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    Anti-Fraud Forum News

    New Co-Chairs for INSOL Europe’s Anti-Fraud Forum

    Carmel King and Bart Heynickx are delighted to announce their appointment as Co-Chairs of the INSOL Europe Anti-Fraud Forum. They are replacing David Ingram and Eitan Erez, who have done some great work in growing and promoting the Forum since it was established at the 2012 Annual Congress.

    Carmel is an Associate Director at Grant Thornton UK LLP. She has ten years’ experience in fraud investigations, complex contentious insolvency, asset tracing and recovery. Carmel focusses on cases involving the investigation of fraud or corruption, asset tracing, and gathering evidence to be used in litigation to recover misappropriated assets across different jurisdictions. She has published several articles on fraud and asset recovery. She has experience working in the public and private sectors, having taken instruction from government departments and local authorities in the UK, non-UK governments, and international companies and law firms.   

    Bart is a Counsel with ALTIUS Lawyers in Brussels. He has vast experience on issues relating to insolvency and restructuring proceedings and assists clients confronted with business partners or debtors in financial difficulties or having received protection from their creditors. He evaluates the creditors’ securities and proposes the most efficient strategy. He has a particular focus on the takeover of activities, assets and key-staff from insolvent or restructuring companies. Further on Bart’s practice focuses on litigation, in particular proceedings regarding the responsibility of (former) administrators. 

    In 2019 and beyond, Bart and Carmel will be focussed on raising the profile of the Anti-Fraud Forum and developing links with the other INSOL Europe working groups and similar professional organisations. A consultation with members will be circulated in the New Year. 

    Update, April 2015

    Membership

    Our membership now stands at 62, covering 21 countries. Recent joiners have come from three jurisdictions new to the group, Poland, Spain and Sweden. I am pleased that the Anti-Fraud Forum is developing into a representative group of highly skilled and experienced professionals. Whilst I continue to encourage those with an interest in combatting fraud to join the Forum, I hope to encourage the active participation of current members in order that 2015 will see an increased presence of the Anti-Fraud Forum within INSOL Europe.
     

    Online presence

    The new INSOL Europe website includes a revamped Anti-Fraud Forum section. I will be considering how to make the most of various new pages, including Mission Statement, Links and Documents, and I intend to seek the input of Forum members for this exercise.
     
    Members of the Forum have contributed articles for publication in Eurofenix, and more are in the pipeline. We are looking at other methods of communication through INSOL Europe: our new Spanish member has prepared an Inside Story, which I look forward to seeing in the March or April edition. Articles are also published in the Anti-Fraud Forum section of the INSOL Europe website, which is gradually building up to form a library of useful resources and information. I have invited members to submit their discussion papers, case studies, legal updates or articles which feature fraud, asset tracing or asset recovery for publication on the Anti-Fraud Forum website. Publication in Eurofenix or other INSOL Europe media is not a prerequisite for inclusion in the Anti-Fraud Forum publications section.  
     
    The Anti-Fraud Forum LinkedIn group, a subgroup of INSOL Europe, launched last year. Membership remains low relative to the membership of the Forum, although I am hopeful that the increased active participation by Forum members will result in more members. I continue to believe that this group offers a real opportunity to develop some lively and interesting discussions amongst members, as well as the chance to get to know one another.  
     

    Annual Congress Istanbul 2014

    The Anti-Fraud Forum was invited to present at the 2014 Annual Congress. I chaired a panel session which considered insolvency and asset recovery in Turkey and Northern Cyprus, and the wider relationship with Europe. The panel included Sevi Firat and Ulas Nazim, both very engaging speakers and dynamic in their fields. Despite being the second-to-last session on the Saturday, it was well attended and very well received. I was delighted to once again have the opportunity to promote the Anti-Fraud Forum to Congress delegates, this time on the main stage.
     
    Our third annual meeting took place during the Annual Congress, and was attended by 13 members from a variety of jurisdictions including Germany, Portugal, the UK, Sweden and Spain. It was a fantastic opportunity to catch up with colleagues within the Forum, and everyone made a valuable contribution. The primary emerging theme was active participation, and Forum members from each jurisdiction present committed to producing something on the approach to combatting fraud within their own jurisdiction. One other existing project for 2015 is the progression and publication online of our quick-reference guide to asset recovery through insolvency. This will be a dynamic document which can be revised and updated. Initial publication is likely to cover a limited number of jurisdictions, but further countries and jurisdictions would be expected to contribute and come online.
     
    David Ingram
    Chairman

    david.ingram@uk.gt.com
     

    March 2014

    I am pleased to provide an update on the activities of the INSOL Europe Anti-Fraud Forum.

    Membership
    The Forum continues to take steps towards becoming a representative forum of highly skilled and experienced professionals. Our membership now stands at 47, covering 15 countries. We remain focussed on increasing membership numbers and representation from those countries that make up INSOL Europe. I encourage any reader with an interest in combatting fraud to join the Forum, and I urge existing members to recommend a friend, particularly from jurisdictions not currently represented. Please email me (david.ingram@uk.gt.com) to express your interest.

    Online presence
    The Anti-Fraud Forum section of the INSOL Europe website is developing in terms of content. Members of the Forum have contributed articles for publication, and more are in the pipeline. The value of the website depends entirely on Forum members, and I repeat my call for any discussion papers, case studies, legal updates or articles which feature fraud, asset tracing or asset recovery. Please email these to me to be added to the website. Anonymity can be provided to parties referred to within the piece where necessary.

    I am delighted to announce the launch of the Anti-Fraud Forum LinkedIn group, a subgroup of INSOL Europe. Please click to join what I hope will be some lively and interesting discussions around developments in the use of insolvency processes to assist with the tracing and recovery of misappropriated assets. 

    Annual Congress Paris 2013
    The Paris Congress marked the first anniversary of the Forum. We held two back-to-back breakout sessions, during which our panel discussed the various approaches to the recovery of misappropriated assets across European jurisdictions. The sessions were very well attended, and the feedback has been very positive indeed. As Chair of the sessions, I found the panellists' insightful contributions to be engaging and informative. I only regretted that we had insufficient time to explore our themes in greater detail, and to engage in further lively debate.

    The Forum also held a meeting to reflect on the progress made since it was established, and to consider our objectives for the next year. I highlighted at the time the benefits of active participation by all Forum members, and I would very much welcome thoughts and suggestions from Forum members old and new, that will help us to achieve our goals of promoting the use of insolvency for the tracing and recovery of assets, and acting as a forum to educate a wider audience on the threats of fraud.

    Annual Congress Istanbul 2014
    I am proud to announce that the Technical Committee has invited the Anti-Fraud Forum to present at the Congress in Istanbul in October. Planning is in the early stages as yet, however I anticipate the session will consider the recovery of misappropriated assets, most likely with reference to the process used by our host country for the Congress, Turkey. More details will be announced shortly.

    David Ingram
    Chairman
    david.ingram@uk.gt.com

    February 2013

    Having established the Anti-Fraud Forum at the 2012 Brussels Congress there is much to do before the Congress in Paris in September.

    Membership
    At the time of writing there are 28 members of the Forum from 10 different countries.  Whilst this is most encouraging, in order to establish a lively and representative forum, membership numbers need to increase as does representation across those countries that make up INSOL Europe.  In the past few weeks I have spoken to a number of people from INSOL Europe who were unaware of the Anti-Fraud Forum.  Clearly I need to "bang the drum" of the Forum a little louder and would urge all members of INSOL Europe who have an particular interest in combatting fraud to join the Forum; there is no additional charge to join the Forum once you are a member of INSOL Europe.  The objectives of the Anti-Fraud Forum are set out at the Forum's section of the INSOL Europe website.   

    In addition to existing members of INSOL Europe it is likely that there are many professionals across Europe who have an interest in this area and who would benefit from joining the Forum.  If any INSOL Europe members know of such individuals please suggest that they join the Forum, which will necessitate joining INSOL Europe.   

    Website
    We have established a section of the Insol Europe website for the Anti-Fraud Forum, detailing its objectives and members.  I hope to expand the content over the next few months and would welcome contributions from members.  I would particularly like contributions of examples of work undertaken that has featured fraud, asset tracing and asset recovery.  I do appreciate that, given the potentially sensitive nature of this area of work, members may wish to "anonymise" examples submitted.  In the first instance please send your case studies to me (david.ingram@uk.gt.com); I will endeavour to get them posted on the Forum website as soon as possible.

    Comparative Guide to asset tracing and recovery through insolvency procedures
    At the meeting of the Forum in Brussels last year, it was suggested and agreed that the group should produce a summary guide to the reliefs available to insolvency practitioners across Europe.  We are not seeking to replace legal advice, and the guide is not aimed at comparing types of insolvency - there are plenty of such guides already available.  The aim of the guide is to provide an initial point of reference on what can and cannot be achieved across Europe, and is anticipated to be a few pages long for each jurisdiction.  For example, certain reliefs may be available in one jurisdiction but not in others; the guide is aimed at comparing such reliefs.

    In order for the guide to be useful I will need the support from as many different jurisdictions as possible. Once I have established the format for the guide, which needs to be the same for each jurisdiction covered, I will be in touch with members of the Forum for their assistance in completing task.  I anticipate that the guide will be dynamic, as law and practice in every country is constantly evolving.  As such the aim is for the guide to be published on-line rather than a traditional print document.

    Paris Congress
    The Paris congress will, of course, mark the first anniversary of the Anti-Fraud Forum and I hope to mark the date by running break-out sessions during the Congress.  Further details will be revealed when the full programme is announced in the next few weeks.  In addition to the break-out session I hope to arrange a meeting of the Forum for all members who are at the Congress so that we can review what has been achieved in the year to date and think about what we hope to achieve in the year beyond September 2013.

    There is much to do before the Paris Congress, and so any members who would like to support the Forum by helping out with some of the initiatives would be most welcome.

    David Ingram
    Chairman
    david.ingram@uk.gt.com
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