All posts by James Maton

James is a commercial litigator advising companies and Governments on a wide range of complex contractual and commercial disputes. That work includes litigation, international arbitration under a variety of rules and considerable experience of managing multi-jurisdictional disputes. He also advises Governments seeking to trace, freeze and recover the corruptly acquired assets of dishonest public officials. That experience includes civil proceedings to recover the proceeds of corruption, enforcing foreign confiscation orders, advising on requests for mutual legal assistance in criminal proceedings and using insolvency remedies to recover assets. He speaks regularly about asset recovery at international anti-corruption conferences organised by international donors, and has provided significant pro­-bono support to anti-corruption NGOs.

Unexplained Wealth Orders coming into force

The regime for Unexplained Wealth Orders will come into force on 31 January. This is a novel power in the UK. Law enforcement agencies such as the National Crime Agency and Serious Fraud Office will be able to apply to Court, without notice to the recipients, for an Order requiring […]

Introducing illicit enrichment in the UK: a proposal by Transparency International UK

Too often, for a variety of reasons, law enforcement agencies are unable to take meaningful action against assets suspected to be corrupt. That might be, for example, because the state that has suffered corruption is unable or unwilling to provide supporting information to UK law enforcement in time for action […]

Privy Council Clarifies When Innocent Bank is Liable to Victims of Theft

To what extent must a bank make inquiries as to the commercial purpose of a transaction, particularly a transaction involving an offshore structure? And when is a bank liable to compensate a victim of theft for receiving funds deriving from stolen assets and using them for its own benefit? These […]

Can I sue a bribing competitor in England?

Companies are competing to win a contract. One pays a bribe to exclude its competitor from the bidding process, or to win the contract. If caught, it faces prosecution under the UK’s Bribery Act 2010, as do its bribing directors or employees. The bribing company also risks termination of its contract […]

Who owns a bribe: the bribed public official or the defrauded state?

A public official receives a bribe to award a contract.  Does the bribe “belong” to the official or to the state that he or she represents? The answer to the question can matter a great deal to the success of a claim. But the issue has been controversial and the […]

Prosecuting “Illicit Enrichment”: a new offence for the UK?

This article by  James Maton and Jamie Humphreys was first published on the blog of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Anti-Corruption. There are many policy developments that would help improve asset recovery efforts in the UK (see Transparency International’s publication Closing down the Safe Havens). However, if we were to […]

Recovering the proceeds of corruption: an overview

Victim states seeking to recover the proceeds of corruption, or compensation for corrupt acts, may have a choice of mechanisms to do so:  criminal, civil and non-conviction forfeiture.   Each mechanism has advantages and disadvantages, and the “right” route for a particular case depends on the circumstances.   Flexibility is key, and any substantial […]