We have advised a number of FCA regulated entities on internal investigations and the suspension of senior executives. In one such case we advised an asset management business on an internal investigation when its CEO was suspected of fraud.
This involved working with a committee of the board to formulate a plan of action. We then attended the offices of the business to suspend the CEO and remove him from the premises and immediately secured electronic and other physical evidence. This required IT experts to be present to remove the hard drives from computers and image them. At the same time a new interim CEO was put in place and an announcement made to all employees.
We instructed forensic accountants to carry out an investigation. Using their findings we advised on the disciplinary process which resulted in the summary dismissal of the CEO.
The matter involved advising on regulatory issues, civil litigation issues relating to fraud and criminal issues including money laundering. We also advised on the terms of a shareholders agreement conferring entrenched rights on the former CEO and the management of board meetings in compliance with that agreement. As the investigation continued we advised on the termination of further employees and the management of claims against former directors and third parties.
This matter involved our Employment, Criminal, Dispute Resolution and Company Commercial departments working closely together. With the help of or advice the client was able to remove the former CEO, put in place a new CEO and board, remove and replace senior employees, institute civil action for to recover money taken by the former CEO and re-establish the business on a sound footing.