Asset tracing and recovery litigation

A&O Shearman is a world leader in asset tracing and recovery litigation.

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Our team conducts investigations, pursues negotiated resolutions, obtains emergency relief (including freezing, search, and disclosure orders), and secures and enforces substantive judgments, often working with our international arbitration group to support our clients around the world.

We consider our clients’ challenges and potential solutions from all angles and in all relevant jurisdictions, ensuring our recovery strategies are designed to achieve their objectives in a cost-effective manner.

A globally connected team

We have lawyers with asset recovery litigation expertise in Asia Pacific, the EU, the U.K. and North America, making our team one of the biggest and most connected in the world. 

We are known for handling complex multijurisdictional cases which typically require urgent interlocutory matters, for example freezing and disclosure orders, search and seizure orders, and ancillary orders such as for passport retention. 

The underlying cases involve a range of issues, including bribery, embezzlement, deceit, and corruption. In addition to pursuing our clients’ goals through the civil courts, we also regularly seek criminal remedies and have a long track record of success thanks to the strength of our market-leading white collar team.

We act for both claimants and defendants, from high-net-worth individuals to multinational corporates, and have notable experience advising leading banks and financial institutions on fraud and asset tracing claims. 

Representative matters 

  • NextEra Energy in its enforcement of the largest investment treaty award rendered against the Kingdom of Spain: EUR290 million, plus interest and legal fees.
  • Aqaba Container Terminals (a JV set up by Dutch company APM Terminals and the Jordan government) in multiple proceedings relating to the enforcement of a USD50m arbitral award plus interest. 
  • A global payments provider that was the victim of a large-scale international fraud and misappropriation of its funds by a US entity and its CEO. The fraud resulted in multiple transfers of funds misappropriated from the client’s accounts pursuant to fraudulent payment requests, which funds were subsequently laundered through various bank accounts in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, the UAE, and the U.S., and other jurisdictions.
  • An international financial institution in enforcing an indemnity against a high-net-worth family as well as various legal actions and asset tracing activities across more than ten jurisdictions. 
  • A European bank in a debt enforcement matter against a UAE individual and a Hong Kong incorporated company.
  • A global food company in an arbitration to recover outstanding debts owed to its trade finance division by an eastern European fruit juice conglomerate and its ultimate beneficial owner.
  • A U.S. bank in its capacity as bond trustee in connection with the default of bonds issued by BVI subsidiaries and guaranteed by Hong Kong subsidiaries of a Chinese conglomerate.

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