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Craig is a regulatory and corporate crime lawyer and barrister with a particular expertise in advising and defending corporates and individuals under investigation by or being prosecuted by bodies such as the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Environment Agency and Trading Standards.
Craig regularly provides commercially aware advice on issues such as bribery and corruption, modern slavery and corporate criminal liabilities. He is often engaged in enhanced due diligence projects (particularly in the investment and M&A context) and internal investigations.
Craig also provides advice and representation on aspects of money laundering, cash forfeiture and proceeds of crime/confiscation. Craig has previously been seconded to the SFO Libor investigation in 2014 and to a “boiler room” investigation in 2012/13. He has also been seconded to the CPS Proceeds of Crime Unit working on applications to the court to restrain assets, reconsider confiscation orders and cash forfeiture.
In relation to Financial Services, Craig advises on and defends actual and potential FCA enforcement and supervision investigations involving authorised firms, non-authorised firms, approved persons, SMFs, NEDs, Board Directors and senior managers.
Particular areas of experience are insider dealing and market abuse investigations, unauthorised business and financial promotions breaches, UCISs. He also advises on Individual and firm rule breaches, approval issues and approved person FIT and proper issues and Form A advice.
Craig regularly advises in the area of health and safety and food hygiene, instructed by corporates and individuals facing both civil and criminal investigation by the HSE and Local Authorities.
Craig has considerable experience in the field of professional disciplinary work, having been seconded to the Nursing and Midwifery Council and has acted on behalf of the Royal College of Nursing and the General Chiropractic Council. He has experience of the investigation process and fitness to practice hearings before a number of professional regulators including: NMC, GCC, GDC, GPC.
Prior to joining Irwin Mitchell, Craig practised at the independent Bar appearing in the Magistrates Court, Crown Court, Court of Appeal and drafting pleadings for the Privy Council. He can therefore provide the full scope of representation to clients, up to and including appearing as trial advocate or appellate advocate.
UK PLC – “The Chap in Anti-Bribery he is also very good… very comprehensive and helpful training session - one of the best in the market!”
Director of Japanese Restaurant – “I don’t see anything they need to improve. They are strong on everything, very quick, they explained things… Knowledge and expertise from Craig was fantastic."
Crime Individual – “Sarah introduced me to Craig Weston, fraud was his particular speciality. He was absolutely brilliant. He spoke to the police and the bank, and explained the situation so my parents had some comfort. We’ve moved forward and my parents are protected.”
Crime – Insurance Broker – “Once again, a huge thank you. We are so relieved with the outcome and can now move on.”
“The take away is to act now as the Government is going to step up its efforts to enforce and whereas there are no criminal offences for non-compliance with reporting obligations at present, this could be about to change.”
“It has been fascinating to be involved and really interesting to see how TV scriptwriters work and how storylines develop, not least keeping draft scripts a secret.
“There were lots of different aspects to take into account including future stories and although I didn’t know much about the characters on Coronation Street before, I certainly do now.”
“It is therefore clear that the tax treatment of players, agents, clubs and the relationships they have, particularly around image rights continues to be a priority of the HMRC and as such individuals and clubs in that space should be aware and urged to take steps to get their ‘houses’ in order.
“Although this data centres around football clubs, any sports club or player that has issues around image rights or how agents are paid should be aware of the HMRC efforts in this space.”
“Complex fraud investigations by the Crown Prosecution Service or Serious Fraud Office against City professionals, traders and bankers highlight the problems the justice system has in evidentially holding some senior officials within financial institutions to account.
“Large financial institutions and banks can implement robust training and whistleblowing measures on issues of risk taking but a cultural change must come from the top down and policies and procedures can be overshadowed by the drive to generate profits.
“The new Senior Manager Regime being implemented by the Financial Conduct Authority is likely to go some way to addressing the responsibilities of very senior personnel in banks and financial institutions from a regulatory enforcement perspective. However, those making day-to-day managerial decisions who have the potential to influence less experienced staff or exert pressure on them may not fall within the scope of that regime.
“Another hurdle in holding a profit driven culture to account is the difficulty faced in prosecuting companies under the controlling mind test. The Government’s proposal’s to widen the concept of corporate liability for the criminal activities of its employees or agents, from bribery to financial crime is likely to spark internal system and control reviews by companies operating in all sectors not just the financial sector.
“Organisations will have to implement adequate procedures and policies to prevent employees from committing financial crimes or exposing their organisations to such risk behaviours and if they don’t the company could face corporate criminal liability. However, difficulties in prosecuting senior individuals who are in a position to exert influence on more junior members of staff to act inappropriately is likely to remain.
“With the very real prospect of a difficult financial climate in the aftermath of Brexit it is vital that the punishments for fraud and financial mismanagement are a real deterrent – and that regulators and prosecutors have the resources to undertake complex investigations. But there is concern that not enough has changed since 2012 to suggest this is currently the case.”
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