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Turks and Caicos: Changing the odds

Using London's Premier League Defence Team in Turks & Caicos for International Criminal Cases flowing from the ongoing SIPT Investigation

In anticipation of criminal charges being laid in the Turks & Caicos Islands ('TCI') by the Special Investigation and Prosecution Team ('SIPT) against numerous defendants (including corporations and individuals) we have joined forces to create a specialist team to defend clients who may find themselves embroiled in the forthcoming criminal proceedings.

Uniquely placed corruption defence in the Construction and Development sector

The team is made up of leading lawyers from top criminal Barristers Chambers, 2 Bedford Row and the head of corporate crime for City firm Pinsent Masons LLP, recently named the Best Global construction law firm for the fourth consecutive year.

The team has a proven track record working together successfully defending alleged criminal corruption and money laundering allegations worldwide (including in the Caribbean and elsewhere offshore). The London team has identified suitable TCI counsel to assist as local counsel in appropriate circumstances.

We can provide advice to any person who is arrested on suspicion of a criminal offence and represent them during a police interview concerning their suspected involvement in the commission of a crime with lawyers available who belong to the Law Society's Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme.

London Counsel critical

There is a tradition of corporates, governments and individuals 'coming to London' for legal counsel in 'bet the farm' criminal and civil litigation. The SIPT in the TCI is a classic example. The SIPT team is led by leading London based barrister Helen Garlick.

It has been announced that leading London criminal counsel Andrew Mitchell QC has been instructed by the Turks and Caicos Islands Special Investigation and Prosecution Team as Lead Prosecution Counsel.

When the prosecution takes advantage of London legal talent, defendant(s) are well advised to do the same. Our results bear this out.

Total discretion

We are very aware of the discretion that is sometimes demanded in terms of the visibility of our engagement and input. The London based team can work with your chosen local TCI law firm if this is preferred.

Working together with a uniquely flat structure which ensures that clients have access to each member of the team. We are able to combine experienced criminal money laundering and corruption lawyers with our own in-house forensic accounting capability and construction and real estate development lawyers whose expertise is unrivalled.

Members of the team regularly represent clients facing criminal investigations initiated in the Caribbean and Bermuda, the United States, EMEA, Russia and the CIS. The team routinely represents clients in the Construction and Development sector.

Relevant experience includes:

  • Worldwide criminal and civil litigation concerning international business transactions for numerous individuals and corporations covering a myriad of jurisdictions.
  • Representing prominent businessmen and internationally known figures in politically motivated proceedings having developed a thorough appreciation of the tactical considerations necessary to secure the desired outcome.
  • Corruption investigations involving the World Bank, the UK's City of London Police Overseas Corruption Unit and Serious Fraud Office.
  • Worldwide criminal corruption and money laundering and related regulatory investigations into companies resulting in global resolutions in multiple jurisdictions with regulators.
  • International corruption investigation involving the US Department of justice and UK Serious Fraud Office.
  • Compliance and preparation for the Bribery Act.
  • Attending dawn raids involving the Serious Fraud Office and other UK regulators and advising clients on information requests from enforcement agencies.

Richard Kovalevsky QC (2 Bedford Row, London)

Richard Kovalevsky QC is regarded as a leading specialist in fraud and money laundering at the London Bar (see Chambers Directory 2011, an independent guide to the legal profession in the UK which rates him as a leader in the fields of fraud and general crime and The Legal 500 where he is individually mentioned).

He is regularly engaged by multinationals and individuals in pre-litigation and litigation settings concerning complex transactions with a potential criminal aspect. Recently, this has ranged from Russia and Nigerian telecoms cases through to advising directors concerning carbon credit frauds, national government infrastructure frauds, extremely complex banking frauds and the like.

He is known to think creatively and strategically to ensure the best possible outcomes for his clients. He is able to draw on wide experience of negotiating at the highest level set against the background of being a recognized leader in the field in a contested case.

Kovalevsky has defended in numerous high profile cases (see and has first-hand litigation experience of the team who will be retained to prosecute in Turks and Caicos.

Sean Hammond (2 Bedford Row, London)

Sean Hammond is recommended as a leading barrister in fraud work by both Chambers and Partners Directory (2011) and the UK Legal 500 (2011). He specialises in advising and defending individuals and corporates facing allegations of fraud, money laundering and corruption.

He is often asked to provide advice and representation in complex cases involving parallel civil and criminal proceedings. He has gained considerable experience in this area.

In recent years, Hammond has defended in a number of high profile cases brought by the Serious Fraud Office, Financial Services Authority, HM Revenue and Customs and the Serious Organised Crime Agency. These cases included allegations of corruption of government officials, money laundering, tax fraud and fraudulent trading.

Hammond is currently retained to defend company directors in 2 separate international fraud cases prosecuted by the UK Financial Services Authority.

He has wide experience in the area of corporate criminal allegations and corruption and has a proven ability to work closely with the other members of the team.

Barry Vitou (Pinsent Masons LLP, London)

Barry Vitou specializes in cross border corporate crime and heads Pinsent Masons global corporate crime practice. Pinsent Masons LLP is the world's leading construction law firm.

Vitou has extensive experience of representing, defending and dealing with U.S., EU, Russian, Middle East and North African and other overseas based clients. He has dealt with regulators, criminal and civil, in the UK, EU, US, CIS and offshore (throughout the Caribbean and Bermuda) and has strong relationships with local counsel in these jurisdictions as well as relevant regulators.

Vitou has successfully represented clients defending criminal and civil worldwide money laundering investigations.

He also advises the Boards of Fortune 500 and FTSE 250 corporations on compliance risk in their operations in high risk markets and conducts internal investigations into suspected violations.

Vitou is a regular speaker on corruption, money laundering and the new Bribery Act. He co-authors the leading resource for the UK Bribery Act, with Richard Kovalevsky QC, with whom he has worked for many years. The site is "The leading web resource for corporates in the field of bribery and corruption." (Richard Alderman, Director of the Serious Fraud Office).

In need of urgent assistance? +44 (0)800 358 1628

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London WC1R 4BU
Tel: +44 (0) 207 440 8888
Pinsent Masons LLP
30 Crown Place, Earl Street London EC2A 4ES
Tel: +44 (0)20 7418 7000

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