Commercial Fraud

Civil Litigation

Commercial Fraud is a title applied to numerous actions against or involving a company or business. The crime itself can take place through failing to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion, false accounting with a view to misleading shareholders and in many other circumstances.

Richardson Lissack understand the difficulties clients face with such a claim and strive to make the process of defence, as seamless as possible, with a primary focus to achieve the best possible outcome, in every case. 

A commercial fraud claim may exist if an individual or company has gained at the expense of another, following or due to a negligent or dishonest act.

Examples of such acts include but are not limited to:

  • Failing to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion
  • False accounting with a view to misleading shareholders for individual gain on profits;
  • A director of a company overstating company profits when seeking outside investment from third parties including other corporates;

Commercial fraud claims can fall into several brackets:

  • A contract claim in which the defendant has breached the terms of a contract resulting in the innocent party seeking damages.
  • Deceit, where the defendant provided a statement or representation to the innocent party knowing that the statement or representation is false resulting in the loss or damage to a third party.
  • Conspiracy, where the case involves more than one person who agreed to become a party to the fraud or provided assistance to others within the conspiracy which resulted in a loss to another individual or company.

Another instance where a commercial fraud claim may arise, is where it is alleged that a defendant is enriched unjustly at the expense of a claimant. The defendant would need to show commercial reasoning as to why the enrichment is not unjust. 

Finally, misrepresentation may be the cause of a commercial fraud claim arising. In order for misrepresentation to be satisfied the claimant must show that a negligent statement was made, and it was this negligent statement that the defendant relied upon which in turn caused loss or damage. Possible defences to a claim of commercial fraud include insufficient evidence, entrapment, absence of intent to commit a crime and in defence of false statements, it is possible that the statement, despite being false, is not fraudulent.

Richardson Lissack represent both claimants and respondents/ defendants, either individuals or corporates, in respect of commercial fraud matters. If you or your business suspect that you have been a victim of a commercial fraud, please feel free to contact us to discuss your case on a no obligation basis.  We can assist with a discreet internal investigation to help find the potential source and evidence of the fraud if you suspect any wrongdoing by an employee or co-director.  We also offer external investigations if you require us to assist you in gathering evidence. If it can be established that fraudulent activity has occurred, then we can advise on the next steps in terms of litigation.

If you are the subject of a claim in respect of a commercial fraud by your employer, HMRC, co-director of your firm or any other third party, or if you wish to consider bringing a claim against a corporation or an individual for commercial fraud, please feel free to contact this firm for a no obligation discussion regarding your case.

Our lawyers are available 24/7 to assist you and provide legal advice. Contact London 020 3753 5352 or Manchester 0161 834 7284. Alternatively you can email

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Stephen Reynolds
Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution

020 3753 5352

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