When potentially criminal activity occurs in a business it is often the business itself rather than the police that makes the discovery, perhaps through the actions of a whistle blower or an investigation by internal audit.
Immediately the question arises: what action should the business now take? Is there an obligation to report the offence to the police or the SFO? What action should be taken in respect of employees caught up in the activity? Should regulators be informed?
The decisions that a company makes in response to these discoveries can have significant consequences for it financially, reputationally and in its relationship with any relevant regulatory authorities. Time is likely to be of the essence. Often the best advice is to undertake a prompt investigation to establish in more detail what has occurred. Only once the facts have been established can informed decisions be taken.
Our team has experience of conducting such investigations in a range of different situations. Our lawyers are skilled in investigating matters through witness interviews and documentary analysis, and providing the product of that analysis in the form of a report that will provide a basis for decisions to be made as to what to do.
Our role does not end there. We will provide advice on what steps should be taken once the facts are known and representation in the event that the decision taken is to self-report to a regulator, or bring some kind of civil action. With extensive experience of investigatory authorities we are well-placed to advise on the likely response to a disclosure should that be the decision taken.
As an independent firm with an enviable reputation for quality and integrity our investigations and reports are respected by the SFO, FSA, BERR. HMRC and the police. Our lawyers can help ensure an outcome which is proportionate and commercially realistic.
We are also extremely experienced in acting for individuals caught up in internal investigations. As well as advising on the response to any allegations of criminal behaviour, we are well placed to provide advice on employment issues which invariably arise.
- Advising a major UK media company in relation to the provision of information to Operation Elveden: corrupt payment to public officials
- Conducting and internal investigation on behalf of a large UK based oil and gas company, dealing with alleged fraud and corruption in overseas sales
- Acting on behalf of a number of individuals in connection with the wide-ranging LIBOR investigation being conducted by UK and US authorities
- Internal investigation in to alleged employee fraud, corruption and anti-competitive practices, for a world renown security print manufacturer
If you would like to talk to our criminal defence solicitors, please contact Stephen Parkinson