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Paul Gully-Hart

Paul Gully-Hart

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd15bis, rue des AlpesPO Box 2088GenevaGenevaSwitzerland1211

Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Paul Gully-Hart is a “highly experienced business crime lawyer” who ranks as one of the foremost experts in the Swiss market.

Questions & Answers

Paul Gully-Hart is a partner in Schellenberg Wittmer’s dispute resolution group in Geneva, where he heads the white-collar crime and compliance group. Paul is well versed in all aspects of common law and has developed a strong practice in complex litigation matters, including banking and commercial disputes that frequently involve an international component as well as multi-jurisdictional aspects. He is specialised in regulatory and compliance issues, corporate investigations, asset tracing and recovery, business crime defence work and international mutual assistance in criminal and regulatory matters.

What have been the highlights of your practice in the past year?

I have been involved in a number of multi-jurisdictional disputes, which has enabled me to work closely with high-calibre colleagues in various jurisdictions, including the UK, the USA and Israel. This has been an enriching experience. In particular, I conducted and successfully concluded, with my partner George Ayoub, a large extradition case originating from the USA.

You have been involved in a number of high-profile cases. Which cases stick most in your mind and why?

I was involved in very complex litigation in Italy, which required my presence in numerous court hearings in Turin and Naples. This gave me the opportunity to coordinate expert evidence with an Italian counsel, and to adjust it to Italian procedural law. I have also participated in a multi-jurisdictional criminal investigation implicating Brazil, the USA and Switzerland, in the course of which a dawn raid was carried out and multiple interventions were required.

What are the main tools of an asset recovery practice in Switzerland?

Civil law provides mainly for attachment orders, which target specific assets held by a debtor in Switzerland. There is also legal machinery to recognise and enforce foreign judgments, including judgments providing for interim or injunctive relief, under the Lugano Convention.

Under criminal law, prosecutors have a wide discretion to freeze assets that are alleged to be the proceeds of crime. Injured parties have the possibility, if certain requirements are met, to participate in criminal investigations and to raise claims for compensation or restitution.

To what extent is remote working as a result of covid-19 highlighting the importance of face-to-face interaction in regulatory investigations? 

We do not believe that we have been overly affected by remote working as a result of covid-19. In most instances, it has been possible to progress our cases without face-to-face interaction. Documentary review and other tasks linked to regulatory investigations may often be conducted remotely. However, the crisis has slowed down some of the work that we are undertaking. For example, regulatory and law enforcement authorities have reduced their activities to essential tasks; in addition, it has been difficult to join clients and their local counsel in certain jurisdictions (for instance, Italy) because of severe restrictions imposed during lockdown.

An increasing number of countries are getting more active in investigating allegations of corporate misconduct. What are the main challenges for companies in your jurisdiction when facing multinational investigations? 

From a Swiss perspective, legal assistance or regulatory requests have to be processed by Swiss authorities who will ensure they comply with the treaty and with domestic law. Nevertheless, some foreign countries are becoming more assertive in expanding their investigations to Swiss-based companies. This may raise challenges, particularly when the targeted company is not familiar with the legal culture of the investigating state.

In which direction would you like to steer your practice in the next five years?

I am taking a greater interest in academic pursuits. In particular, I would like to review and compare domestic anti-bribery practices and policies in a number of jurisdictions and to evaluate their level of effectiveness. This may give rise to a publication.

What can younger practitioners be doing to make a name for themselves in the white-collar crime legal market?

The best way is to participate in high-profile cases where younger practitioners will attract greater visibility. Furthermore, publications and participation in specialised conferences are also good ways of achieving higher recognition among peers.

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Paul Gully-Hart is “an outstanding lawyer” who is renowned for his leading expertise when it comes to compliance and white-collar crime matters.

Questions & Answers

Paul Gully-Hart is a partner in Schellenberg Wittmer’s dispute resolution group in Geneva, where he heads the white-collar crime and compliance group. Paul is well versed in all aspects of common law and has developed a strong practice in complex litigation matters, including banking and commercial disputes that frequently involve an international component as well as multi-jurisdictional aspects. He is specialised in regulatory and compliance issues, corporate investigations, asset-tracing and recovery, business crime defence work, and international mutual assistance in criminal and regulatory matters.

What motivated you to specialise in business crime defence and investigations?

I specialised in this area in the early 1980s, at a time when it was still very novel. It occurred to me that the legal and regulatory landscape would change considerably over the years, offering excellent opportunities for business development.

What do you enjoy most about working in this area?

I am often confronted with unusual and complex situations that require creative thinking and decision-making. The multi-jurisdictional aspects are also challenging and often lead to very positive interaction with foreign colleagues.

What do clients look for in a successful white-collar defence lawyer?

Responsiveness, reliability and an ability to find solutions in a difficult environment.

To what extent is technology revolutionising the way in which investigations are conducted, and what challenges does this pose for lawyers in the field?

At present, sophisticated IT tools are required to conduct massive documentary review and a fair number of options are available on the market. Schellenberg Wittmer, for example, is the first Swiss law firm to implement FlexLaw, an entity that offers efficient and flexible legal support services in areas that are generally resource-intensive, such as large-scale document reviews and e-discovery. We should expect artificial intelligence to gain momentum. In my jurisdiction, Switzerland, I expect to see a lot more of its usage across investigation matters in the near future. We also see a trend in IT migrating towards production tasks, rather than being merely an administrative support for litigation or transactional work. Lawyers who have followed professional training in new technologies are in high demand.

How does your experience in banking litigation affect your approach to asset recovery?

Asset recovery requires a variety of techniques, and in particular a good command of litigation in a multi-jurisdictional context. Involvement in complex litigation will no doubt increase a lawyer’s skills in asset recovery.

How is the increasingly cross-border nature of white-collar crime enforcement affecting your practice?

This has a considerable impact on my practice. Whenever a corporate or private client is confronted with multiple investigations spreading over two or more jurisdictions, it is necessary to make strategic choices and to carefully coordinate with all other legal advisers of the client. Serious consideration should be given to issues such as protection against double jeopardy, protection against self-incrimination, and the safeguard of legal professional privilege.

What will be the greatest challenges facing business crime and investigations lawyers over the next five years?

Closer cooperation between regulatory and law enforcement agencies around the world no doubt has a positive side, but may also undermine fundamental rights and guarantees, such as the presumption of innocence or due process. It is usually very difficult to challenge cooperation or mutual assistance on grounds of fairness and compliance with elementary fair trial standards. As mentioned above, multiple prosecutions enhance the risk of double jeopardy. In a global world, investigations against a large corporation have a knock-on effect, regardless of their merit, which may lead to an inordinate risk of financial loss and reputational damage. Increasingly, the role of business crime and investigation lawyers is damage control rather than total vindication of the client.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

A cool judgement call – the ability to quickly and correctly assess a specific situation and to take the right decision – is the best professional skill of a lawyer.

Global Leader

Asset Recovery 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Paul Gully-Hart stands out among peers for his exceptional ability in advising clients on multi-jurisdictional commercial litigation and asset recovery.

Biography

Paul Gully-Hart is a partner in Schellenberg Wittmer's dispute resolution group in Geneva, where he heads the white-collar crime and compliance group.

Paul is well versed in all aspects of common law and has developed a strong practice in complex litigation matters, including banking and commercial disputes that frequently involve an international component as well as multi-jurisdictional aspects. He is specialised in regulatory and compliance issues, corporate investigations, asset tracing and recovery, business crime defence work, and international mutual assistance in criminal and regulatory matters.

Some recent examples of Paul Gully-Hart's expertise include representing an Eastern European country in the context of a major fraud perpetrated in Switzerland which had given rise to the freezing of approximately 660 million Swiss francs; assisting a large publicly listed Spanish company in its efforts to trace and recover the proceeds of a major fraud and representing a major investor in efforts to trace and recover assets worldwide (in jurisdictions as diverse as Costa Rica, Montenegro, Jordan, Rwanda and Belgium) in the context of a fraudulent bankruptcy generating losses in excess of 150 million Swiss francs.

Paul Gully-Hart is a former chairman of the business crime committee of the International Bar Association, where he still remains active. He speaks regularly at international conferences and seminars on topics within his areas of expertise.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Paul Gully-Hart is a “highly experienced business crime lawyer” who ranks as one of the foremost experts in the Swiss market.

Biography

Paul Gully-Hart is a partner in Schellenberg Wittmer's dispute resolution group in Geneva, where he heads the white-collar crime and compliance group.

Paul is well versed in all aspects of common law and has developed a strong practice in complex litigation matters, including banking and commercial disputes that frequently involve an international component as well as multi-jurisdictional aspects. He is specialised in regulatory and compliance issues, corporate investigations, asset tracing and recovery, business crime defence work, and international mutual assistance in criminal and regulatory matters.

Some recent examples of Paul Gully-Hart's expertise include assisting the Swiss subsidiary of a UK-based banking group in conducting a document review and in complying with disclosure orders issued by foreign law enforcement and regulatory authorities; assisting a major banking group in investigations conducted by Swiss Public Prosecutors on the basis of money laundering allegations targeting a former client of the bank and his investment adviser; and representation of a prominent Swiss industrialist and philanthropist prosecuted in Italy since 2002 in connection with an alleged intentional disaster. The case is of huge scale, involving cross-border issues and management of complex expert evidence.

Paul Gully-Hart is a former chairman of the business crime committee of the International Bar Association, where he still remains active. He speaks regularly at international conferences and seminars on topics within his areas of expertise.

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

The “fantastic” Paul Gully-Hart is a highly respected practitioner who enjoys a great reputation for his market-leading white-collar crime practice.

Biography

Paul Gully-Hart is a partner in Schellenberg Wittmer's dispute resolution group in Geneva, where he heads the white-collar crime and compliance group.

Paul is well versed in all aspects of common law and has developed a strong practice in complex litigation matters, including banking and commercial disputes that frequently involve an international component as well as multi-jurisdictional aspects. He is specialised in regulatory and compliance issues, corporate investigations, asset tracing and recovery, business crime defence work, and international mutual assistance in criminal and regulatory matters.

Some recent examples of Paul Gully-Hart's expertise include assisting the Swiss subsidiary of a UK-based banking group in conducting a document review and in complying with disclosure orders issued by foreign law enforcement and regulatory authorities; assisting a major banking group in investigations conducted by Swiss Public Prosecutors on the basis of money laundering allegations targeting a former client of the bank and his investment adviser; and representation of a prominent Swiss industrialist and philanthropist prosecuted in Italy since 2002 in connection with an alleged intentional disaster. The case is of huge scale, involving cross-border issues and management of complex expert evidence.

Paul Gully-Hart is a former chairman of the business crime committee of the International Bar Association, where he still remains active. He speaks regularly at international conferences and seminars on topics within his areas of expertise.

Investigations 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Paul Gully-Hart is a long-time player in the Swiss market who is well versed in the gamut of white-collar crime matters, including regulatory matters, and asset tracing and recovery.

Biography

Paul Gully-Hart is a partner in Schellenberg Wittmer's dispute resolution group in Geneva, where he heads the white-collar crime and compliance group.

Paul is well versed in all aspects of common law and has developed a strong practice in complex litigation matters, including banking and commercial disputes that frequently involve an international component as well as multi-jurisdictional aspects. He is specialised in regulatory and compliance issues, corporate investigations, asset tracing and recovery, business crime defence work, and international mutual assistance in criminal and regulatory matters.

Some recent examples of Paul Gully-Hart's expertise include: Representing an Eastern European country in the context of a major fraud perpetrated in Switzerland which has given rise to the freezing of approximately 660 million Swiss francs; advising and assisting a large international commodity trading group in regards to prospective cooperation with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and representation of and assistance to a prominent businessman and his group of companies in relation to Swiss criminal investigations in the context of an alleged corruption scheme.

Paul Gully-Hart is a former chairman of the business crime committee of the International Bar Association, where he still remains active. He speaks regularly at international conferences and seminars on topics within his areas of expertise. Paul Gully-Hart is a former chairman of the business crime committee of the International Bar Association, where he still remains active. He speaks regularly at international conferences and seminars on topics within his areas of expertise.

National Leader

Switzerland - Asset Recovery 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Paul Gully-Hart receives plaudits for the depth of his experience in complex asset tracing, investigations and fraud matters.

Biography

Paul Gully-Hart is a partner in Schellenberg Wittmer's dispute resolution group in Geneva, where he heads the white-collar crime and compliance group.

Paul is well versed in all aspects of common law and has developed a strong practice in complex litigation matters, including banking and commercial disputes that frequently involve an international component as well as multi-jurisdictional aspects. He is specialised in regulatory and compliance issues, corporate investigations, asset tracing and recovery, business crime defence work, and international mutual assistance in criminal and regulatory matters.

Some recent examples of Paul Gully-Hart's expertise include representing an Eastern European country in the context of a major fraud perpetrated in Switzerland which had given rise to the freezing of approximately 660 million Swiss francs; assisting a large publicly listed Spanish company in its efforts to trace and recover the proceeds of a major fraud and representing a major investor in efforts to trace and recover assets worldwide (in jurisdictions as diverse as Costa Rica, Montenegro, Jordan, Rwanda and Belgium) in the context of a fraudulent bankruptcy generating losses in excess of 150 million Swiss francs.

Paul Gully-Hart is a former chairman of the business crime committee of the International Bar Association, where he still remains active. He speaks regularly at international conferences and seminars on topics within his areas of expertise.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Paul Gully-Hart is a truly exceptional white-collar crime lawyer who is “very well respected around the world” for his expertise in complex defence proceedings and litigation.

Biography

Paul Gully-Hart is a partner in Schellenberg Wittmer's dispute resolution group in Geneva, where he heads the white-collar crime and compliance group.

Paul is well versed in all aspects of common law and has developed a strong practice in complex litigation matters, including banking and commercial disputes that frequently involve an international component as well as multi-jurisdictional aspects. He is specialised in regulatory and compliance issues, corporate investigations, asset tracing and recovery, business crime defence work, and international mutual assistance in criminal and regulatory matters.

Some recent examples of Paul Gully-Hart's expertise include assisting the Swiss subsidiary of a UK-based banking group in conducting a document review and in complying with disclosure orders issued by foreign law enforcement and regulatory authorities; assisting a major banking group in investigations conducted by Swiss Public Prosecutors on the basis of money laundering allegations targeting a former client of the bank and his investment adviser; and representation of a prominent Swiss industrialist and philanthropist prosecuted in Italy since 2002 in connection with asbestos-related casualties arising from the industrial activity of his group of companies.

Paul Gully-Hart is a former chairman of the business crime committee of the International Bar Association, where he still remains active. He speaks regularly at international conferences and seminars on topics within his areas of expertise.

Switzerland - Investigations 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Paul Gully-Hart is a leading light in investigations law, and is very well known “around the world” as an expert in high-stakes proceedings and related regulatory matters.

Biography

Paul Gully-Hart is a partner in Schellenberg Wittmer's dispute resolution group in Geneva, where he heads the white-collar crime and compliance group.

Paul is well versed in all aspects of common law and has developed a strong practice in complex litigation matters, including banking and commercial disputes that frequently involve an international component as well as multi-jurisdictional aspects. He is specialised in regulatory and compliance issues, corporate investigations, asset tracing and recovery, business crime defence work, and international mutual assistance in criminal and regulatory matters.

Some recent examples of Paul Gully-Hart's expertise include: Representing an Eastern European country in the context of a major fraud perpetrated in Switzerland which has given rise to the freezing of approximately 660 million Swiss francs; advising and assisting a large international commodity trading group in regards to prospective cooperation with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and representation of and assistance to a prominent businessman and his group of companies in relation to Swiss criminal investigations in the context of an alleged corruption scheme.

Paul Gully-Hart is a former chairman of the business crime committee of the International Bar Association, where he still remains active. He speaks regularly at international conferences and seminars on topics within his areas of expertise.Paul Gully-Hart is a former chairman of the business crime committee of the International Bar Association, where he still remains active. He speaks regularly at international conferences and seminars on topics within his areas of expertise.

Awards won by Paul Gully-Hart

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