Our clients sometimes find themselves having to investigate some of their investments, target companies, and other counterparties such as local partners, customers, and suppliers. While we always strive to structure our transactions in a manner that limits the likelihood of fraud, embezzlement, financial mismanagement, and other types of corporate malfeasance, sometimes things do not unfold as planned. As a small, independent, and highly specialized corporate law firm in corporate transactions, cross-border mergers and acquisitions, and MENA-specific due diligence, Kassim Legal is often the go-to law firm for clients requiring fraud assessment and investigations.
As one of the few law firms in the region with specialized fraud and forensic expertise, our attorneys can address a wide variety of fraud related issues ranging from financial tracing and mismanagement to reconstructing corporate books and records to asset tracing to participating in complex fact-finding interviews and investigations. Based in Jordan, we regularly operate across the world having successfully worked on countless internal fraud and financial investigation assignments in the United States, the United Kingdom, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Egypt, and other jurisdictions.
Independent Fraud Counsel
As the preferred boutique law firm for conducting fraud investigations and analysis, Kassim Legal offers a full range of services which includes:
- Fraud and Complex Financial Investigations
- Financial Tracing
- Litigation Assessments
- Asset Recovery
- Ponzi Scheme & Embezzlement Investigations
- Loan Book Analysis & Testing
- Investment Workouts & Restructuring
Litigation Assessments: Independent analysis and expertise
The most common reason for conducting fraud investigations is when a venture or investment fails. We take a practical approach to conducting fraud investigations often starting with the basics; reviewing the underlying corporate and financial records available. If these basic sources of information do not provide clear and convincing evidence of financial mismanagement, clients are often advised to re-adjust expectations and to accept that perhaps the failed venture was simply that; a venture that did not work as planned. Fraud and financial mismanagement claims are often won or lost based on the documentation that is available.
Second, even assuming that we do find clear and convincing evidence in the underlying documentation, the reality of pursuing a fraud claim, against the relative size of the investment, is often cost-prohibitive. Pursuing fraud claims, especially those that involve multiple jurisdictions, can oftentimes be more than the amount invested. As independent corporate lawyers, we often advise clients to weigh the pros and cons of pursuing such a claim and whether pursuing such a claim would yield any tangible commercial results.
As a small independent corporate law firm, Kassim Legal regularly provides clients with realistic and practical assessments on their potential fraud and other financial mismanagement claims and investigations.
Types of Fraud: A specialized fraud and forensic firm
Patterns of fraud and financial mismanagement are fortunately quite predictable. Over the years of conducting these types of investigations we have come to learn that fraud and financial mismanagement is carried out in only a handful of ways. The tactics and methods used to perpetuate the fraud may evolve and change over time but the underlying fraudulent transaction rarely if ever changes.
First, there are those managers that fabricate or inflate the costs and expenses paid to certain third parties who then return a portion of those funds back to the manager. This type of financial arrangement is commonly referred to as a “kickback” and involves either completely fabricated third parties or bona fide third parties that while they do exist or provide a legitimate service, inflate the cost of their services. The first type of kickback scheme, where the third party is a complete fabrication is becoming increasingly rare. However, kickback schemes are fortunately relatively easy to detect and assess because they follow predictable mathematical patterns. Second are those managers that defraud companies in plain sight by paying themselves and their relatives or friends above-market salaries and other forms of compensation from the company. This type of fraud is much harder to detect. The final type of manager is the one that simply falsifies financial and other types of information. This type of fraudulent scheme is also becoming increasingly rare with the advent of sophisticated software that can quickly and accurately test stated figures against bank records and other financial statements.
Determining the type of fraud being perpetrated is critical to assessing the merits of any claim that our clients may bring and the likelihood they are to prevail on such a claim. As one of the few law firms in the region with specialized fraud and forensic expertise, our attorneys regularly assist clients conduct internal and external financial fraud investigations and assessments.
Loan Portfolio Analysis: MENA tailored due diligence
Finally, small business and consumer finance in general has started to take a firmer hold in the MENA region which has long shied away from all types of traditional debt financing. The number of small business and consumer finance originators, especially those assisted by technology, is increasing rapidly. We have begun to see the emergence of a secondary market for loan portfolios whereby MENA-based financial providers, mostly in the financial technology space, originate, bundle, and sell loan portfolios to third party investors especially those located in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union where interest rates are much lower than in the MENA market.
As one of the first entrants into this speciality practice area, Kassim Legal has conducted more investigations and screened more loan portfolios in the MENA region for outside investors than any other boutique law firm. We use the same fraud and forensic investigation methodology, from rigorous sampling and screening to on-the-ground testing and fact finding interviews, to test, screen, and assess potential loan portfolios for third party investors.
At Kassim Legal, we regularly assist clients conduct all types of internal and external fraud investigations, analysis, and assessments. As a small, independent, and highly specialized corporate law firm with a distinct fraud and forensic practice group, Kassim Legal is the preferred law firm for clients requiring fraud assessment and investigations.