October 23, 2020 - Forensic Risk Alliance (FRA), a forensic accounting, data governance and compliance consultancy firm specialising in international forensic investigations for global corporations and law firms, has been named Investigations Consultancy of the Year at the GIR Awards 2020. In FRA’s five consecutive years of being shortlisted in this category, this is its third win (2016, 2017 and 2020).
FRA Wins Investigations Consultancy of the Year
GIR noted that FRA’s support of the landmark Airbus settlement of €3.6 billion announced in January 2020 helped secure this year’s title, along with FRA’s role in the investigation into allegations of money laundering and US sanctions violations by Swedish lender Swedbank.
Frances McLeod, founding partner and co-head of FRA’s Data Governance, Technology Solutions and Forensics team, added, “we are proud of the FRA team that worked with Airbus and multiple law firms to find innovative virtual solutions and overcome challenges unique to this complex investigation that led to the landmark settlement with four authorities earlier this year.”
“FRA’s team of specialised experts work as one global force in driving our 20-year track record of partnering with clients to solve problems and manage risk in investigations, litigation and regulatory compliance. We have had a number of successful engagements in the past year supporting clients handling corruption, financial statement fraud, anti-money laundering, sanctions and other financial crime investigations and litigation. This spans Swedbank’s money laundering investigation in the Baltics, to a major fraud investigation at a Middle Eastern healthcare provider, and various other headline cases and compliance monitorships involving multinational clients in heavily regulated industries such as oil and gas, pharmaceutical, and financial services. As the corporate world continues to adapt to the Covid-19 context, we expect to see even more need for experienced advisors in deploying leading technology solutions for secure remote working environments.”
GIR also named the Airbus settlement the Most Important Development in the Practice or Law of International Investigations. They described the case as “notable not only for the eye-watering size of the financial penalties but because it sets a new high watermark for international cooperation as the first publicly documented case” where the UK Serious Fraud Office, French Parquet National Financier, US Department of Justice, and the US State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls coordinated their investigations and subsequent resolutions. The PNF’s leadership in the Airbus investigation and settlement earned it GIR’s award for Enforcement Agency or Prosecutor of the Year.
Toby Duthie, founding partner and a member of the FRA team supporting Airbus, said: “We are thrilled to once again earn this top recognition from our clients and peers. I am especially grateful to Airbus for trusting FRA as the sole advisors providing forensic accounting, data governance technology solutions and compliance support in an extremely complex multinational investigation that covered more than a dozen jurisdictions. Special thanks to Airbus General Counsel John Harrison for guiding the team through this challenging case, and rightly being named GIR’s Outstanding In-House Counsel of the Year. Congratulations also to the international team of counsel with whom we had the privilege to collaborate in setting this new standard for cooperation in cross-border investigation and settlement.”
FRA has also been included among only 10 investigations consultancies alongside the GIR’s 100 leading cross-border investigations practices, for the fifth year running.
Read the full winners list here.
Watch our founders’ thank you message here.
FRA’s history of nominations in the GIR Awards
2019 – SHORTLIST – FRA shortlisted for Investigations Consultancy of the Year
GIR commented, “It has been yet another stellar year for FRA, which found work on some of the most complex cross-border cases. It conducted an internal investigation for the embattled Swedish bank, Swedbank, which is tied up in a continent-wide money laundering scandal. FRA published its results in March. The firm also conducted the forensic analysis for Swedish telecoms company, Telia, before it paid the final chunk of a $965 million trilateral resolution to the Netherlands in March, following an investigation carried out by Swedish, Dutch and US authorities.”
2018 – SHORTLIST – FRA shortlisted for Investigations Consultancy of the Year
GIR commented, “The firm is a consulting powerhouse that has been instructed on some of the most high-profile investigations of recent times, including on bribery probes into Rolls-Royce and Telia.”
2017 – WINNER – FRA wins Investigations Consultancy of the Year
GIR commented, “For the second year in a row, Forensic Risk Alliance (FRA) won the Investigations Consultancy 2017 award. Although BDO and K2 have had impressive years, FRA stood out for the hand it played in the year’s most high-profile cases, including UK engineering company Rolls-Royce’s landmark trilateral settlement in January and Swedish company Telia’s first-of-its-kind settlement with Swedish, Dutch and US authorities in September.”
2016 – WINNER – FRA wins Investigations Consultancy of the Year
GIR commented, “FRA scooped the Investigations Consultancy of the Year Award after dozens of law firms and companies came forward to sing FRA’s praises for its willingness to go the extra mile during high-stakes investigations and bet-the-company litigations.”