Accountants, auditors and companies managing increasing incidents of fraud, misconduct and financial crime as a result of COVID-19 now have a trusted specialist professional services firm to turn to with the opening of specialist firm Duxton Hill.
The first of its kind, Duxton Hill is the only specialised full-service firm in the southern hemisphere providing strategic investigatory and legal advice and representation to companies and people adversely affected by fraud, misconduct and financial crime.
Founder and Managing Director, Andrew Tragardh said disruption as a result of COVID-19 presented new risks to companies including a rise in fraud and financial crime.
“Unscrupulous criminals are upping the ante on scams to take advantage of the pandemic to make short-term gains,” Mr Tragardh said.
“Remote working can open the door to cybersecurity vulnerabilities and increased financial pressures can trigger dishonest behaviours among employees who might not normally engage in criminal activity.”
Mr Tragardh, who heads Duxton Hill’s specialised multidisciplinary team of legal professionals, fraud experts and investigators, said it was imperative that companies seek specialist advice to identify risks and prevent incidents of fraud and financial crime.
Mr Tragardh is a renowned former barrister and fraud expert with unparalleled experience and expertise representing companies and executives in high-value commercial disputes and cases involving fraud, misconduct and financial crime.
“Companies must be vigilant in safeguarding valuable data assets throughout COVID-19 remembering they have an obligation to ensure that reasonable steps are taken to protect personal information it holds from misuse, interference, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure,” he said.
Duxton Hill’s executive team also includes experienced lawyer and former Deputy Commissioner of the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission in Victoria, Simon Heath and former Senior Manager of the Victoria Police Fraud and Extortion Squad, Shane Ringin.
Mr Tragardh said Duxton Hill fills a gaping hole in a niche market of huge demand amidst a volatile environment of increasingly complex incidences of fraud.
“Our icon of four pillars intersecting to create a diamond represents the four disciplines often required to pursue or defend fraud, misconduct or financial crime cases – legal, accounting, investigation and IT,” he said. “The diamond represents the positive outcome which is our focus.”
Specialist professionals with decades of experience are vital in highly complex cases where the stakes are at their highest and simple mistakes can produce devastating outcomes.
“Regrettably, individuals and companies end up in unfortunate circumstances because of poor advice from trusted advisors,” he said.
Mr Tragardh said many people seek help from law firms which do not have specialist fraud lawyers or investigators.
“The consequences are predictable. A lack of insight and expertise can lead to communication failures, mistakes in investigation or the analysis of evidence, and ultimately substantial and unnecessary costs, delays and poor outcomes,” Mr Tragardh said.
Apart from pursuing claims, Duxton Hill is the only firm specialising in assisting companies and executives facing investigation or proceedings by regulators, or confronting corruption Inquiries, Royal Commissions, or Ombudsman investigations.
The firm also specialises in defending civil claims in areas including accounting fraud, asset- tracing and breaches of director duties and criminal prosecutions such as obtaining financial advantage by deception, theft, money laundering, corruption, bribery and insider trading.
Other areas of focus include fraud investigations, whistleblower advice, responding to cybersecurity incidents and recovering stolen assets.
Duxton Hill’s key services:
Pursuing claims and prosecutions
- Recover stolen assets (including tracing)
- Civil action
- Freezing Assets and search orders
- Report fraud
- Insurance claims
- Private prosecutions
Defending claims and prosecutions
- Proceedings by regulators (including ASIC and ACCC)
- Civil claims
- Criminal prosecutions
- Confiscation / proceeds of crime
- Corruption in public office (including ICAC, IBAC)
- Disciplinary Inquiries
Other key services:
- Investigations Royal Commission and inquiries
- Whistleblower advice
- Cybersecurity incident response
About Duxton Hill
Principal and Managing Director
Recognised in ‘Best Lawyers’ 2020, Andrew Tragardh is uniquely qualified as a fraud expert with a background in law enforcement, qualifications in fraud investigation and more than 25 years as a barrister and solicitor (14 years at the Victorian Bar) specialising in fraud, misconduct and financial crime cases.
Andrew is esteemed for his work helping people and organisations to get their money back if they have been defrauded. He was the barrister who represented Dual Insurance in a civil case where it recovered over $16 million of a total of $17 million defrauded.
During his time at the Bar, Andrew became a recognised expert in successfully obtaining freezing orders over assets and search orders. In February 2019, Andrew became the first barrister in Australia to obtain a freezing order and search order over cryptocurrency assets in Australia.
He also has an outstanding reputation for defending companies and directors in proceedings brought by regulators including the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Among many noted cases is Andrew’s successful Supreme Court defense of Australian Wheat Board Ltd senior executive, Peter Geary who was wrongly alleged by ASIC to have breached his duties under the Corporations Act during AWB’s sale of wheat to Iraq during the UN Oil for FoodProgramme.
Barrister and Solicitor
Simon has been practicing law for more than 36 years and has held senior positions in the private and public sectors.
Simon was Deputy Commissioner at the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission in Victoria (IBAC) from 2013 to late 2019 and was involved in complex investigations of complaints and notifications involving serious and systemic public sector fraud and corruption and police misconduct.
Previously, Simon was a partner in private practice acting and appearing for clients in civil, commercial, criminal and disciplinary matters. He specialised in litigation, administrative law, white collar crime, insurance, restitution, and insolvency.
Simon has dealt with all levels of government and regulators throughout his career. Simon isa trained mediator and has significant experience in alternative dispute resolution.
Shane is a former Victoria Police Detective, National Crime Authority Investigator and Senior Manager at Victoria Police Fraud and Extortion Squad with more than 30 years’ experience in law enforcement, risk management and whistleblowers.
Shane’s experience as a private investigator includes investigating many incidences of complex fraud and misconduct resulting in substantial recovery of misappropriated assets and imprisonment of offenders.
Shane’s experience has also included managing and investigating employee misconduct allegations identified through whistleblower reports, undertaking financial crime and corruption risk assessments for organisations operating in high risk jurisdictions, utilising internal auditors, audit and risk committees, data analysts and forensic technology specialists to achieve successful outcomes for clients, and provision of affidavit evidence to support civil proceedings and injunctive relief for clients in Australia.