • Abela & Ors v Baadarani [2013] UKSC 44; [2013] 1 WLR 2043


  • All forms of fraud litigation
  • Freezing injunctions (domestic and worldwide)
  • Proprietary injunctions
  • Other interim injunctions (mandatory and prohibitory)
  • Search orders
  • Norwich Pharmacal relief
  • Detention, custody or preservation of property orders
  • Asset recovery

Civil fraud barristers