Asset Tracing

In civil fraud, as with any proposed litigation, it is essential to establish where the potential defendant’s assets are, or what they have done with any diverted funds.  Depending on the urgency of action that needs to be taken, asset tracing is something which should be frontloaded at the beginning of any investigation to enable the claimant to make informed decisions about how to proceed.

Particularly in cases where a company which has caused loss has no substantial assets or is insolvent, as often seems to be the case in certain fraud claims such as investment fraud claims, it is important to consider the client’s causes of action and explore whether they have any direct claims against individuals.

Often, we find that obtaining comparatively basic information in respect of a foreign company from the equivalent of a Companies House would require a court order.

The BVI is a good example of this, where only very limited information is available without court intervention. Tenet can assist and advise throughout the process.

Tenet can assist and advise throughout the process. If a deeper understanding of assets is required, Tenet has established relationships with a number of leading asset tracing agents who undertake enquiries lawfully so to ensure not adverse exposure is created and that the information may be used in the Court process.

Of course, the process becomes more complicated where foreign assets are in play, however the starting point will be similar to here in the UK, except that you will need to gain local knowledge of the challenges of any specific jurisdiction in which you are tasked with making such enquiries.

Aside from utilising those publicly available domains to trace assets such as the Land Registry and Companies House, Tenet is experienced in identifying assets through the Courts, for example by obtaining a non-party disclosure order against third parties holding information about a person or company’s assets such as a bank or building society. 

This type of court assisted asset tracing often takes place post judgment or where it is suspected a defendant has lied about their assets when responding to a freezing injunction order made against them.

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