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In brief

  • Fraud in commodity financing can manifest itself in a number of ways.
  • Lenders need to be able to identify key indicators of the different types of fraud.
  • There are a number of tools that lenders can avail themselves of to mitigate the risk of fraud – many of them are centered around due diligence and protective documentary provisions.
  • There of course remains a trade-off to be made between adopting rigorous due diligence and documentation and the flexibility to strike a competitive deal.
  • In the event of fraud, the English courts are well-equipped to deal with this complex area of law and have the jurisdiction to grant a range of remedies. 

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This article was first published in the September 2021 edition of Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law.


Hugh Lyons is a partner in Baker McKenzie’s Dispute Resolution department, based in London. He has extensive experience of high-profile and high-value commercial and financial disputes. His clients include major corporates, financial institutions and leading insolvency practitioners. Much of his work arises from disputed financing transactions, restructuring and insolvency, fraud and financial misconduct. He is also actively involved in the Firm's pro bono offering. Hugh is recognised for his practice by Legal 500, while Super Lawyers ranks him a “Top Rated Attorney in London” in the categories of commercial litigation, fraud and insolvency & bankruptcy. Hugh is a member of the Insolvency Lawyers Association and a fellow of the Association of Business Recovery Professionals.


Nick leads the London Banking team, focusing on cross-border syndicated lending transactions including in relation to emerging markets, governmental authorities, trade finance (including ECA-backed export finance) and funds finance. He is listed as a Leading Individual in Legal 500 and similarly commended for his work in Chambers & Partners.


James trained and qualified at a major international law firm before joining Baker McKenzie in July 2017. James has completed two secondments at a tier one global bank, sitting in its trade finance legal team. He has also spent time in Dubai, gaining experience in Sharia-compliant financing structures.


Eleanor Swift is an Associate in Baker McKenzie London office.

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