In November 2023, Grant Thornton UK LLP, along with the steering committee and other industry hosts, brought to life the inaugural London International Investigations and Asset Recovery Conference (LIIARC). In this insight, we look back at three action-packed days, where esteemed industry professionals hosted 17 captivating events.

LIIARC not only spotlighted the expertise of the hosts and their speakers, but also turned the focus on London’s marketability as ‘the’ global hub for investigations and asset recovery.

Grant Thornton hosted three events across the three days.

Key developments in complex, cross-border investigations

This discussion tackled topical investigation and asset recovery issues, from protecting your position upon uncovering potential issues to navigating stakeholder responses and eventual recovery of assets. With a diverse panel of experts from the accounting, legal, and strategic communications professions, attendees were treated to an exploration of the issues. Lawrence Dore, founding partner of DRD Partnership (a strategic communications firm), provided an interesting reputational perspective and one that often contrasted with that of the other panelists.

The panel stressed the importance for companies to engage experts as soon as possible, while also impressing the value of an external, multidisciplinary team, especially when it is unclear who the bad actors are. This also raised the question of how and when management has an obligation to notify their auditors of any suspected fraud in the financial year.

Lunch with the Serious Fraud Office (SFO)

We saw another full house for this presentation led by Steven Fitzpatrick, a Case Controller from the Serious Fraud Office. This session highlighted some of the SFO’s recent successes as well as some of the challenges it faces. This was illustrated by several captivating case studies and engaging Q&A dialogue. Steven welcomed discussion around the funding of the SFO and many attendees shared their personal views on the idea of it being funded by a percentage of recoveries. The room discussed whether financial rewards for the SFO could incentivise the pursuit of bad actors for the wrong reasons. It was also brought in to consideration that the recoveries can vary greatly year to year, which would create a very unstable budget for any organisation.

One key learning from the presentation was that a confiscation order, as reported in the press, does not mean that those funds have been paid. There are some confiscation orders that date back many years with ongoing litigation to enforce the orders.

Career Development Clinic

An invaluable opportunity for mentorship and networking across various industry domains, including accounting, legal, financial services, and regulatory. Attendees gleaned insights from mentors with diverse backgrounds who shared their experiences and provided advice to the attendees. The discussion in the room centered around the value of mentorship, whether that was internal or external, formal or informal. But the resounding take-home from all the mentors was the importance of being yourself. The event concluded with an animated Q&A session, leaving a resounding impact on all participants.

Diverse engagements beyond Grant Thornton

LIIARC comprised 17 compelling and well-attended events spanning cross-border investigations, AI-enabled fraud and regulatory management, which were all hosted and delivered by leaders in the investigations and asset recovery space in the UK.

After an outstanding conference, the feedback speaks volumes:

“An excellent week with a great range of topics and people to meet. Looking forward to being involved in 2024.”

“Thank you for such a captivating few days, very much looking forward to the next edition!”

“Such a great initiative. Looking forward to 2024.”

Grant Thornton’s commitment to the craft

Many of the topics discussed throughout the week resonate with us and the work we do within the investigations team at Grant Thornton UK LLP. Our work spans complex, high-profile, and often multijurisdictional challenges.

Paving the way for LIIARC 2024

The vision was always to establish LIIARC as an annual event; a melting pot for like-minded individuals in the industry to exchange ideas and forge new connections. We are thrilled with the success of the 2023 event and are already gearing up for LIIARC 2024: 19-21 November 2024. Save the dates!

To ensure you’re in the loop for all Grant Thornton related LIIARC events, reach out to IFR events to be added to our mailing list.

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