About Us

Why choose Faire Sans Dire?

Faire Sans Dire is a niche UK based intelligence and investigatory risk management organisation with global reach and global clout. We have been providing intelligence, anti-corruption, investigatory and related risk management services since 1978 when Faire Sans Dire was established. However, it was not until 2010 that Faire Sans Dire opened its doors to the world at large via this web-site.

Since 1978 we have undertaken assignments in over 100 countries. Some of our assignments have lasted for a few hours, others for several years. The way we operate is explained under Our Approach. The core, cyber and ancillary services we offer are explained on the web-pages accessible via the links above. Our fees are competitive and fee charging arrangements transparent. As explained under our fee charging arrangements, we normally not only work on “not for profit” bases but also occasionally on “pro bono” bases for deserving causes (such as for those whose lives have been devastated by corruption).

After opening our doors to the world at large in 2010, Faire Sans Dire has morphed into becoming an intelligence agency that increasingly uses its formidable array of influential contacts and applies its experience and knowhow in commercial arenas as opposed to, say, investigating international organised crime or terrorism. Nevertheless, Faire Sans Dire remains involved in anti-corruption and related initiatives although the mainstay of its operations nowadays centres around the provision of support services to commercial and other organisations as described on the web-pages detailing our core, cyber and ancillary services. Most of those services are also available for individuals.

Unlike many of our competitors in the world of intelligence we don’t pretend we are providing cloak and dagger services. Investigating or researching anything boils down to common sense and experience and that is what you will get from us. We also believe in transparency whenever possible particularly when it comes to charging for our services. Even our intermittent news services are transparent if not a trifle ironic or tongue in cheek at times!

We sometimes refer to our approach or business as being “not for profit”. By that we mean that we build in no profit element into our charge out rates. In other words what you pay for our services generates no profit for our business in the long term and is the equivalent of what you would pay were our staff your employees but only if and when we recharge our time costs. In contrast, accountancy, forensic, legal and other service firms usually compute their charge out rates by adding together staff/partner salaries/costs plus overheads and then topping that up by 50 per cent for profit: ie they typically charge one third for staff/partner salaries, one third for overheads and one third for profits. As our overheads are so low all you pay for are what you would pay us were we full time or interim employees assuming we are not acting on a pro bono or not dissimilar basis.

We are investigators. Investigating is our core competence. We enjoy investigating or researching the unknown knowns and the unknown unknowns or “black holes” as much as some professional sportsmen enjoy pursuing their careers. Our clients are not just corporate bodies or law firms and include individuals. The investigatory and related services we provide typically include normal background checks and/or certain aspects of corporate due diligence and extend to investigating specific aspects of crime, fraud, malpractice and non-compliance with corporate policies and regulations.

Please note that the meanings of some of the terms used in this website are explained in our Privacy Policy & Legal Notice. Please also note that we are neither a regulated law firm nor a firm of practising accountants and the services we offer are restricted in some jurisdictions (eg we don’t do any audits) as explained under the heading “Legal & Accounting Services & Advice” in our Privacy Policy & Legal Notice. Nevertheless the range of services we offer is considerable.

On 12th February 2002 Donald Rumsfeld, then the US Defense Secretary, commenting on the prevailing situation in Afghanistan remarked at a press briefing “Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

Donald Rumsfeld’s remarks appear to be based on Confucius, as quoted in Thoreau’s Walden – “To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.” Knowledge is power and investigations or research glean knowledge.

The only trouble is that quite a lot of what we think we know and therefore rely on is inaccurate and sometimes intentionally so. By quite a lot we mean typically between 5% and 10% and that applies not only to you but all your colleagues too. This is borne out by a plethora of statistics about false statements on CVs, the incidence of frauds etc; some of these statistics are referred to in this web-site.

Bill Fairclough is the Non-Executive Chairman and founder of Faire Sans Dire Limited. His background is summarily explained later. He established the Company to provide services to help not only businesses and organisations but also individuals. Basically the Company provides investigative and related services in which Bill, his colleagues and associates have a wealth of experience and take both pleasure and pride in delivering. Those services encompass normal business services (such as background checks on individuals or organizations) and services relating to dealing with some aspects of crime (such as finding the culprits and recovering the proceeds of their crimes).

The Company may appear to be and in many ways is a minuscule organisation compared to the likes of Kroll or Control Risks but then if you are logged onto this web-site because you are seeking investigative assistance or the like you may have just learnt too late that appearances can be deceptive. We do not claim to be a major global player but the staff and network of associates (“in house resources”) we can bring to bear to deliver our intelligence services effectively, expeditiously and efficiently can be formidable.

We can provide all the services we offer using in house resources. However, where required by law or regulation or on occasions where specialised services are needed that require expertise that is not available from within our in house capabilities we will work in conjunction with other businesses or experienced operatives with whom we have established ties. This modus operandi allows us to offer very competitive terms.

We pride ourselves as being as good as the best in what we do and, notwithstanding that, our charge out rates are but a fraction of those who offer similar services such as the likes of the aforementioned multinational risk based organisations. On occasions, for example in the case of registered charities or elderly individuals, we are prepared to assist victims of fraud on a quasi “no win no fee” basis and/or at peppercorn charge out rates. For more information on just how competitive our charge out rates are please refer to this link.

The Company is based in the UK but, as alluded to later, Faire Sans Dire has considerable experience of international investigations etc and nowadays most assignments have no boundaries. The Company has “associates” in most major cities and financial centres around the world and in 2010, the first year since the Company opened a public web-site, its operations spanned some 55 countries, 15 of which Faire Sans Dire had previously not undertaken operations in. Prior to opening its doors to the world at large in 2010 to undertake investigative assignments Faire Sans Dire had established a large number of associates spanning circa 100 countries.

Over the years our clients have ranged from individuals to large multinational organisations including governments. Nowadays about half the assignments (in number) we undertake are for the legal profession in order to help their clients. We have worked for many law firms ranging from one of the top five global law firms to a sole trading UK barrister. Otherwise, nowadays most of the recurring assignments we are asked to undertake are for businesses based in the UK or USA. We also undertake work on a pro bono or not dissimilar basis for individuals who are victims of financial crime or corruption which is the mainstay of our work nowadays.

The history of Faire Sans Dire

In 1978 an intelligence gathering organisation called Faire Sans Dire was created; its owner was Bill Fairclough. It mainly undertook or coordinated international investigations through its associates up until 1995 when Faire Sans Dire was transformed into a “virtual” international confederation to help combat the globalisation of crime. Faire Sans Dire just happened to be Bill’s family motto. When translated it means “To do without speaking” and effectively means “It’ll be done so there’s nothing else to say”. As explained below it was most apt under the circumstances.

In 1995 the confederation was founded as a result of Bill Fairclough having been approached to advise three governmental officials in three different countries on how to best source and obtain data in relation to a series of multinational crimes. As events unfolded it became readily apparent that the three governmental agencies for which these officials worked were not prepared to permit the exchange of data that each required from the other. They talked and talked but did nothing, much to the frustration of all concerned.

The situation was nonsensical. In simple terms, organised crime had globalised but crime prevention and detection remained land locked within the boundaries of individual countries.

Accordingly, Bill established a virtual hub in international or trans-boundary waters to expedite and facilitate the exchange of information necessary to prosecute international crime etc. Neither the disclosers nor the recipients of any data passing through that floating hub could determine the sources of any data exchanged. That hub was a “not for profit” organisation called Faire Sans Dire.

Since those days and in particular after 9/11, law enforcement agencies and related organisations have increasingly co-operated on the global stage and the hub ceased operating many years ago. Its passing away into cyber space or the bottom of the sea was as inauspicious as its creation. So for those of you who are interested or recall the name that is why the Company is called Faire Sans Dire.

There have been rumours about Faire Sans Dire’s history and we would like to put the record straight. The rumours allege that Faire Sans Dire originally operated from a boat anchored in international waters within 100 nautical miles of Steep Island off Kowloon. These rumours are untrue. In fact the Mary Celeste was more probable than a junk anchored offshore from Kowloon!

In order to combat the lack of international co-operation between law enforcement agencies when dealing with cross border crime Faire Sans Dire transformed into a virtual hub. The concept, created by our current Non-Executive Chairman, Bill Fairclough, was theoretically based on:

1. The abstract adaptation of what was then sophisticated technology used in anonymous program trading across stock and bond markets in the nineteen-nineties; and

2. Radio Caroline, an offshore radio station, that for some years operated from a boat anchored in international waters off the coast of Southern England in the nineteen-sixties.

Faire Sans Dire operated from a virtual hub in cyberspace and even though Radio Caroline featured conceptually in the establishment of Faire Sans Dire no boat such as the Mi Amigo which was used by Radio Caroline was actually deployed.

Faire Sans Dire facilitated data exchanges between senior officers in law enforcement authorities in different countries many of which are now described as G20 countries. Prior to 9/11 many governments’ practices impeded the passing from one country to another of even low level restricted information relating to cross border criminal activities. Most of that information is now no longer classified or restricted in the way it used to be in order to combat terrorism.

Faire Sans Dire provided an avenue for its members to make requests for such information on a non-attributable basis. Members were not permitted to know who the other members were and all contact between members was conducted anonymously via the hub.

Nevertheless, failings in communications between law enforcement organisations continue notwithstanding changes in laws and practices. For example, on 25th December 2009 Mr Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian citizen, attempted to blow up Northwest Flight 253 from Schipol Airport to Detroit. While his affiliations with Al Qaeda were well documented by MI5 neither the US Department of Homeland Security nor the CIA were made aware of these. The British Home Office cited its obligations to comply with European and UK human rights law as the rationale behind not passing details of those affiliations to its US counterparts.

Some practices take time to change and those who espouse human rights laws might not be quite so passionate about their cause had they been passengers on that near fateful flight! Interestingly, since 2009 Al Qaeda has been trying to refine “underwear garment” bombs that are undetectable by airport security. It is reassuring to note that the CIA remain one step ahead and having infiltrated Al Qaeda in Yemen managed in July 2013 to smuggle out the latest prototype and the device was no longer a threat (at that time) according to CIA Director John Brennan. It was a classic example of another job well done by the CIA which, as is customary nowadays, never received the media attention it merited compared with say the negative vibes associated with the Edward Snowden saga.             

Current & past legal entities

The current Company was created in 2008 not long after Bill Fairclough closed down and retired from his regulated Chartered Accounting Practice which was established in 2002. Effective from January 2016 Bill ceased to be a Chartered Accountant having been qualified for over 40 years. Please note that implicit and explicit references in this web-site to past experience relate to assignments or work undertaken by Faire Sans Dire, Bill, his colleagues and associates in the past prior to the current Company becoming operational.

Bill Fairclough is the Non-Executive Chairman and owner of the Company. In the UK there have been three companies called Faire Sans Dire all of which were at least initially owned outright by Bill Fairclough (our current owner and Non-Executive Chairman):

1. On 8th September 1995 a company (No. 03100131) was registered under that name for name protection purposes but it never traded and was dissolved on 24th June 1997. Bill Fairclough was the original owner and he and Barrie Parkes MBE were the founding directors.

2. On 21st July 1999 another company (No. 03810916) was registered under that name. Bill Fairclough was the original owner and founding director. It remained dormant until it changed its name to Faire Sans Risque Limited on 16th June 2000 and from then on was engaged in statistical arbitrage business. After its change of name this company never had anything to do with Faire Sans Dire and was dissolved on 20th December 2005. One of its directors was at the time the Deputy Chairman and Head of Enforcement of the UK’s Financial Services Authority.

3. On 4th April 2008 the current Company (No. 06552657) was registered in the name of PonderSwamp Limited. It commenced trading on 1st October 2009 and on 11th December 2009 it changed its name to Faire Sans Dire Limited. This is the Company which owns this web-site.

Bill Fairclough has owned Faire Sans Dire since it was inaugurated as an organisation in 1978; its activities and operations were run by specialists in their particular fields in its formative years. Faire Sans Dire Limited (the current company) commenced trading on 1st October 2009.

Another company (No. 08005044) called The Burlington Files Limited is connected to Faire Sans Dire Limited. It is a publishing company for undisclosed principals for whom Faire Sans Dire Limited acts as agent. Bill Fairclough owns the majority of its shares and is its Chairman. The Burlington Files Limited commenced trading on 15th January 2013. More information about The Burlington Files Group can be found at its website.

Bill Fairclough’s background

Bill Fairclough is a member of the Anti Corruption Research Network at Transparency International. He retired from being a Chartered Accountant in January 2016 having been such for over 40 years. Set out below is a brief summary of his career. More detailed information about Bill is available from this Wiki web-link and from web-searches of both him and businesses he has been involved with etc. However, please note that he has been called by many names in the past including simple variations of his full name.

He started work with Cooper Brothers and subsequently helped form/integrate Coopers & Lybrand acting as the first Secretary to its International Executive Committee and reporting to the head of the global firm. At the time Bill was at Coopers it was one of the “Big Four”.

It was during his stint with Coopers & Lybrand that Faire Sans Dire was inaugurated in 1978. For the record his continuing ownership of Faire Sans Dire since then has never conflicted with his duties or contractual arrangements with Coopers or any other businesses (such as the Citicorp, Reuters or Barclays Groups) where he was later to become a Director.

After working with Coopers & Lybrand for about fourteen years he entered commerce. Whether acting as a Non-Executive Director, Finance Director, Operations Director, CEO/MD or Chairman he has been a Director of several highly successful well known businesses (such as Mercantile Credit, Reuters’ Instinet International {which was later acquired by NASDAQ}, Barclays Financial Services and Barclays Stockbrokers). He was also a Director of Barclays Holdings and Ebbgate Holdings where he was a Group Senior Executive of the Barclays Bank and BZW Groups respectively and a founding director of Instinet Holdings.

Please note that although Bill held many board positions at Barclays since 1987 those were all held long before Barclays became embroiled in mis-selling, interest rate fixing and other scandals. Those parts of the Barclays Group which were later to become centres of duplicity and dishonesty many years after Bill left the Group in 1999 never directly fell under his chain of command in his latter years at the Group.

Bill Fairclough has been a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales for over 40 years and resigned in January 2016. He was also a member of both The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investments and The Association of Corporate Treasurers for over 20 years although he no longer specialises in treasury or security instruments and/or businesses. During his career he has been registered, inter alia, as a Director in banks and other financial services businesses regulated by the FSA, ICAEW, SFA, IMRO, PIA, the Bank of England, MOF (Japan), SEC (USA) and the SEC (Hong Kong).

Since Bill joined Cooper Brothers in 1969 he has been involved in preventing, pre-empting or investigating fraud, crime and malpractice. No matter what capacity he was working in, throughout his career the prevention and detection of fraud were integral parts of his responsibilities. When employed by Coopers & Lybrand in their Technical Department he wrote their flagship publication at the time, the Manual of Auditing, as well as other publications covering crime and fraud related topics such as guides to the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and US Anti-Boycott legislation.

Since founding Faire Sans Dire in 1978 Bill has accumulated a wealth of international experience in conducting covert activities for governmental bodies and undertaking due diligence and investigations covering the pre-emption and/or detection of malpractice, crime and fraud. He has been commended for his work in these arenas by both senior regulators and high ranking law enforcement officers across the globe.

Further details of Bill Fairclough’s background are available on LinkedIn. Details of Bill’s connections are not published on his LinkedIn profile. The Company also features on LinkedIn.


Charles Peter Richard Fairclough was reappointed Faire Sans Dire’s IT Director with effect from February 2016. Previously, he had been Faire Sans Dire’s IT Director from December 2009 until January 2013 when he had to resign voluntarily in order to avoid conflicts of interest.

Charles has been involved with a variety of IT and web related businesses since his school days when he started his first IT business selling password recovery programs (which he wrote). He attended Portsmouth University and despite having been assured of two firsts in both Bsc Digital Media and Bsc Computing decided to leave the academic world. He entered commerce instead. Since then Charles has been the founding director of two ecommerce businesses one of which, Profile Tunnel Ltd, was effectively taken over by Faire Sans Dire in 2012. Profile Tunnel provided Faire Sans Dire with intelligence from cyberspace when undertaking assignments.

Charles has considerable experience in cyber security and intelligence activities as well as ecommerce at large. In 2012 whilst IT Director at Faire Sans Dire he was seconded for several months to work with a competitor, Kroll Ontrack, which specialises in data recovery, computer forensic and e-disclosure services.

As the IT Director of Faire Sans Dire, Charles is responsible for the provision of all cyberspace, website and communications security services and counter intelligence activities as well as being responsible for the day to day management of the organisation’s operations. He also coordinates all IT related aspects of the intelligence services Faire Sans Dire provides.