Andrew Wordsworth - Partner

Andrew is a pioneer in the use of investigations in legal disputes, navigating clients through the most complex scenarios with direct, solutions-focused advice.

He began his career in the sector in the mid-1990s and later joined Kroll Associates, before co-founding GPW in 2004. In 2016 he co-founded Raedas.

Over the course of his career, Andrew has specialised in complex investigations, often working in matters involving international multi-stranded litigation. Andrew is expert in asset tracing and has overseen hundreds of mandates on behalf of state-owned and private banks, governments and corporations, aiding in the recovery of a wide range of assets, including cash, receivables, equity, private yachts and aircraft. His investigative teams have produced evidence leading to freezing orders in the UK and across other Common Law jurisdictions and assisted ICSID claimants address questions of corporate veil piercing, sovereign immunity, offshore and trust-based ownership structures.

More broadly Andrew has led high-profile fraud and corruption investigations in the Middle East, Russia and South America and has been engaged in many of the last decade’s most prominent disputes connected to Russia. He frequently works with legal counsel to develop evidence for disclosure orders in the UK and US, integrating these legal instruments into overall case strategy.

He is described in Chambers as a “pre-eminent figure in intelligence ” with clients praising his “strategic” advice adding “he’s well connected to key decision makers across these markets”. “Andrew is the most effective investigator in the market”. As a leader, he is described as “very, very clever” and “hands-on”, and praised for doing “a lot of research himself”.

Andrew has assisted clients facing serious crises ranging from personal matters involving the threat of arrest, politically motivated tax claims in the FSU, India and Africa, unjustified extradition requests and politically motivated accusations of corruption. Although all crisis situations are different, Andrew is experienced in building multi-disciplinary teams to confront problems as they emerge, working with legal and PR advisors to produce the desired outcome.

Indicative Matters
Raedas supported a large multinational organisation locked in dispute with a powerful central Asian politician, whose actions had led to the expropriation of the client’s assets. Through discreet in-country intelligence gathering and asset profiling, we were able to predict the political figure’s likely future strategy and prepare the client for legal action. This led to an investor treaty arbitration against the state and litigation against the individual, and we were able to provide an affidavit of our work in support of a Mareva injunction.
A major investor in the Russian regions found itself under repeated and increasing attacks in the country, principally from the tax inspectorate and environmental protection authorities. Raedas used its source network to speak to individuals inside the Russian political system and establish the root cause of the attacks: the degradation of the client’s relationship with one of its initial political backers in Russia. With this intelligence, the client was able to repair the relationship, and significantly reduce (although not entirely eradicate) the attacks against it.
In this case, Raedas worked in tandem with a major international law firm to recover funds from a South American family. With guidance from the legal team, we interviewed potential witnesses in a number of jurisdictions, gaining valuable evidence of the family’s asset profile. We identified assets in the USA, Spain and Panama, and used Section 1782 orders in the USA to demonstrate precise fund flows to and from these assets.
Our client, a Middle Eastern potentate, suspected that the poor financial performance of his country’s sovereign wealth fund was due to the facilitation of corrupt payments by the fund’s management. Raedas discreetly examined the fund’s investments in the region and, by identifying and interviewing former employees of the fund and the investee companies, established that in some instances there was widespread corruption within these companies. To protect the client whilst ensuring our findings were reported, Raedas provided key evidence and documentation to the regional and international press. The scandal was widely reported, and forced a change in management at the fund, greatly improving its governance and financial performance.
A major player in the extractives industry operating in Central Africa approached Raedas to help stop its mineral extraction licence being revoked by the government for failing to meet its investment schedule. The reason for this failure was the repeated requests for bribes by local players, and Raedas was able to obtain documentary evidence from within the government proving that the client had attempted to make the required investments, but had been thwarted by domestic corruption. The client had also been subjected to a barrage of attacks by the local arm of a London-based anti-corruption NGO. Raedas discovered that the NGO was being fed information by the disgruntled former licence-owner, and was able to use intelligence it had gathered to discredit the information. Raedas also gathered further intelligence to re-focus the NGO’s attention on the activities of the former owner.
Raedas was brought in by a London law firm to fight the extradition request of an individual to a third country. We had four team members on the ground immediately and were able to get in contact with well-placed sources within days to provide the necessary evidence to discredit the extradition request. The individual was accused of corruption in a South Asian country, and within a week we were able to document that no real investigation had taken place into the allegations of corruption, and that the case as presented was a tissue of supposition and half-truths. Raedas provided affairs to support these findings, which contributed to the staying of the proceedings.