Civil fraud and asset recovery
We have extensive expertise in acting in fraud litigation and asset preservation and recovery, including in complex commercial fraud cases, both onshore and offshore. Our members include recognised leaders in the civil fraud field and have been involved in cases which have made significant developments to the law in this area.
We act across the full spectrum of civil fraud claims including those based on misrepresentation, breach of duty, conspiracy, and accessory liability and at all stages in bringing or defending a claim. Our work includes:
- freezing, search and disclosure orders (whether against a cause of action defendant or third party)
- receivership orders (pre- and post-judgment)
- committal proceedings (pre- and post- judgment) brought on allegations of contempt
- jurisdictional issues
- all advisory and interim stages
- enforcement, including insolvency proceedings
Our experience in related areas such as company, insolvency, banking and financial services, property and trusts law ensures expert and comprehensive representation and advice.
Rankings and recognition
Wilberforce is ranked as a leading civil fraud chambers in both Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500.
Chambers & Partners UK 2024: Wilberforce Chambers houses a strong bench of experienced barristers who are regularly instructed in high-value and multi-jurisdictional civil fraud disputes. The team is noted for its expert handling of cases involving offshore jurisdictions such as the Cayman Islands and the BVI, as well as matters arising in Asia and Europe. Members offer expertise in claims stemming from allegations of misrepresentation, conspiracy and breach of duty. Cases involving complex jurisdictional issues and contempt proceedings are also key areas of strength for the set. Recent work handled by the set’s tenants includes acting in Bourlakova & Others v Borulakov & Others, a USD3 billion fraud claim alleging defrauding of creditors and dishonest breaches of fiduciary duty in the drawing up and execution of an oligarch’s will.
The Legal 500 UK 2024: A ‘wonderful full-service set that engages in a modern and commercial way with instructing solicitors‘, Wilberforce Chambers‘ civil fraud work is closely aligned to the set’s enviable offshore practice. In Bourlakova v Bourlakov, Alan Gourgey KC acts for the principal defendant in a high-profile claim concerning ownership of approximately $3bn of assets. John Wardell KC represented a shopping centre magnate in his defence of a €55m claim brought against him by the Bank of Ireland, which claimed that he had lied about his assets and liabilities in a statement of affairs. Clare Stanley KC also routinely acts in major fraud cases; and in a boost to chambers, Thomas Grant KC, an expert in obtaining and defending freezing and related interim orders, joined from Maitland Chambers in October 2022.
Chambers Bar Awards 2023: Wilberforce wins Set of the Year and Chancery Set of the Year
Chambers Bar Awards 2023: Tim Penny KC wins Chancery Silk of the Year
The Legal 500 Bar Awards 2022: Wilberforce wins Chancery Set of the Year
Chambers Bar Awards 2022: Clare Stanley KC wins Chancery Silk of the Year
Chambers Bar Awards 2021: Thomas Grant KC wins Chancery Silk of the Year