The Asset Tracing & Recovery Review: Fourth Edition

Advocate Stephen Baker, Senior Partner, has again contributed to the highly regarded Asset Tracing & Recovery Review, published by Law Business Research.

This guide contains contributions from eminent practitioners the world over, who have, on the basis of their experience, set out what they regard as critical within their own jurisdictions. Each chapter is similarly structured for ease of reference with similar headings to enable the reader to compare remedies with those in other jurisdictions, and each contributor has been subject to a strict word limit.

The Jersey Chapter is reproduced below:

Overview

As a major offshore financial centre, the Island of Jersey has, unfortunately, all too often been one of the jurisdictions of choice for those seeking to hide assets that have been fraudulently obtained from others and to launder their ill-gotten gains. Encouragingly, the Island’s regulatory, legislative and judicial bodies have in recent years adopted a robust approach to financial crime and to ensuring that, through the civil court process, victims of fraud are properly compensated for the wrong done to them.

Jersey has enacted legislation to specifically combat money-laundering offences whether they relate to drug trafficking, terrorism or other crimes as provided for in the Proceeds of Crime (Jersey) Law 1999. Furthermore, legislation such as the Investigation of Fraud (Jersey) Law 1991 (1991 Law) confers upon officers, such as the Attorney General, far-reaching investigative powers. Under the 1991 Law, the Attorney General is permitted to seize documents that are believed to be relevant to an investigation and to interview any individual, including third parties, believed to possibly have information relevant to an investigation. Individuals who are interviewed pursuant to the 1991 Law may not refuse to answer questions put to them.

Such legislation is, of course, only as strong as the will to enforce it. Jersey has become well known for pursuing to their logical conclusion investigations that bear fruit. Over the past decade, numerous civil and criminal asset recovery actions have come before the Royal Court, including Brazil v. Durant, Attorney General v. Michel, Attorney General v. Bhojwani  and In Re the Representation of Lloyds TSB Offshore Trust Company Limited. Asset recovery cases, by their nature, at times raise difficult legal concepts. Cases such as Lloyds v. Fragoso and Brazil v. Durant have shown that the courts of Jersey are prepared to depart from outmoded or overly formalistic approaches to such concepts and be innovative in order to ensure justice between the parties. In Brazil v. Durant, which is discussed at length below, the key concept dealt with was tracing.

Read the full chapter here


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