This week, members of our Insolvency & Restructuring team including Partners Frances Coulson and Edward Saunders, Legal Director Chris Burt, Trainee Enea Aniaj and Paralegal James Protheroe attended the Fraud Conference 2023 at the Royal College of Physicians in London. The annual conference, chaired by Frances Coulson, is jointly organised by The Fraud Advisory Panel, the leading counter fraud charity, InsolEurope, the European insolvency practitioners network and R3, the UK insolvency trade body. Bringing together public and private sector, law enforcement and criminal practitioners alongside civil and insolvency practitioners, criminologists, and other academics and experts, it aims to break down barriers and aid cross-sector counter-fraud work and discussions.
The sessions covered topics as wide as the challenges faced in dealing with packaging recycling fraud; greenwashing; the reforms to Companies House; and pursuit of assets through insolvency across borders. Professor Michael Levi of Cardiff University, the “godfather of criminology” presented his new report which rethinks the approach to tackling frauds from the ground up. Priya Guiliani of Guidehouse also shared interesting data and views on social behaviour and “nudges” to those behaviours, in her talk “Rethinking Ethical Behaviours”. Following a session dissecting the bankruptcy and prosecution of Boris Becker, the last session of the day was chaired by Fraud Advisory Panel Board Trustee, Arun Chauhan of Tenet Law on “Restoring Trust & Integrity” with colourful stories from ex US Marshall TJ Abernathy and wise words from Dr Ian Peters MBE from the Institute of Business Ethics.
A key takeaway from the conference, as recommended in the Fraud Advisory Panel Report in 2017 “Businesses Behaving Badly – Fraud, Corporate Culture and Ethics”, was that ethical leadership is of utmost importance, and there is a requirement for zero tolerance, back to basics, enforcement of ethical behaviour. It is not just a case of merely tolerating businesses using loopholes to be unethical at best and fraudulent at worst. Instead, ethical behaviour needs to be embedded from cradle to grave, which will, in the process, save a lot of misery caused by fraudsters that increasingly pervade people’s lives.
Our Insolvency & Restructuring team specialise in every aspect of fraud, asset recovery and contentious insolvency. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss any of the issues covered in the conference with our team and learn how we can help.