The appointments come at a point when corporate criminal liability is high on the boardroom agenda, with the coming in to force of the Bribery Act due in April 2011, and the importance for businesses to have adequate procedures in place to prevent corruption.
Neil McInnes, a Senior Associate and barrister, and Benjamin Long, a barrister, are based in London and report to Dr Simon Joyston-Bechal, head of Pinsent Masons' national Corporate Defence and Regulatory team.
Neil (called to the Bar 1999) joins from the criminal department of Bindmans LLP in London. He has particular expertise in tax fraud, bribery and corruption, market-related offences and money laundering investigations.
Benjamin (called to the Bar in 2006) arrives from Furnival Chambers and specialises in white-collar crime and asset forfeiture, in particular corruption and bribery, money laundering and confiscation.
Together Neil and Benjamin will assist the firm to develop a full service business crime practice, working with existing specialists in the Financial Services, Competition and Health & Safety teams, amongst others across the firm internationally.
Dr Simon Joyston-Bechal, commented:
"We are delighted to welcome Neil and Benjamin to our Regulatory and Disputes team. Their appointments significantly enhance our offering to clients across a range of business crime areas. Companies and their directors increasingly find themselves in need of specialist advice from criminal lawyers, with insight and direct experience of regulatory investigations and prosecutions. We are excited that Neil and Benjamin can strengthen our existing capabilities across these areas. Their appointments come at a particularly important juncture with the introduction of the Bribery Act 2010, and the need for corporates to obtain specialist advice on their risk exposure and put in place adequate procedures to prevent corruption."