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Charles Thomson

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Charles Thomson is a partner and solicitor advocate in Baker McKenzie’s Dispute Resolution Practice Group in London. He co-manages the Business Crime Unit, and is part of the Financial Institutions Disputes, Contentious Trusts and Compliance and Investigations Groups. Charles joined the Firm as a trainee in 2002, and concurrently spent three months on secondment as a judicial assistant at the Royal Courts of Justice in the Civil Appeals Division. A solicitor advocate since 2007, Charles appears as an advocate in all Higher Courts in England and Wales. Chambers and Legal 500 both commend Charles for his legal practice. Charles is also listed as a Rising Star in Litigation by Legal Week.

As the effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the world, businesses continue to face significant levels of instability and uncertainty caused by weakened financial markets and disruption to supply chains, workplace operations and business pipelines. Such instability and uncertainty will result in a growth in the number and…

On 25 August 2020, HMRC confirmed that there are now 10 ongoing investigations concerning the corporate criminal offence of “failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion (CCO) (see here). This follows HMRC’s previous update on the matter in February 2020 (see here). While this indicates that HMRC have only opened one new investigation since December 2019, a further 22 “live opportunities” are currently under review, which marks a significant increase in activity during the course of this year.  

This brings the total number of live CCO investigations and opportunities to 32. It is clear from this that, despite the impact of Covid-19 on resources, HMRC is nonetheless continuing to increase scrutiny through the CCO in its pursuit of corporate criminal tax evasion offences

As the effects of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continue to be felt around the world, businesses face significant levels of instability and uncertainty caused by weakened financial markets and disruption to supply chains, workplace operations and business pipelines. It is almost certain that such instability and uncertainty will result in…

This article relates to a recent High Court decision regarding dishonest assistance, fraudulent trading (pursuant to s.213 of the Insolvency Act) and vicarious liability and will be particularly relevant to brokers, banks, traders and other intermediaries which process payments and other transactions.  The Disputes Resolution team shed light on the circumstances in which those entities and individuals may be found by the Courts to have acted dishonestly by failing to seek further information where they have suspicions of potential wrongdoing. This will also be useful reading in preparation for a post-Covid-19 world, when the repercussions of actions that took place before and during the pandemic will be better understood and will no doubt be thrust under a spotlight.

The COVID-19 crisis presents fraudsters with a ripe opportunity to defraud businesses at a time when finances are tight, attention and resources are focused elsewhere, key staff may be absent and financial controls are under pressure. One of the simplest and most devastatingly effective of these frauds is a push payment fraud.

The science of compliance: SFO releases guidance on how it will assess corporate compliance programmes The SFO’s Operational Handbook1 has been updated with new guidance on how it will evaluate corporate compliance programmes (https://www.sfo.gov.uk/publications/guidance-policy-and- protocols/sfo-operational-handbook/). While the guidance is far less prescriptive than many corporates would wish and, in many…

On 10 February 2020 HMRC disclosed that it has 30 potential cases underway under the UK’s corporate criminal offence of “failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion” (“CCO”), split between nine ongoing investigations and 21 potential investigations (see here). Whilst there have been no confirmed CCO cases to date,…

DOWNLOAD ALERT On 3 October 2019, the United Kingdom and the United States signed a first-of-its-kind Bilateral Data Access Agreement (the “Agreement”), which is expected to reduce the time it takes UK and US law enforcement agencies to access electronic evidence held by technology companies located in each other’s territory.…

New Sentencing Guideline Following a consultation in 2018, the Sentencing Council has published a new sentencing guideline to come into effect on 1 October 2019 that will apply to sentences decided on or after that date. This new “General guideline” will apply to the sentencing of organisations and adult individuals.…