Compelled Interviews and Interviews Under Caution

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Chambers UK 2020 - A Client’s Guide to the UK Legal Profession

Suspect or witness, how the interviewee responds to questions can lead to criminal or regulatory repercussions for the individual concerned and/or their employer organisation. Their professional reputation and career may also be impacted. Interviews are serious matters.

Whatever the investigation, anyone called for interview needs good advice. We have a real depth of experience in this work, and can give you the advice you need. We advise on all types of interview – whether conducted by the police, SFO, FCA, HMRC, CMA, HSE or other enforcement agencies, or by an individual’s own employer or lawyers retained by them.

How we can help

We can assist with:

Interviews under caution

where the person being interviewed is suspected of having committed a crime. For obvious reasons such interviews are high-stakes situations and may have serious consequences for you. You should therefore insist on your right to be accompanied by a legal representative at such an interview. In preparing for it, you will need to consider with your lawyer the extent of any disclosure made available to you and, with your lawyer’s help, to decide whether or not to answer questions, bearing in mind that any statements may be used as evidence in future criminal proceedings. 

Compelled interviews

where the person being interviewed is under a legal duty to provide answers to questions. A large number of investigators have the power to hold a compelled interview, and different investigators use those powers in slightly different ways. But in each case investigators are able to require you to answer questions and to prosecute you if you do not attend the interview, answer their questions or (in the opinion of the investigator) fail to tell the truth. We can liaise with the investigators, help you prepare for the interview and accompany you to it to help ensure that you comply with your legal duties,

Voluntary interviews

where the person invited to be interviewed can decide whether or not to participate. These may arise in the context of an internal investigation or one conducted by an external enforcement agency. Whilst there may be no legal obligation to cooperate, voluntary interviews are not without risk and can have serious consequences: disciplinary action can ensue or evidence can be used in future criminal and regulatory proceedings. We can advise on where your best interests lie and, if you agree to be interviewed, we can help you prepare to ensure that you do as well as possible in the interview.


Our approach

Every interview is different, and the challenges facing each of our clients is unique. We have the skills, knowledge and depth of experience to guide you through all nature of interview requests, the process involved and post-interview considerations.

We can assist with interviews held in person and live interviews conducted on a remote basis.

We act for clients involved in UK-based interviews, as well as interviews requested by enforcement agencies overseas, working with our trusted network of international lawyers as necessary to provide a coordinated approach.

We can assemble a team of lawyers from our Criminal, Regulatory or Employment practices to provide advice tailored to each situation and covering all areas of risk.

Whatever the case, our objective is always to devise the best strategy to protect our clients’ interests.

For more information please contact our specialist investigations team.

Leading practice in the representation of individuals in regulatory investigations or enforcement actions, drawing upon significant strength in employment, criminal and white-collar law to offer a complete service in the area. Highly experienced in cases involving issues such as insider trading and mis-selling of products. Also assists individuals under investigation for alleged market manipulation and anti-competitive behaviour."

Chambers UK 2020 - A Client’s Guide to the UK Legal Profession

Read Louise Hodges' and Caroline Day's Chapter 'Witness Interviews in Internal Investigations: The UK Perspective'  in GIR's Practitioner's Guide to Global Investigations, Fourth Edition

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