Corporate crime & investigations

We understand the critical business risks our clients and executives face day to day in their transactions and business dealings in:

  • Money laundering, bribery, corruption,  fraud and false accounting, international sanctions, cross-border investigations and prosecutions. privacy data breaches, human rights and modern slavery law.

JWS is recognised as providing the best, practical and commercial legal solutions to help achieve your business objectives.  It is at the heart of our team’s approach. Our lawyers are experienced in all aspects of the white-collar criminal law defence practice including:

  • conducting internal investigations
  • responding to extradition applications
  • customer due diligence and reporting
  • human rights and modern slavery law compliance
  • money laundering and counter-terrorism financing advice
  • proceeds of crime applications
  • Australian and international sanctions regimes
  • defending Australian companies and individuals in Australian and cross-border criminal investigations and prosecutions.


Recent matters

Australian Energy & Resources Company

Two investigations into the conduct of a third party intermediary (a tax consultant) concerning tax matters in various Africa jurisdictions involving transactions in excess of $1m.

Australian Energy & Resources Company

Investigation into the project structuring and mining license issues for a project in Africa.

Investment Company

Reviewing the allegations of corruption involving a mining entity in South East Asia on behalf of an investment client considering commercial opportunities in the energy and resources sector.

Sinclair Knight Merz

Acting for former director and officer of Sinclair Knight Merz who has been charged, together with the company and other individuals, with conspiracy to bribe a foreign public official in contravention of the Commonwealth Criminal Code, in connection with aid-funded infrastructure projects in Vietnam and the Philippines. The committal is listed for early 2020 with any substantial trial hearings later in 2020 or 2021.

International Bar Association and OECD Task Force on Lawyers Obligations in International Commercial Transactions

Act as the IBA co-lead on the Presidential Task Force with the OCED OECD on drafting a Report entitled Tthe Role of Lawyers andin International Commercial Structures. The Task Force grew out of the Panama and Paradise Papers, considering the role of lawyers in offshore commercial structures and how reforms might occur to regulate the creation and use of such structures and the role of lawyers in targeting bribery, corruption, tax fraud and money laundering.

International Bar Association Pro-Bono work for the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association

Drafted the Anti-Corruption Guidelines for the Afghanistan legal profession, devised a training workshop attended by the Afghanistan Minister of Justice and Bar Association leadership and reviewed the Bar Association’s internal disciplinary procedures.

ABAC Matters, International Clients

Various matters involving internal advice on ABAC policies and procedures, training programs, and internal investigations on potentially illegal conduct in assignments in the Asia Pacific Region, Africa and the Middle East.

Sanctions Matters, Australian Clients

Ongoing advice in relation to the application of Australia, US and European sanctions and their impact on Australian businesses.

AML Matters, Australian Clients

Ongoing advice on anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing obligations on finance companies (as reporting entities) in connection with due diligence inquiries and reporting obligations.


Ranked as a leading law firm in white-collar crime
Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2021
Recognised as a leading firm in anti-bribery & corruption law.
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2018-2021
Clients acknowledge JWS as having "a very good reputation in this area", as well as their ability to handle "very difficult and delicate law"
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2019
"I think JWS is well organised, experienced, knowledgeable and efficient"
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2018

Related insights Read more insight

International Comparative Legal Guide - Sanctions 2021

Consultant, Robert Wyld and Associate, Lara Douvartzidis have written the Australian chapter on sanctions law.

Commercial crime update: July 2020

Despite the COVID-19 conditions that exist around the world, activities in the commercial crime space continue along.

Foreign Bribery Update: December 2018

This Update covers a range of important developments in Australia and overseas in the area of foreign bribery policy, commercial crime, investigations and regulation to 19 December 2018.