PCB Byrne LLP
1 Plough Place
EC4A 1DE, London, England
Nicola Boulton sits among the world’s foremost asset recovery lawyers, with market commentators describing her as “a truly phenomenal lawyer”.
Nicola has almost 30 years’ experience of cross-border litigation, especially high-value civil fraud, financial services and trust disputes. She has particular expertise in freezing orders and asset recovery and is often instructed by clients to coordinate strategy, especially when assets are held in offshore jurisdictions or complex structures.
To what extent have you found it difficult to gain clients’ trust while working remotely on fraud-related cases?
Remote working certainly makes it more difficult to really get into the detail with clients. There is nothing that works as well as sitting across a table and listening carefully.
Do you believe the use of databases and other forms of technology such as AI add value to asset recovery investigations?
Electronic data management is invaluable, and AI is beginning to make a real difference to the efficient analysis of evidence. It is still early days, but the way forward is clear.
In your opinion, what is the most challenging aspect of being a fraud litigator?
There is always something that you don’t know that turns out to be critical to the case. The art is in allowing for the unknowns and not freaking out when they turn up, two days before trial.
How do you typically prepare for civil fraud litigation cases?
By trying to understand what actually happened, on all sides. If you only see the picture from one perspective it is always distorted.
Do you expect to see an increase in the amount of reorganisation and liquidation proceedings due to the current economic downturn/crisis?
Yes, but not immediately. There will be a hiatus of a year or 18 months and then there will be a reckoning.
What in your view, is the key to finding a successful pathway for creditors in pursuit of assets?
Clarity is essential – what do you know for certain and what can you do with that knowl- edge – hopes and aspirations are a flimsy basis for asset recovery.
What are the advantages of having a strong cross-border network in asset recovery and international fraud cases?
You need to know the right people in the right places. Good working relationships are essential.
Looking back over your career so far, what is the most interesting litigation case you have been involved in?
What I’m doing now – and if I told you I would be breaching all sorts of rather important laws and regulations!