Ashley Fairbrother - Associate

Ashley has a unique expertise, specialising as both a private prosecutor in the criminal courts for clients who have been the victims of fraud, financial and cyber-crime, intellectual property crime and insolvency fraud. He also has significant experience in the civil courts, both in the Chancery and Queen’s Bench Division. His combined skill-set enables him to use innovative ways to maximise the potential recovery of assets on behalf of the victims of fraud.

Whilst a criminal investigation may be a client’s preferred option, this may not always be possible or practicable in every case. Ashley has particular expertise making applications and claims in the civil courts in order to source evidence to deploy in criminal prosecutions.

Fraud/Financial Crime

Since joining the firm in early 2013, Ashley has acted for clients who have been the victims of all manner of frauds, from investment scams, carbon credit scams, boiler-room frauds, employee theft/fraud, client and procurement fraud.

Case highlights include advising and representing a client to secure confiscation and compensation orders totalling £38+million in the largest confiscation order obtained by a private prosecutor in the UK. The Defendant’s default sentence of 16 years was activated for failing to repay the orders made against him.

Cyber-Crime

Ashley has recently acted for an overseas shipping company in a classic example of cyber fraud. In January 2019, the victim company made payments of €1.6 million to a bank account held with an English bank, having been deceived into doing so by way of requests for payments made in emails purporting to be sent from a subsidiary company (to which it was accustomed to making regular payments). Ashley assisted in successfully securing the return of €800,000 to the victim company. The outstanding sums are currently being pursued in other jurisdictions.

Similarly, in February 2019, Ashley acted for an individual and three companies, who over the course of a month, made payments of £700,000 to an English bank, having been deceived into doing so by way of requests for the transfer of money made in telephone calls and emails sent to the victim masquerading as communications from a legitimate investment management company which would use the transferred money to make investments on the victim’s behalf. We have managed to secure the return of c.£200,000. The remainder of criminal proceeds were converted into crypto currency, which we are pursuing.

Intellectual Property Crime

Ashley prosecutes a large number of intellectual property prosecutions. He is well versed in the Trade Marks Act 1994, Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 and Fraud Act 2006 and represents some of the world’s leading brands and companies in the fashion and luxury goods sector.

Insolvency Fraud

Ashley has acted in a number of insolvency related frauds. In 2018, he assisted in successfully prosecuting a defendant for making false representations in an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (“IVA”) proposal contrary to section 262A of the Insolvency Act 1986. The prosecution was brought by one of Defendant’s many creditors.

Costs Law

Ashley has a significant amount of experience in advising clients on the recovery of legal costs. He combines a mathematical background and an impressive knowledge of costs law to advise his clients to secure successful costs recovery outcomes.

Ashley is faultlessly calm, good-humoured and well organised. He is a talented young lawyer dedicated to providing an exemplary service to his clients.

Career

Ashley joined Edmonds Marshall McMahon in 2013 from a specialist Regulatory Corporate Crime team at an international law firm. His role there included advising on investigations and prosecutions by Defra, the Environment Agency, HSE and local authorities, as well as advising and drafting of anti-bribery and corruption policies. He read law as an undergraduate before completing a Master’s degree in European and International Business Law at the University of Leeds and the Legal Practice Course at BPP University London.

Qualifications
  • LLB (Hons) Law: 1st
  • LLM European and International Business Law: Distinction
  • Oxford, Cambridge and RSI examination
  • Legal Practice Course: Distinction
  • Fuseon Limited v Senior Courts Costs Office [2019] EWHC 126 (Admin), – Landmark decision on extent of recoverable costs incurred by a private prosecutor.
  • R v Camilleri (2018) – successful prosecution for making false representations in an IVA proposal, in which assets were valued at £9m.
  • In the Matter of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 – R v Gheewala & anor – (2017) – civil enforcement proceedings against a defendant and various family members including his ex-wife, sister, brother-in-law, associate and daughter.
  • Acting for a client in a professional negligence action against her former solicitors.
  • Court of Appeal case of Ketan Somaia v Regina (in the matter of a prosecution by Murli Mirchandani) [2017] EWCA Crim 741
  • Acting for a Director in a derivative claim brought by an off-shore company in relation to allegations of diversion of opportunity, diversion of revenue, misrepresentation and accounting irregularities.
  • R v Somaia (2016) – confiscation proceedings resulting in the obtaining of a £38m+ confiscation and compensation orders.

Ashley is a member of the:

  • Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association;
  • Young Fraud Lawyers Association; and
  • London Young Lawyers Group.