March 22nd, 2011

Ali Geary

Anti-fraud, bribery and corruption Litigation Solicitor

Associate at Taylor Wessing

Today we’re tweeting w/ London litigation anti-fraud, bribery and corruption solicitor @aligeary

  1. @aligeary, thank you for joining us on Twitter. Tell us, who is @aligeary?
    I’m an Associate in the commercial disputes group at international law firm @TaylorWessing. Author of http://bit.ly/htQe8e
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    my caseload involves white collar crime, fraud, asset tracing, money laundering and corruption as well as tech disputes
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    my firm represent lots of large public and private organisations as well as high net worth individuals
  4. What would you say is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    in my field the Bribery Act is significant. It is also part of a wider trend of increasing regulation
  5. I want to talk more about the Bribery Act in a bit. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    Great. I ask “Is there anything else I should know?” Knowing all the facts is essential to getting the best result
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    A high point so far was recovering £32 million in connection with one of the UK’s largest ever pension scheme frauds
  7. Wow – that’s a lot of money…. Why do your clients hire you?
    Indeed. I think our clients appreciate our frank, tailored and commercially focused advice
  8. Let’s talk about the Bribery Act then. Why is it so important? How does it differ from pre-existing legislation?
    It is a regime change. Most significant is the new strict liability offence for organisations that fail to prevent bribery
  9. How will it affect the business operations of companies active in the UK?
    It will most affect companies not currently required to comply with similar legislation i.e. the FCPA, however…
    all companies will need to reflect on their current policies and internal culture
  10. How big of a problem is fraud, corruption and bribery? How widespread is it?
    a recent survey of FTSE 100 Co.s by KPMG found 39% had conducted at least 1 internal corruption investigation during 2007-9
  11. Finally, is the Bribery Act expected to set the new global standard for fighting fraud and corruption?
    We await publication of the government guidance on the Act. This will be a good indicator of the UK government’s…
    commitment to fighting fraud and corruption globally
  12. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    That I am lawyer and, if they haven’t already backed away, that I work in the field of anti-fraud, bribery and corruption
  13. First part never happens, I’m sure… When did you become active on Twitter? What were your objectives? Have they changed?
    I joined in March 2009. I spent a long time listening at first and slowly started to engage…
    there’s lots of talk abt the need to engage but I think some undervalue the benefits of listening to clients &contemporaries
  14. Excellent point. What does your firm’s leadership think of your social media presence?
    Thx. It’s v.positive. Our Managing Partner sent an email to the whole firm about @22Twts and this interview this morning.
  15. Nice! No pressure then…. Have your Web 2.0 activities led to any additional referrals or client engagements?
    Absolutely.Next month, I am presenting to the legal team of a large multinational Co- all activated through Web 2.0 activity
  16. Congratulations on that. Let’s switch gears now: what is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Well,the Legal Services Act will change things a lot.I know this is something my firm is investigating http://bit.ly/hN5iMs
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Technology will play a much greater role. I see this as great opportunity….
    lawyers will be involved in increasingly creative and interesting work at the earlier stages of their careers
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I’d be pointing out the emergency exits on a 747. I wanted to be an air stewardess as a child. They all looked so glamorous
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    As a good lawyer who was passionate about her practice and a good bet when looking for a nice cup of tea and a chat
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    As well as the usual, trying new things. Recent projects include cupcake baking, falconry and tai chi – not at the same time
  21. Phew. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    I think it’s important to take stock of who you already know in the industry & how they or their contacts might assist
  22. And our final question for you: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    I would say -make sure you end up working in an area of law you are passionate about and all your hard work will be worth it

That great advice brings to close a great interview. Thank you so much for tweeting with us today; I enjoyed it very much

Me too. Thank you.

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