A lot of interest surrounds this pilot and whilst some people see this pilot as just another way for legal firms to make money Michcon de Reya's fraud partner Robert Wynn Jones mirrors my thoughts on the sheer volume of fraud cases that just do not have the resources in place to be pursued by the police or government agencies.
I have worked on many cases where an initial victim has approached my firm for assistance which has resulted in a group of victims coming together to force the 'scam' company into liquidation. A Grant Thornton partner has then been appointed as liquidator to realise the assets of the company and bring any claims against third parties for monies paid away that were not in the course of business.
Many of these scam companies are shells and hold no assets so it is imperative to have a liquidator appointed that has the skills and experience to bring claims, most notably against the director. Monies transferred can be traced and recovered which can see a recovery to the victims via a dividend payment. Yes the Liquidator will be paid from realisations but we tend to see a percentage of realisations used rather than time costs that can portray a liquidator negatively.
Without this pilot or fraud teams that specialise in this form of recovery many more victims would not see a penny back and whilst the police may get a conviction that is little comfort if the victim has lost their life savings or their home.
Mishcons civil fraud partner Robert Wynn Jones... said: “There is no strict formula as to how the scheme might work. However, currently if there is a wealthy individual or large corporate subject to civil fraud, they can come to us directly anyway. But if there are a number of victims of fraud by the same perpetrator who have each lost smaller amounts, they can pool their resources and go to the police, who will then talk to us. Potentially, we can then combine to recover those funds. Separately, those individuals are not likely to come to us to ask for help, but this scheme could give them that opportunity.