When you are alleged to have committed financial crime, it can be very alarming because of the possibility of a criminal conviction if found guilty. If you are unfamiliar with the legal system and the legislation that is in place, it can be even more confusing for you.
In such a situation, an experienced fraud barrister (preferably a QC), and a general criminal solicitor may both express their desire to represent you. Criminal fraud cases are prosecuted in the criminal courts, and many people, still shell-shocked at being arrested or questioned, readily accept the local duty solicitor availed to them at the onset.
However, fraud cases are usually different from the day to day matters handled at police stations and the magistrates courts by most duty solicitors. Even duty solicitors based at the crown court may not have the necessary experience to deal with fraud cases. This is because the knowledge needed is highly specialist, and the skill set required in such cases is different to most general crime.
It is therefore vital to enlist the services of a qualified fraud defence solicitor if you ever find yourself the subject of a fraud or regulatory investigation.
Why is a fraud barrister important?
Fraud cases usually require a clear strategy from the very beginning if a successful outcome is to be achieved. Tactics need to be laid out well in advance so that their merits and demerits can be evaluated. The normal approaches taken by criminal lawyers many not work. Sir David Napley once observed that 95% of all successful advocacy lay in the adequate preparation of a case. Fraud lawyers therefore bring their experience in crafting a good plan before matters begin, and the other 5% is persuasion.
The second reason is that fraud cases often contain enormous amounts of information which must be collated, read, understood and compared with other material. The aim is to come up with a strong summary which reflects the most important parts of the case which can be easily referenced when needed. The famous fraud defending barrister Edward Hall noted that the only substitute for knowing the case is knowing it in absolute detail. A well-prepared fraud lawyer will likely come out on top during a legal argument in court. A good summary and a good preparation are therefore extremely important for a fraud defence lawyer.
It is prudent to let a registered fraud lawyer represent you in a case involving financial crime.