AML, Fraud, Financial Conduct

Financial misconduct, and situations involving fraud or financial crime risk, are amongst the most confronting that any business can face. Resolving such cases successfully requires a blend of regulatory expertise, calm and thorough forensic strategy, and industry knowledge.

Gary’s expertise covers a range of financial services regulatory matters (investigations, compliance advice, enforcement and civil disputes) including Financial Markets Authority (securities) claims, credit contract & consumer finance problems, Serious Fraud Office cases, banking and insurance mis-selling, company directors’ duties or misconduct, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and anti-bribery & corruption (ABC).

Gary is widely regarded as New Zealand’s leading AML lawyer, having worked in this field since the legislation was being shaped in 2007 and, before that, in England. He has assisted over 150 AML/CFT reporting entities across a wide financial range – from multi-national banks to card issuers, credit lenders, fund managers, forex, fin-tech, small remittance firms, and more recently lawyers or accountants. He does not approach AML issues beholden to the views of any sector, so his independent perspective is respected by both financial institutions and by the AML Supervisors (DIA, FMA and Reserve Bank).

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The Financial Markets Conduct Act and other laws gave regulators powerful new tools in the post-GFC era, keeping fraud, trading conduct, corporate governance, bribery, sanctions or financial crime compliance at the top of boardroom agendas. Gary represents firms facing enforcement action or needing to defuse regulatory investigations, and does strategic advisory work to help firms avoid trouble and develop relationships or licensing/approval strategies with their regulators.

KEY CASES AND EXPERIENCE includes:

  • Representing several remitter and fin-tech firms in bank “de-risking” disputes, obtaining Court injunctions for KlickEx or others, and assisting in the E-Tranz case.
  • Handling numerous AML-CFT investigations or enforcement actions, including roles in the DIA v Qian DuoDuo and the FMA-Craigs Investment Partners cases.
  • Defending Credit Contract & Consumer Finance Act investigations by Commerce Commission into Non-Bank Deposit Takers or finance company lending practices.
  • Derivatives licensing applications under the new Financial Markets Conduct Act.
  • Representing a party involved in the FMA investigation into Abano/Archer listed company substantial shareholder disclosure.
  • Assisting overseas clients facing investigation by the FMA, Companies Office or Financial Service Providers Registrar as to jurisdiction/activities in NZ.
  • Advising reporting entities on AML-CFT coverage or interpretation matters, making Ministerial exemption applications, working through complex STR situations and managing related obligations (e.g. legal privilege), or developing remediation and risk mitigation strategies under evolving legal rules.
  • Advising on local NZ aspects of international investigations flowing from the Mossack Fonseca revelations.
  • Assisting in a public inquiry dealing with secret commissions or Crimes Act corruption elements.
  • Representing a party dealing with civil fraud allegations made by a bank.
  • Advising new payments providers and fin-tech firms on product/regulatory issues entering New Zealand financial services market regimes.
  • Assisting a forex trading firm on directors duties, corporate governance, and market turmoil issues after collapse of a major international broking intermediary.
  • Working with clients to implement anti-corruption mechanisms, training and deal with tender/procurement probity issues.
  • Advising a party dealing with cyber-crime, privacy and data protection/notification problems.
  • Representing a witness/whistleblower in a SFO finance company case, and persons under compulsory interview in other cases.
  • Advising IAG on internal audit issues regarding Financial Advisers Act and Insurance Prudential Supervision Act issues.
  • Representing a party facing allegations of ACC fraud.
  • Defending an international bank against allegations of fraud, deceit and conspiracy to favour interests of one customer over another.
  • Preparing statutory compliance and liability risk advice for Boards of financial sector organisations.

In AML Gary provides expert investigation or remediation services and advice, and helps clients develop premium bespoke Risk Assessment or Compliance Programme materials, but to preserve his independence does not offer audit services.  He is a director of ACAMS Australasia (local chapter of global financial crime professional body), acts as co-Chair of the annual ACAMS-FIU financial crime conference in Wellington, and was a NZ Law Society delegate to the Ministry of Justice AML/CFT Phase 2 Advisory Group – as well as writing the text AML/CFT Workflows and Guidance for Lawyers (Thomson Reuters/Westlaw, 2018).

 In ABC work Gary acts as the International Bar Association’s Anti-Corruption division NZ country officer, and contributed as part of an expert panel preparing submissions to the Australian Senate reviews of bribery law and of whistleblower laws. Gary was a NZ Law Society delegate to the OECD’s Phase 3 Review of NZ’s foreign bribery law, and in 2018 became NZ legal partner to TRACE International’s global anti-bribery initiatives.

Recommended by the Who’s Who Legal guide for international investigations, and fraud/asset recovery, and by Benchmark Litigation for regulatory investigations.

While practicing in England, Gary’s key cases included:

  • AML investigations & civil disputes – Judicial review of Lloyd’s insurance market regulator over ‘false positive’ AML report and wrongful de-registration of Iranian insurer.
  • Market manipulation and financial derivatives fraud – Prosecuting a series of  cases for the London Metals Exchange after the ‘Hamanaka/Sumitomo’ rogue trading scandal in copper markets.
  • Representing banks and institutions in FSA investigations into client money handling or non-disclosure issues.

For the latest posts on Anti-Money Laundering click here

For posts on other Financial Conduct Risks click here