Barry Vitou

Barry Vitou

Shareholder

Barry Vitou is head of London’s White Collar Defense & Special Investigations Practice, advising corporates and individuals in connection with compliance, pre-investigations, investigations, and prosecutions conducted by numerous law enforcement agencies. Barry frequently represents clients under investigation by U.K. and U.S. law enforcement agencies and prosecutors, including the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO), the Financial Conduct Authority, the Information Commissioner’s Office, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Barry regularly appears on television and radio, discussing the topics of corruption, money laundering, and the UK Bribery Act.

Barry counsels clients on law enforcement investigations all over the world including the European Union, Russia, and the British Overseas Territories. He also conducts internal investigations around the world and handles self-reporting actions. Barry has conducted compliance advisory mandates and global money laundering investigations for clients in numerous jurisdictions.

Capabilities

Experience

  • Representing a corporation under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office linked with the ongoing DOJ and SEC investigation into Unaoil bribery allegations. °
  • Representing a corporation in the first challenge (Judicial Review) of the Serious Fraud Office Section 2 (equivalent to US subpoena) powers to compel documents and information from parties outside the UK in respect of documents held outside the UK. °
  • Represented corporation in the infrastructure sector on the first failure to prevent bribery prosecution following claims of non-cooperation by the SFO and the refusal of the SFO to offer a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA). Resolved matter in under a year. The case was successfully disposed of with a lower penalty and less onerous penalty than the preceding DPA. The case threw into sharp relief the lack of incentive, in certain circumstances, of entering into a DPA to dispose of a criminal offence and sparked a debate into the DPA ‘offer’ and further discounts in DPA’s which followed. °
  • Representing corporations and organisations the subject of early stage vetting/pre investigation enquiries into suspected bribery (including under SFO Section 2A pre-investigation compulsion powers) often successfully resulting in no investigation being opened.
  • Represented individuals subject to compelled interviews with the SFO and FCA resulting in no action being taken. °
  • Represented a High Net Worth individual in connection with HMRC criminal investigation by HMRC high net worth department resulting in no criminal prosecution.  In January 2017 HMRC confirmed that its High Net Worth Unit had only ever criminally investigated two people in the five years preceding March 31, 2016 resulting in only one successful prosecution. °
  • Represented individual in connection with FCA insider dealing conspiracy investigation resulting in discontinuation of investigation and no action being taken. °
  • Represented a High Net Worth individual in connection with HMRC criminal investigation by HMRC high net worth department resulting in no criminal prosecution. In January 2017 HMRC confirmed that its High Net Worth Unit had only ever criminally investigated two people in the five years preceding March 31, 2016 resulting in only one successful prosecution. °
  • Represented individual in connection with FCA insider dealing conspiracy investigation resulting in discontinuation of investigation and no action being taken. °
  • Represented corporation/organisation(s) in respect of Self Report relating conduct in resulting in no action being taken. °
  • Advised on the first civil recovery order in favour of SFO under Part V of UK Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 for the recovery of dividends paid to an innocent shareholder and representing the proceeds of crime following earlier convictions of corporation and individuals.
  • Represented senior executive in relation to the FCA investigation into allegations of wrongdoing in the Forex industry. No action taken. °
  • Representing various individuals subject to compelled interviews by the SFO under its Section 2 powers resulting in no action being taken. °
  • Represented numerous corporations in connection with Self Reporting via disclosure of information to the NCA resulting in no action being taken by the NCA and consent to proceed with a transaction or retain assets being granted in respect of the matters disclosed. °
  • Advised in connection with criminal investigation by ICO under s. 55 of the Data Protection Act which outlaws knowingly or recklessly obtaining or disclosing personal data without the consent of the data controller. °
  • Advised in connection with criminal investigation undertaken by Ministry of Defence Police force. °

°Some of the above representations were handled by Mr. Vitou prior to his joining Greenberg Traurig LLP.

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, The Legal 500 UK
    • Leading Individuals, London: Risk Advisory, “Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime”
    • London, Crime, Fraud and Licensing, “Fraud: White-Collar Crime”
  • Band 2, Chambers & Partners UK, “London (Firms), Financial Crime: Corporates”
  • Listed, Who’s Who Legal
    • “Investigations: Lawyers”
    • “Business Crime Defence: Corporates”
  • City of London Law Society Corporate Crime Committee
  • Freeman of City of London
  • Liveryman of City of London Solicitors Company

Credentials

Education
  • Law Society Finals, 1992
  • LL.B. (Hons), Leicester University, 1990
Admissions
  • England and Wales