Risk Update

Anti-money Laundering News — SRA Probing Major UK Law Firm (Including Allegation of “Secret Transfer” of Money)

Regulators investigate elite London law firm Mishcon de Reya” —

  • “One of the UK’s most prestigious law firms is being investigated by regulators who have spent at least two years examining it, sending investigators into its central London offices.”
  • “The Guardian has established that the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is conducting a complex investigation into Mishcon de Reya, involving forensic and anti-money laundering investigators.”
  • “One of the reports is understood to have related to an HM Revenue and Customs investigation into transfers of Premier League football players, while the second detailed allegations about the firm’s work for clients connected to an elaborate €100m (£89m) fraud.”
  • “The ongoing investigation into Mishcon de Reya is understood not to have reached any conclusions or made any adverse findings against the firm or any of its partners or solicitors.”

For those curious about the Premier Leage football matter: “Newcastle United investigated over ‘systemic abuse of tax system‘” —

  • “Newcastle United are under investigation over alleged ‘extensive’ tax evasion on player transfers, court papers have shown.”
  • “Details of the allegations have emerged as the club failed in a legal challenge against search warrants issued to HM Revenue and Customs during Operation Loom, which saw dawn raids by HMRC on premises including St James’ Park as part of a £5m tax investigation involving Premier League and French clubs. The papers show HMRC investigators suspect Newcastle, owned by the billionaire Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley, of involvement in an elaborate scheme to evade income tax, VAT and national insurance.”
  • “The vast majority of that money was then allegedly ‘secretly transferred’ via a law firm to companies linked to Ba and unlicensed agents. The companies named are Sarl Ba Corporation, France-based Quatorze Management, Silkee Management in Enfield, north London, and Panama-based Zumbada Ventures Corporation.”