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  • 11 Sep 2019
  • 8:30 AM - 11:30 PM
  • EY, One Colmore Square Birmingham B4 6HQ
  • 0


  • This event is free to registered members of the Midlands Fraud Forum. To register for this event, please proceed below. If you would like to attend but you are not yet a member of the Midlands Fraud Forum, please visit our ‘membership’ section for more info on how to apply.

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Wednesday 11 September 2019 – 8.30am to 11.30am

Hosted by EY, One Colmore Square

Birmingham B4 6HQ



Registration and Refreshments



Welcome & introduction



Chris Recker, Trowers & Hamlins – Cryptocurrencies – a crash course



Allister Manson and Nicholas Parton, Opus LLP – Cubits – the UK’s first crypto currency exchange Administration: restructuring and investigation






Chris Woods, CyberQ Group – Threat Actors & Dark Web



Questions to the speakers






Chris Recker – Associate, Trowers & Hamlins 

Chris is an associate in Trowers & Hamlins' Dispute Resolution and Litigation team specialising in commercial litigation and arbitration, with a particular emphasis on fraud and risk management. His experience includes resolving complex multi-jurisdictional disputes, freezing and tracing assets and carrying out internal investigations. Chris has a particular interest in technology, cybercrime and cyber security issues. He has delivered seminars and training on fraud and cyber security issues, including the development of fraud risks relating to blockchain technology, and developments in legal technology (including artificial intelligence).

Chris is also a part-time visiting lecturer at BPP Law School and teaches on the LPC (Advanced Commercial Litigation, Civil Litigation and Advocacy) and the LLB (Law of Financial Crime), and is the author of a chapter in the book: 'The Financial Crisis and White Collar Crime – Legislative and Policy Responses: A Critical Assessment.'


Allister Manson – Restructuring Partner and Head of Technology, Opus LLP

The technology team at Opus is led by Allister Manson, a qualified insolvency practitioner and chartered accountant with 20 years’ insolvency and restructuring experience.                   

Allister got the tech “bug” after spending 5 years working in the tech sector, notably at two of the leading online payment providers in Latin America, helping to grow them from start-ups to leading global PSPs, working with clients such as AliBaba, Facebook, AirBNB, Playstation and Spotify. Allister advises businesses from start-ups to established software, hardware and tech service providers.  As a former tech founder himself, Allister believes that his ability to engage with management in tech-based organisations and his understanding of the value of intellectual property are both critical, not only when assisting businesses in financial distress or looking to restructure, but also in raising finance to assist with growth aspirations and, ultimately, exit routes when owners are looking to sell.

Allister’s recent work includes leading the Administration of Cubits, the first notable crypto-currency trading exchange to enter formal insolvency, following the loss of $35m of Bitcoin in a sophisticated fraud.  Allister has also led other recent, relevant restructuring assignments for businesses in areas, including: Fintech, SAAS, wearable tech, renewable tech, online auctions, vehicle battery tech, blockchain, regtech.

Allister also mentors tech start-ups through the StartUpBootcamp (Fintech) and is a member of Tech UK. Prior to joining Opus, Allister worked at PwC (notably managing the Administration of Atlantic Computers), Smith & Williamson and KPMG in the Cayman Islands.  Allister studied PPE at Hertford College, Oxford.


Nicholas Parton Partner and Head of Forensic Accounting Services, Opus LLP

Nicholas started his career with PWC in New York, where he was responsible for advising clients regarding their Anti- Money Laundering (AML) obligations, and compliance with Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC). He advised one of the world’s largest financial institutions in respect of AML compliance, and trained a team of 30 compliance officers in Poland in AML. After which he moved to Japan to advise one of Japan’s largest financial institutions in respect of their OFAC compliance with transactions in Syria and Iran.

On returning to the UK, Nicholas worked for a small forensic practice, a boutique investigations firm and Ernst & Young, before founding Pear Tree Forensic Accounting which became the preferred M&A due diligence provider for a listed FMCG, a listed electronics company, and a steel conglomerate. The company has investigated bribery allegations for an aerospace and defence company and a multi-million-dollar Middle Eastern institutional pension fund fraud. The company has conducted covert investigations using corporate intelligence and forensic accounting expertise in opaque jurisdictions throughout the world, including Afghanistan, Ukraine, Monaco, BVI and Luxembourg. Nicholas has acted as Expert Witness in contractual disputes, and as a Single Joint Expert for high value matrimonial disputes.

In 2018, Pear Tree Forensic Accounting merged with the Opus Business Services Group to form Opus Pear Tree, where Nicholas heads the Forensic Accounting team offering investigations, litigation support and corporate intel.

Chris Woods - Director, CyberQ Group

An experienced leader within the cyber security realm, Chris Woods is also the founder and director of CyberQ Group – an award winning cyber security company in the UK. Having previously managed elite security teams at the European Space Agency, HP and Fujitsu, Chris brings over 20 years of pure Cyber Security experience developed within the EU and MENA regions. Whilst at HP, Chris developed and led a cyber security practice, culminating in the acquisition of ArcSight for $1.5b. Chris is now leading a passionate team of cyber and business professionals, developing the next generation of Security Operations Centres using Big Data analytics and Machine Learning. Chris is a committed Information Security Champion and frequent speaker at international conferences and events.

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