Forensic accounting and insolvency practice Inquesta has hired a specialist from national law firm Pinsent Masons to head a new team as it expands its range of services to corporate and individual clients.
Noreen Iqbal has joined Inquesta as forensic director to lead the new business intelligence, fraud investigation and fraud prevention team.
Inquesta co-founder and forensic division director Rob Miller said the new service was a logical step in the firm’s development as it expands its offering and geographical reach.
He said fraud cases are likely to surge as a result of the pandemic, and the new division will equip Inquesta with the capacity to meet demand. Further recruitment is planned to grow the new team.
Rob said: “With Noreen’s vast experience and knowledge, she is the ideal person to lead our new team. We are extremely excited about the prospects for this new service offering.
“The number of fraud cases is bound to rise as a consequence of the Covid-19 crisis, due to a combination of factors.
“More people have been working from home with greater autonomy, which means the financial controls that companies have had in place will not have been applied as rigorously as before the pandemic. The financial pressures of the pandemic itself will also have created opportunities for fraud, leading to more corporate investigations.
“Our business intelligence service can provide valuable information so companies can make informed decisions about clients, suppliers and individuals coming into their ranks and mitigate risks.
“Our due diligence service as part of this offering will flag up credit problems and potential financial and regulatory risks attached to individuals and companies, across the UK and internationally.
“The third aspect of the new team’s operation will be fraud prevention, and will involve experts led by Noreen reviewing the financial controls in place within our clients’ businesses and identifying any red flags or risk factors.”
Noreen, who lives in Bury, spent four years at Pinsent Masons, where she worked on a number of major cases across multiple jurisdictions involving fraud, money laundering, the tracing of funds and assets, internal corporate investigations and Ponzi schemes.
She has extensive experience of working on matters involving regulatory bodies such as the Serious Fraud Office, Financial Conduct Authority, the European Commission and police forces, and reporting to chief executives across the globe.
Before joining Pinsent Masons, she worked at Menzies and BTG Global Risk Partners, part of Begbies Traynor Group.
She said: “Inquesta is well-established across the north west and throughout the country, and I’m really excited to join the practice to build a new service offering focusing on corporate crime and investigations, litigation, disputes, fraud prevention, due diligence and compliance.
“We will be taking a proactive approach with clients to ensure they are on the front foot if they are subject to investigation by regulatory bodies or HM Revenue & Customs, are commissioning internal investigations or have staff returning to the office and need to review their financial procedures, controls and processes to prevent fraud.”
Inquesta has its headquarters in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, and a presence in Leeds and London.