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Asset Tracing & Complex Investigations: The Year in Review

In March this year, our Asset Tracing & Investigations team launched a series of monthly breakfast seminars; 30-minute snapshots into a particular specialist subject within the asset tracing & investigations world providing clients and attendees with detailed insight into different jurisdictions and specialisms.

We began with "Geolocation in Investigations", with the focus on the role that satellite imaging, tracking, and photographic tools can play in assisting investigations. We covered shadow analysis, image comparison tools, and how to find a seemingly obscure location from little more than surrounding landscape and lighting.

Building on the events in Ukraine, our next focus was on Russia, specifically covering "Data Availability in Russia" especially given the huge change in the international treatment of the jurisdiction in the early part of the year. Work concerning Russian subjects has continued to keep the team busy this year and off the back of our support to the UK government in enforcing sanctions, our next seminar concentrated on "How to Find An Oligarch’s Property". Where ownership structures are so often deliberately complex, a more creative investigative methodology is required to make the necessary connections, and we showcased this in some detail.

Our fourth session of the year took a lighter approach, using "Tracing The Assets of a Bond Villain" as the basis of a case study in general methodology and toolsets. Then, our expert crypto and cyber investigations team from our Data & Technology Practice offered a deep-dive into "The Investigative And Legal Tools Available For Tracing And Freezing Crypto Assets".

August’s virtual session was a very informative discussion on "Considerations In Cases Involving Sovereign States", an area in which we are frequently engaged, whether working against the State or former Head of State in question, or whether our work is being conducted alongside the State’s own investigative teams.

We next provided an "Introduction to Funding Asset Recovery", led alongside litigation funder Omni Bridgeway. Our colleagues from our Data & Forensic Team followed up in the November session by explaining "How Creative Accounting Can Spiral Out of Control", a topic which is particularly relevant at present, as we see a marked increase in frauds, Ponzi-schemes, financial misrepresentation, and company administrations. Understanding the book-keeping behind the downfall of these schemes can be so important in building and sustaining a legal claim, as well as making progress with the resulting investigation.

We ended the years’ sessions with a deep-dive into "Getting Information in the UAE", an important jurisdiction for asset tracing investigations and where we also have a permanent section of the team based.

In 2023 the seminar series will continue with sessions including a focus on "Turnaround And Restructuring", "Investigations Within the Sports Industry", and "Money Laundering in the Art World".

If you’re interested to find out more about the upcoming series, register your details here, or contact to discuss delivery of an in-house session for your team.

© Copyright 2022. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of Ankura Consulting Group, LLC., its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals. Ankura is not a law firm and cannot provide legal advice.


risk & compliance, memo, asset tracing

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