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Civil fraud

Civil fraud, both domestic and cross-border, is a core practice area for members of 7KBW.

Members offer unrivalled experience in this field.  Recent significant civil fraud cases include:

  • Group Seven v Notable Services LLP [2019] EWCA Civ 614
  • Bilta Ltd v Royal Bank of Scotland Plc [2017] EWHC 3535
  • The Republic of Djibouti v Boreh [2016] EWHC 405 (Comm)
  • “The Brillante Virtuoso” (Suez fortune Investment Ltd and Piraeus Bank SA -&- Talbot Underwriting Ltd) [2016] EWHC 1985 (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)
  • Excalibur Ventures v Texas Keystone Inc [2013] EWHC 2767 (Comm)
  • Abela & Ors v Baadarani [2013] UKSC 44; [2013] 1 WLR 2043

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.  A recent example is 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.  Recent examples of cases where members succeeded in having freezing injunctions discharged include: 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).  Members also offer strategic and tactical advice regarding asset recovery.

A significant proportion of cases in Chambers’ other key practice areas also require expertise in fraud:

  • 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) [2016] EWHC 1085 (Comm) (in which a claim that a fire had rendered the vessel a constructive total loss was met with the allegation that the vessel had been lost as a result of owners’ own wilful misconduct) 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).


  • 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