In June, the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) filed fraud charges against Tom Hayes, a former Citigroup and UBS AG trader. The SFO accused Hayes of a scheme to fix interest rates. Now, as the case approaches trial, Hayes has hired a pair of aggressive lawyers to help mount his defense.
The case is due to go to trial on Oct. 21, and centers on accusations that Hayes conspired with 10 other bank and brokerage employees to fix interest rates. There had been speculation that Hayes would plead guilty and assent to testifying against the alleged co-conspirators.
This now seems unlikely, as Hayes has reportedly hired Richard Cornthwaite of Garstangs Burrows Bussin and George Carter-Stephenson. According to The Wall Street Journal, the two attorneys have a history of defending people charged with fraud.
Since Hayes has opted for “legal aid,” the UK government will pick up the tab for his case, so Cornthwaite and Carter-Stephenson should be able to accept lower fees than what they would normally charge.
Hayes’ troubles are not limited to the UK, however. UBS admitted wrongdoing and settled with regulators in the UK and the US in 2012. Furthermore, U.S. Justice Department officials were preparing to file charges against Hayes, but British authorities arrested Hayes first. This did not sit well with U.S. officials, who wanted to prosecute the trader in the States.