Manchester, United Kingdom
I have over 20 years’ experience as a Solicitor specialising in serious fraud defence, business crime and professional regulation work. I joined JMW Solicitors as a Partner in 2011 in the Business Crime and Regulation department. Previously I was a partner for 9 years at Draycott Brown specialising in commercial fraud and confiscation cases.
I have defended numerous serious fraud, restraint, asset recovery and confiscation cases in the UK and abroad and represented clients in some of the largest high-profile cases prosecuted in the North West.
I advise corporate clients on anti-bribery and corruption compliance including developing adequate procedures, due diligence, training, investigation and risk assessment. My law enforcement knowledge including the prosecution and defence of complicated matters has stood him in good stead in this complex area of law.
I also acts for professional and commercial clients including medical practitioners, solicitors, accountants, and architects who are alleged to have breached professional standards and regulations. .
I am a member of the Fraud Forum; appointed as a specialist fraud panel supervisor in 2004.
I is recommended in the Legal 500 and in 2013 it noted that 'The "careful and thorough" Evan Wright is recommended for complex financial crime work' and 2015 describes him as ‘excellent’.
At Draycott Browne I was a partner specialising in commercial fraud and confiscation cases.
I qualified as a solicitor in 1997 after working for five years as a clerk in the defence and prosecution of serious fraud cases. I spend most of my time representing individuals and organisations in serious fraud and professional regulatory cases. I am very interested in bribery and corruption investigations, particularly now that Deferred Prosecution Agreements are available in the UK and pressure is building behind The Bribery Act 2010. At the moment, I have a desk comprising of -
- Defence instructions in matters prosecuted by - Department for Business Innovation and Skills, Trading Standards, Health and Safety Executive and The Crown Prosecution Service, including a very large finance fraud at Southwark Crown Court. Matters under investigation include some serious HMRC and City of London Police enquires.
- Instructions from individuals and organisations seeking to recover losses arising in large fraud and civil asset recovery cases. This niche part of the practice is expanding rapidly and requires some specialist expertise, offered in conjunction with our civil litigation / corporate teams - the 'special ops' brigade.
- The rest of my desk comprises of professional regulatory matters, usually accountants / medical practitioners / solicitors / architects facing their regulatory authorities and/or criminal proceedings. I also spend an increasing amount of time representing in coroner's inquests, whether on behalf of medical staff or families. Very interesting, engaging and rewarding, if somewhat sensitive at times.
Evan has been instructed to defend in a great many serious fraud, restraint, asset recovery and confiscation cases in the UK and abroad.
He is highly regarded by forensic accountants who have described him as ‘having a rare ability to grasp the central issue when faced with complicated scenarios’.
He also handle most of the professional disciplinary cases for solicitors (SRA), dentists (GDC), pharmacists (GPhC), nurses (NMC) and some doctors (GMC).
1986 - 1989
Public Sector Management
Common Professional Examination
Solicitors Legal Practice Course
It was clear from my first conversation with Evan that he grasped the points when previous solicitors had been beating around the bush.
Evan is totally professional in everything he does . He has an incisive intellect partnered by a delightful manner that exodes cool calm confidence.
Andrew Nuttall - barrister at law at Barrister at law Lincoln House Chambers
Evan has developed a solid niche practice advising organisations and individual clients in difficult circumstances. His attention to detail is impressive.
Nigel Hyder - Solicitor
I instructed Evan because he was a specialist in commercial fraud and confiscation. The recommendation came through a firm of accountants and I found that he had a very detailed knowledge of what was required. He was confident and predicted the result accurately.
Eight defendant £35 million finance fraud
Doctor involved in a corporate manslaughter investigation following a death in custody.
Official pressure to increase the value of assets recovered from criminals has led to ‘unrealistic’ confiscation demands and even led to further offences.
One of Britain’s leading law firms has claimed that despite prosecutors increasing their efforts to pursue unpaid confiscation orders, they have sometimes made matters worse by chasing assets which do not exist.
“No-one would argue with the principle of confiscating the proceeds of crime. However, the current system is so dysfunctional that it is actually creating problems. In the course of dealing with these cases, I heard repeated suggestions that people were so desperate to avoid serving additional sentences for not giving up assets which they insisted that they did not have, they were committing further crimes to come up with the sums demanded by prosecutors. I decided to explore the matter and, in the course of doing so, I spoke to a number of individuals who said such offences were not uncommon. If that is true, of course, it is a troublesome development and certainly something which the Government should be aware of as it considers how best to improve the efficiency and success of the confiscation system.”
Mr Wright is acknowledged as one of the country’s leading authorities on the process, having handled hundreds of confiscation and enforcement cases on behalf of individual defendants and corporate claimants, including multi-million pound orders issued under the Proceeds of Crime Act. His comments come as a Bill designed to increase the authorities’ powers of recovery and stiffen the penalties for defaulters is prepared for the next stage of its journey through parliament.
The Serious Crime Bill has passed from the Lords into the Commons and it’s due to have its Second Reading in the Commons on the 5th of January. If it becomes law, it will reduce the time which felons will have to pay back the proceeds of their crimes and will increase the jail terms for those who fail to do so.
It will also give prosecutors more investigative muscle to trace assets which they believe criminals might have tried to hide in order to avoid confiscation. The Bill was given a parlia- mentary airing in June, months after the Commons’ Public Accounts Committee accused officials of “not getting a grip” in attempting to increase the amounts recovered by the use of orders.
The Committee issued a report describing how some £490 million was owed by those criminals who had failed to meet the terms of confiscation orders.
Mr Wright has claimed that the situation is far more dramatic, with figures issued by HM Courts & Tribunals Service last December showing that confiscation order debt had risen from £1.19 billion to more than £1.4 billion in the space of only 12 months.
The same set of statistics also revealed that the value of contested orders – including those circumstances in which defendants alleged they were unaware of confiscation terms which they had agreed to – had increased by 252 per cent over the same period of time.
Mr Wright argued that the authorities’ approach in reducing the shortfall was at the heart of difficulties.
“Old files are being dusted off to see if defendants have come into possession of new assets which are ripe for confiscation. Increasing political pressure also creates the risk of incon- sistency and injustice, given the enormous burden being shouldered by badly resourced prosecutors and the dramatic cuts in legal aid for defendants.
“The burden is on defendants to prove that they do not have ‘hidden’ assets and, if they are not properly represented, some can find themselves having to serve what amounts to a ‘back door’ jail term in default of payment because they will have failed to discharge the burden of proof in circumstances where they never had the assets in question in the first place. As is often the case, making a correct decision in the first place rather than a con- venient one is more effective and cheaper in the long run for the taxpayer – not just in terms of the legal process but the cost of incarceration. I firmly believe that if all partici- pants used a good dose of common sense and proper resources could be applied to the sharp end of the process, expensive problems could be avoided. Making an accurate, fair and enforceable confiscation order is in everyone’s best interests. Undue political pressure and a relentless drive to cut costs does not always drive innovation. It can merely shift the problem to someone else’s budget.”
by Adam Jupp
Lawyers across Greater Manchester have witnessed an increasing amount of work relating to fraud over the past year.
From computer fraud to money laundering and mortgage fraud, this city region is amply able to cope with this increased demand.
Burton Copeland LLP Manchester
Garstangs Burrows Bussin LLP Manchester
Irwin Mitchell Manchester
Keoghs LLP Bolton, Manchester
Pannone, part of Slater & Gordon Manchester
Slater & Gordon Manchester
DAC Beachcroft LLP Manchester
Farleys Solicitors LLP Manchester
JMW Solicitors LLP Manchester
Stephensons Solicitors LLP Manchester, Wigan
Tuckers Solicitors Manchester
The authors of the Legal 500 2014 report list Mike Rainford as "first-rate".
Lesley Burrows heads the team at Garstangs Burrows Bussin LLP, which is noted for its "strong track record" for high-profile fraud cases and also houses a growing online fraud practice.
"Top of the league for fraud work", Irwin Mitchell was recently instructed on a high-value mortgage fraud and a significant money laundering case.
Dan Stowers is an "outstanding talent" who has "a fantastic eye for detail" and is "very client focused".
Recommended for his "cool head in difficult situations", Paul Haycock works across the firm’s Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield offices.
Keoghs LLP has "first-rate fraud expertise" particularly in insurance matters but also advises on a range of other areas including property fraud.
Olliers’ team is jointly led by Matthew Claughton and Richard Holliday who is "one of the leading individuals for fraud matters".
It was recently instructed on a high-profile case involving a Serious Fraud Office investigation as well as a significant money laundering case.
With a "fantastic track record for fraud cases" recent highlights for Pannone, part of Slater & Gordon include advising on a high-profile pension fraud.
The "brilliant" Anthony Barnfather is "a real go-getter" and "an asset to his clients".
With experience in advising on investigations and prosecutions by the Serious Fraud Office, HM Revenue and Customs, and Environment Agency.
‘Outstanding’ team head Nick Holroyd is noted for his "strong intellect" at Slater & Gordon, acting on high-profile fraud and regulatory defence cases.
The team was recently instructed on a property fraud case.
Specialising in civil fraud, DAC Beachcroft LLP’s claims validation team "excel in fraud defence work".
The report's authors describe Antonia Ford as ‘a class act’.
Farleys Solicitors LLP recently advised on a significant money laundering matter, and on a notable mortgage fraud case.
The "formidable" Paul Schofield is a "real expert".
The "exceptional" Peter Grogan heads the team at JMW Solicitors LLP, which is recommended for its expertise in fraud and business and financial crime.
Evan Wright is the other key contact.
The "pragmatic and focused" team at Stephensons Solicitors LLP is "very experienced in fraud and regulatory work".
It recently advised on an investigation by the Serious Fraud office.
Sean Joyce is recommended as is the ‘very knowledgeable’ Rachel Adamson who has recently been made partner.
At Tuckers Solicitors, Franklin Sinclair and Leigh Wright are recommended and recently acted on a high-profile securities fraud matter.
In 2013 it noted that 'The "careful and thorough" Evan Wright is recommended for complex financial crime work'
Rated as 'Excellent' by independent directory.
Specialist Fraud panel Investigator