Peers and clients say:
“Benjamin provides great strategic analysis”
“He has a deep understanding of Swiss laws and their interactions with other jurisdictional jurisprudence”
“He is very smart and easy to work with”
Benjamin Borsodi is a partner in Schellenberg Wittmer's dispute resolution practice group where he heads the white-collar crime and corporate investigation group in Geneva. His areas of practice include all aspects of business crime such as fraud, anti-corruption, money laundering and related aspects. Benjamin is also specialized in the conduct of large-scale corporate investigations. Furthermore, he regularly acts for financial institutions in banking and commercial litigation.
As an individual with a distinguished legal career, can you describe the first moment where you felt that you had "made it" in the legal industry?
To date, I am still doubting whether I really "made it". This said, the first time a fellow lawyer approached me for representation in criminal proceedings I thought I must inspire some type of trust.
What do you enjoy most about working in white-collar crime and investigations?
Obviously, the variety of assignments is very pleasant. Each case differs from the precedent, be it due to the fact pattern, the type of industry or the legal issues to be solved. But first and foremost, I enjoy the field of white-collar crime and investigations thanks to the clients' sophistication. There has not been a single case where I did not learn something from them.
As an author of multiple publications on business crime, in what way do you believe staying active on the academic and publishing side of law enhances your day-to-day practice?
At the risk of stating the obvious: for any practitioner, keeping apprised of legislative developments and new case law is a must. Publications is one of the best avenues to ensure that the knowledge of the law remains sharp and up-to-date. In addition, I happily rely on our firms' librarian to forward me any and all revues and articles on topics she knows I am interested in.
What are the biggest challenges for asset recovery practitioners in light of the increasing range and use of digital assets? How do you navigate these challenges?
Asset recovery usually requires proactive cross-border cooperation between jurisdictions and agencies. Quite often, countries enjoy different mechanisms regarding assistance in dealing with digital asset-related crimes. This can make it extremely cumbersome to trace digital assets. In addition, the decentralization of such assets in terms of storage creates a new layer of obstacles to tackle. Furthermore, fraudsters are able to develop new tactics and mechanisms to reach their goals.
To increase the chances of success in tracing and recovering proceeds of illicit activities in the form of digital assets, I always keep in mind my network composed of various professionals who can assist in this respect (forensic, cybersecurity, legal in other jurisdictions, etc.). It is a fact that speediness is of the essence when trying to chase and freeze assets in the digital world. This is why I think agility is key when deploying the right strategy to safeguard the chances of apprehending ill-gotten gains.
When handling high-profile white-collar crime cases, what strategies do you employ to protect the interests and privacy of your clients?
Clients' interests are at the core of the strategy when handling a mandate. Besides in-depth discussions with the client to understand the endgame and the means to reach it, I always try to put myself in my client's shoes. Also of essence is to try to anticipate the strategy to be adopted by the other stakeholders (opposed parties, authorities, etc.). Similarly to a game of chess, anticipation is always crucial in the handling of a white-collar crime case.
What impact do you expect the current global economic conditions to have on your practice?
Even though litigation slowed down in the months following the 2022 events in Ukraine, there seems to be a general consensus that business is now picking up. I therefore do not anticipate any issue regarding my practice. To the contrary, I have noticed a significant increase in the field of investigations with a broader variety of assignments stemming from different industries.
Also, it appears that companies are keen to understand the factual background of problematic situations, even of limited magnitude. The purpose is of course to anticipate the potential consequences and ensure that all steps are in place to mitigate possible losses or media repercussions. As a consequence, I have notices an increase amount of internal investigations albeit sometimes of a limited scope.
You have enjoyed a very distinguished career so far. What would you like to achieve that you have not yet accomplished?
This would probably be something outside the legal world…
What advice would you give to a younger practitioner hoping to one day be in your position?
Never underestimate your opponent and always adapt your attacks!