Charles Thomson is a partner and solicitor advocate in Baker McKenzie’s Dispute Resolution Practice Group in London. He co-manages the Business Crime Unit, and is part of the Financial Institutions Disputes, Contentious Trusts and Compliance and Investigations Groups. Charles joined the Firm as a trainee in 2002, and concurrently spent three months on secondment as a judicial assistant at the Royal Courts of Justice in the Civil Appeals Division. A solicitor advocate since 2007, Charles appears as an advocate in all Higher Courts in England and Wales. Chambers and Legal 500 both commend Charles for his legal practice. Charles is also listed as a Rising Star in Litigation by Legal Week.
Charles has substantial experience of conducting cross border regulatory and prosecutorial investigations, as well as in managing a broad range of high-value cross-border commercial litigation, particularly matters involving fraud and white collar crime, trusts, and complex banking and finance disputes. He also has experience in resolving disputes through alternative means of dispute resolution, including arbitration, mediation and conventional negotiation.
Representative Legal Matters
- Acted for Grupo Torras, the Spanish company owned by the government of Kuwait, following an USD800 million English judgment. This involved proceedings in multiple on and offshore jurisdictions to identify, freeze, trace and recover worldwide assets.
- Represented a major US motor manufacturer in connection with claims for breach of contract and negligent misstatement which proceeded to a 10-week trial before the High Court in London in 2014.
- Acted for a sovereign wealth fund in connection with high-value restitutionary claims, which eventually settled through mediation.
Compliance & Investigations
- Conducted an investigation into alleged acts of bribery of foreign public officials by an overseas defence organisation and represented a former director accused of bribery, including regular interaction with the UK Serious Fraud Office and attending interviews under caution.
- Conducted an investigation into alleged overseas tax evasion by a Far Eastern company and responded to an investigation by HMRC, as well as responding to requests for mutual legal assistance.
Banking and Finance
- Acted for an overseas bank in connection with a dispute worth over EUR600 million before the High Court in London, involving the alleged breach of an ISDA Master Agreement and claims for fraudulent misrepresentation following the payment of bribes in Germany.
- Advised a prestigious bank in connection with the Libor scandal and an investigation by the US Department of Justice, the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Conduct Authority.
Fraud and Business crime
- Advised an African Central Bank and the national prosecuting authority for the recovery of more than GBP100 million arising from an investigation into money laundering offences, racketeering, breach of exchange control provisions and tax evasion.
- Advised a manufacturer in connection with charges of manslaughter arising from the death of an individual caused by intake of a food product.
- Advised an off-shore company on investigating suspected acts of bribery within its organisation, and advising whether to self-report the findings to the US Department of Justice, the Serious Fraud Office and the domestic prosecutor.
- Advised numerous clients on health and safety breaches; environmental breaches, sanctions and export control infringements; tax violations and other white collar crime related matters.
- Advised a Far Eastern individual who is an heir to an estate with assets estimated to be worth USD1.7 billion. The claims are made against individuals and companies who it is believed improperly and fraudulently siphoned off substantial assets from the estate, which have found their way into off-shore companies and other entities, as well as trust structures.
- Acted for a prestigious international trustee in a USD600 million fraud claim involving a dispute between competing interests in Russia and Kazakhstan and a claim for substantive relief in the High Court in London for asset tracing through complex trust structures and other fraud related claims.
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Law Society of England & Wales
- Commercial Fraud Lawyer's Association - Secretary
- England & Wales~United Kingdom (2004)
- B.P.P. Law School (Legal Practice Course) (2002)
- City University of London (LL.B.) (2001)