Our knowledge of European politics and culture make us particularly well placed to help clients navigate the challenges posed by Europe’s diverse range of languages, culture and history across the region. Members of the team have lived across various different countries within Europe, and we have 13 European languages spoken in house.
The past fifteen years has seen a range of challenges and a period of change for Europe. The expansion of the European Union in 2004 brought ten new members and was widely hailed as evidence of the success of EU’s project to promote peace and democracy across the continent. This was followed shortly by the global financial crisis which pushed the European economies into deep recession, and the subsequent Greek debt crisis and bailouts by other European countries challenged both the political and economic harmony of Europe. In recent years, Europe has witnessed a resurgence in right-wing and nationalist politics, culminating in the UK’s marginal ‘Yes’ vote in the 2016 referendum to leave the EU. With the UK due to formally leave the EU in March 2019, there remains a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the political and economic future of the UK and the wider European region.
Integrity Due Diligence – Italy
A commodities trading client was seeking to engage a new client which had operations throughout the Mediterranean region. The client was aware that the firm’s ultimate beneficial shareholders had been the subject of asset freezes relating to corruption allegations, and wished to obtain further information about the circumstances of the allegations and the status of the court proceedings against them. Through detailed public record research we were able to provide the client with further clarity about the circumstances of the corruption charges. Our investigation also identified several previous corruption allegations and court cases against the company’s owners, which the client was previously unaware of.
Cyber & security risk management – UK
S-RM was engaged to conduct a security review by the family office of a high net worth individual who had received anonymous threat letters. S-RM conducted a security review of the family’s private residences in London and Monaco, and a cyber risk assessment of the family’s IT and communications. The security review of their properties identified several key areas of vulnerability, including inadequate security alarms and poor staff awareness of security procedures. S-RM arranged for the installation of appropriate measures, including staff training, intruder and panic alarms and an upgraded CCTV system. Following the cyber risk assessment S-RM arranged for the implementation and ongoing management of a secure IT infrastructure, both for their family’s own technology and communications and their wider family office and staff, as well as training for the family and their staff to increase their awareness of cyber security.
Dispute & Litigation Support – Poland/Czech Republic
We were instructed to identify the assets of a European businessman involved in the consumer goods industry ahead of potential litigation by our client. We reviewed the Subject’s commercial interests, obtaining both online corporate records and conducting manual searches at local registries. Our investigation provided the client with a comprehensive overview of how the Subject had structured their corporate interests, including recent transfers of ownership to known associates. Our public records research was guided by on-the-ground enquiries with trusted contacts, which enabled us to conduct targeted public records searches to reveal additional assets. These included personal lifestyle assets – several private yachts and aircraft – which were not previously known to the client.