Fraud and Asset Tracing lawyers in Hong Kong
Our criminal and civil lawyers have regularly worked together and assisted clients in both pursuing and defending claims for fraud.
In typical fraud and asset recovery cases, there are two main aspects, namely criminal prosecution and civil recovery of assets.
Our criminal lawyers represent clients to make reports and maintain close contact with the police force and other authorities in order to facilitate the criminal investigation to bring the wrongdoers to justice. We advise our clients and keep them updated throughout the whole investigation process and criminal proceedings.
To recover the stolen assets and funds in fraud cases, our civil lawyers regularly work with forensics accountants, private investigators and law firms from different jurisdictions. This allows our lawyers to collate evidence for the financial crime, embark on asset tracing and freezing assets that represent proceeds of crime and assist our individual and corporate clients to recover what is owed to them.
We have ample experience in acting for clients facing serious allegations of fraud or breach of corporate duties with their reputation and livelihood at stake.
3. Frequently Asked Questions
What is fraud and what are the different types of frauds?
Generally speaking, fraud is to obtain something of value through deception, falsehood or dishonesty.
The term “fraud” can be used to describe a wide range of criminal conducts such as email fraud, internet fraud, identity theft, romance theft, embezzlement, forgery and misrepresentation.
What is asset tracing?
Asset tracing commonly refers to the process of locating stolen or misappropriated assets that have been taken as part of fraud or theft.
However, there are different circumstances under which assets are traced. Some asset tracing exercises involve locating assets that may have been legitimately acquired.
What is asset recovery?
Asset recovery may refers to the process of returning assets to their rightful owner or claimant and to enforce a judgment against a debtor.
This may sound straightforward but asset tracing and recovery can become complicated and lengthy when the claim encompasses assets in multiple jurisdictions.
Why is asset tracing / asset recovery important?
Asset tracing will allow you to identify and follow the movement of assets, and ultimately recover the assets awarded to you by the Court. This will give you important information to decide whether it is worth to press ahead the whole civil litigation and obtain a final judgment against the fraudster.
Who is involved in asset tracing?
We regularly work with:
- Forensics accountants to preserve electronic records and to analyse data obtained from disclosure orders;
- Private fraud investigators to carry out surveillance, undercover investigations, asset searches and lifestyle assessments;
- Law firms from different jurisdiction to assist in cross-border litigation and to enforce Court orders or judgments outside of Hong Kong.
What is involved in asset tracing?
Our lawyers advise on cases that involve:
- Obtaining, varying and discharging multi-jurisdictions proprietary or Mareva injunctions;
- Obtaining Norwich Pharmacal orders and Bankers’ books orders;
- Enforcing Hong Kong/overseas judgments by way of, inter alia, garnishee and charging orders; and
- Coordinating with forensics accountants, private fraud investigators and/or overseas law firms for asset tracing and recovery exercises.
What is a freezing injunction (also known as a Mareva injunction)?
A Mareva injunction is an interim relief, often sought prior to the Plaintiff obtaining judgment or award against the defendant, to prevent the latter from dispersing or dealing with his assets while legal proceedings are ongoing. It is used to protect the Plaintiff’s interest and to ensure that enforcement of a judgement or award is not defeated.
When should I trace and recover assets?
You should act quickly as it is very common for fraudsters to transfer stolen assets or funds onwards to second or even third layer recipients.