By DebbieH 20 May 2019 7 min read

What it’s like to work as a serious fraud lawyer

Shahid, as a Director of DPP Business & Tax and DPP Law Ltd, is a specialist lawyer in Serious Fraud cases and over the years has acted for a number of high profile individuals in defending them against the most serious of high-value fraud charges and investigations. Shahid is also a leading expert in the field of Serious Fraud, Corporate Crime, Civil Tax Investigations and Assessments, and Civil Assets Recovery proceedings before the High Court.

His expertise also includes defending clients facing claims under Confiscation Proceedings for benefiting from the proceeds of crime and has achieved a very good success rate at the Court of Appeal. Below, we speak to Shahid about his career and the advice he’s gleaned over the years:


How did you get into this career?

I was interested in pursuing a career in law and wanted to gain some experience. I worked as an office junior/paralegal at a local law firm whilst undertaking a law degree on a part time basis in the evening. I did this for four years. I then undertook a two year part-time Legal Practise Course whilst working full time. By the time I had qualified, I had gained six years experience and was recruited by DPP Law as a partner upon my first year of qualification.  


Why did you choose to work in the legal industry? Was there a particular passion that motivated you?

The desire to help people facing injustices, particularly the vulnerable.


Shahid MiahWhat does a typical day look like in your role?

My roles is the Director of Business and Tax Investigations. I am currently in my 12th year as director. We have offices in London, Birmingham and Liverpool and a team of highly experienced solicitors who have particular expertise in tax and business investigations. I have acted for numerous clients facing investigations by the Serious Fraud Office, HM Revenue and Customs and Crown Prosecution Service. My business investigation cases involve a significant level of international dimension in countries such as Italy, China, UAE, Spain and Italy.  I also act in respect of confiscation proceedings which are post conviction financial investigations designed to recover the proceeds of fraudulent activity. My role also includes marketing the firm to potential clients and contacts. My clients emanate from various industries such the financial services Industry, Mobile Phones and Wholesale cash and carries.

My typical day would involve meeting my team of solicitors for update and feedback on case preparation, as well as management and implementing marketing strategies.   


What skills/qualities would you say a person needs to get to a similar level?

  • A commitment to delivering a high quality service and very good management skills.
  • Ensuring you have a target audience and staying committed to it as to build a brand requires a focused approach.    
  • Having a positive hard working attitude and always being available to your clients.
  • Being assertive and being able to make decisions sometimes based on instinct as a successful business is built on continuing on its progress.


What advice would you give to someone looking to move towards a role like this?

Anyone who is starting off in this career will need to be prepared to achieve long term goals, this is a career that takes a high degree of commitment over period of years. The first few years requires pure grit and determination and being prepared to carry out mundane tasks and sometimes working for several fee earners. After the first few years, an aspiring partner will need to demonstrate he is able to handle clients without supervision which requires confidence and being assertive.    


What advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t rush things, a quality piece of work requires its time.