Russell Cooke Bedford Row Holborn

About Frances

As a financial crime solicitor it is essential that a proactive approach is taken at the earliest opportunity by offering pre-emptive advice that will assist in avoiding a prosecution or releasing frozen assets; both of which can be detrimentally life changing for a client.

Frances joined Russell-Cooke in May 2022 to bolster the financial crime offering at the firm.

Frances was called to the bar in 2008 and subsequently cross qualified as a solicitor in 2011, devoting over a decade of her career to a white collar crime boutique firm in the City. She was appointed as the head of the firm’s London offices and practised predominantly in the areas of financial crime and serious crime. Frances co-founded the financial crime department for an international City firm in September 2019, which had a highly regarded litigation practice before joining Russell-Cooke as a partner. 

Frances represents individuals, limited companies and PLCs from the investigatory stage to court proceedings, as well as matters relating to account freezing orders, unexplained wealth orders and suspicious activity reports. This includes ultra-high-net-worth individuals, senior management of high turnover multi-national corporations and world-leading global conglomerates in a variety of sectors (financial services, mining, property, fine art). Frances also defends investigations/prosecutions brought by UK based and cross-border law enforcement agencies, as well as prosecutions brought privately.

Frances also regularly advises clients on non-contentious regulatory matters in the financial crime sphere.

Fran Murray has an outstanding background in white collar fraud and financial regulatory work. She is frighteningly hard-working, hugely perceptive and strategically no-nonsense in tackling the most complex of cases. I have worked with her for a number of years and never seen her phased by anything. I don’t know the rest of the team as well, but having only joined Russell Cooke in recent times, Fran herself must think exceptionally highly of them.
Legal 500 (2024)

Notable work

  • Instructed by an ultra-high net worth auto dealership mogul based in the US in respect of a fine art purchase resulting in the misappropriation of almost $3 million
  • Instructed on a regulatory matter regarding the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, relating to a multi-billion dollar fraud committed by the chief executive officer of a private equity fund

  • Police investigation: account freezing order(s) granted against the founder of Fintech companies. Lodging an application for leave to judicially review the account freezing orders(s) on a nuanced point that could have been precedent making, and further legal challenge regarding a regulatory matter connected with the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 / Application to Set Aside the Account Freezing Order(s)

  • Police investigation (linked to the above): representing a Fintech founder and foreign national residing in the United Kingdom who was subjected to a dawn raid and arrested for committing suspected money laundering offences in multiple jurisdictions including the Caribbean

  • Instructed by an ultra-high-net-worth chief investment officer of a financial services company in the City regarding a regulatory matter connected with the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and relating to high profile international political figures

  • Police investigation: instructed by a finance director to provide representation following a cross-border dispute between an entity based in the UK and its international parent company resulting in allegations of fraud

  • Instructed by a director of a hotel and resorts group involved in brokering overseas property development deals in Asia, being investigated under section 447 of the Companies Act 1985 by a City law firm on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

  • Instructed in a further section 447 Companies Act investigation, relating to a consortium of companies acting as agent and brokering the purchase of hotels in the UK with international links to Asia

  • Instructed on behalf of the former chief executive officer of an overseas superyacht business investigated for financial crime offences committed in Europe

  • Instructed by a professional working in financial services who was resident in Central America and is the subject of a worldwide freezing order and a police investigation relating to fraud in excess of £1 million from a North American-based entertainment company

Fran Murray is excellent. A joy to work with, prolific in the work she turns out, and hugely assured in the advice she gives.
Legal 500 (2024)
  • Instructed to provide advice to a property management company in respect of a regulatory matter connected with the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 regarding a tenant of a property owned by a high profile, ultra-high-net-worth individual

  • Instructed by three company directors selling cask whisky, advising on a regulatory matter regarding the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and initial freezing of the client’s business bank account

  • Defended a national funeral plan provider in account freezing order proceedings, resulting in the successful release of frozen funds

  • Represented a cryptocurrency exchange being investigated by international authorities for alleged financial crime offences

  • NCA investigation: defended the son of a premier of an overseas country in account freezing order proceedings linked to allegations of bribery and corruption, resulting in the successful release of the frozen funds

  • Instructed on behalf of an Australian fund focused on investment in the mining sector to provide anti-money laundering/terrorism advice

  • Instructed in relation to a nine-handed conspiracy to defraud being investigated by the Metropolitan Police in relation to a sports algorithm boiler room scam with associated HMRC enquiries

  • Instructed on behalf of a £2 billion turnover national petroleum company to conduct an internal investigation in relation to fraud committed by their finance director

  • (Operation Maplin) Instructed on behalf of director/corporate entity in relation to a high value conspiracy to cheat the public revenue (and associated fraud/tax offences) in relation to red diesel investigated by HMRC (associated contested account freezing order and production order proceedings)

  • Instructed on behalf of a high value art dealer to provide NFT advice (in the UK and US) in relation to Banksy art works

Frances Murray is a very diligent and committed practitioner who leaves no stone unturned for her clients.
The Legal 500 (2024)
  • Represented a professional in the property sector being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office for their involvement in an international, multimillion pound affordable property investment scheme

  • Represented senior figures of an international pharmaceutical company interview under section 2 by the Serious Fraud Office

  • Represented individuals in the UK and overseas interviewed under section 2 by the Serious Fraud Office in relation to a multimillion pound pension investment scheme fraud

  • Operation Dover: Inner London Crown Court, acquittal following prosecution for high-value credit card fraud

  • International private prosecution: Southwark Crown Court, complex trade marks and fraud case

  • Operation Foremark: Million pound insurance and mortgage fraud representing an orthopaedic surgeon

  • Operation Wintergreen: Southwark Crown Court, multimillion pound carbon credit fraud

  • Operation Tidworth: Southwark Crown Court, multimillion pound international boiler room fraud prosecuted by the Financial Conduct Authority

  • Operation Greenking: £44 million payroll service fraud prosecuted by HM Revenue and Customs together with Essex and Kent Police at Wood Green Crown Court

  • Cash seizure proceedings: secured the release of over £220,000 from the Serious Organised Crime Command of the Metropolitan Police following a detailed application and forensic analysis of company accounts

  • Operation Spinnaker: multi-million pound publishing fraud prosecuted by Trading Standards at Nottingham Crown Court

  • Operation Spallation: a multi-handed HM Revenue and Customs corruption case prosecuted at the Central Criminal Court

Fran is a fantastic lawyer, with a real vision for the future. Always available and passionate about her clients and work.
Legal 500 (2024)
  • Operation Savate: multimillion pound VAT fraud involving an abuse of the construction industry scheme

  • Represented the former owner of London Welsh Rugby Club in relation to allegations of fraud

  • Complex advance fee fraud involving the sale of oil stocks/jet fuel in Saudi Arabia

  • Successfully achieved the release of a substantial amount of cash seized by the authorities at a UK port

  • Operation Tulipbox: £38 million carbon credit MTIC fraud

  • Operation Vex: £85 million mobile phone MTIC fraud

  • Operation Blackout: international importation of counterfeit goods

  • Operation Thebe: international importation of adulterants (Benzocaine)

  • Operation Ghast: Southwark Crown Court, £21 million mobile telephone MTIC fraud

  • Operation Hayrick: multimillion pound confiscation proceedings deriving from an MTIC fraud

  • Operation Russo: prosecution at Harrow Crown Court of a multimillion pound mortgage fraud involving Britain’s biggest ever con-woman

Proceeds of Crime/Confiscation Cases and Cash Seizure & Forfeiture

  • Undertook work on proceeds of crime/confiscation cases, restraint orders, civil asset recovery and cash seizure

  • Proceedings due to knowledge and experience of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

  • Instructed in relation to cash seizure and cash forfeiture cases, servicing the national client base in relation to such cases

  • Regularly gave instructions to formulate and present applications under sections 297 and 301 of POCA 2002 and has experience of conducting numerous such cases at Courts all over England and Wales

Memberships

  • Solicitor England and Wales
  • Member of the Honourable Society of Gray's Inn
  • Member of the Fraud Lawyers' Association (FLA)
  • Members of the Proceeds of Crime Lawyers' Association (POCLA)
  • Member of the Female Fraud Forum (FFF)
  • Member of Women in Criminal Law (WICL)

Awards and accreditations

Frances's highlights

News

05.02.2024

I have been served with an Account Freezing Order—what happens to my UK visa?

Partner Frances Murray and associate Emily Russell from financial crime along with immigration associate Harry Yu explore the...
Frances Murrey, Partner in the Russell-Cooke Solicitors, crime and financial team. Russell-Cooke Solicitors staff photograph. Silhouette of a female team member against the backdrop of an office with a soft focus effect. Harry Yu Edward Griffin
Multiple Authors
8 min Read
Frances Murray, Emily Russell, Harry Qiu Yu Yu, Edward Griffin
News

27.09.2023

Russell-Cooke’s financial crime team successfully represent client in Account Freezing Order proceedings

Russell-Cooke’s financial crime team has recently acted for the founder of a fintech company who had two separate company bank accounts frozen, 
Frances Murrey, Partner in the Russell-Cooke Solicitors, crime and financial team. Russell-Cooke Solicitors staff photograph. Silhouette of a female team member against the backdrop of an office with a soft focus effect. Edward Griffin
Multiple Authors
1 min Read
Frances Murray, Emily Russell, Edward Griffin
News

27.09.2023

Summary of the current law affecting Account Freezing Orders (AFOs)

Further to their recent success in Magistrates’ Court, members of the financial crime team summarise the changes to the Criminal Finances Act 2017 (CFA).
Frances Murrey, Partner in the Russell-Cooke Solicitors, crime and financial team. Russell-Cooke Solicitors staff photograph. Silhouette of a female team member against the backdrop of an office with a soft focus effect. Edward Griffin
Multiple Authors
2 min Read
Frances Murray, Emily Russell, Edward Griffin
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