Internal Investigations

Kingsley Napley is listed in the Global Investigations Review GIR100 2019, the annual guide to the world’s leading cross-border investigations practices.

A company might need to commission an internal investigation for any number of reasons - a whistle-blower report, a due diligence exercise or information received from a third party for example.  Whatever triggers the internal investigation, it must be tailored to the scope of the problem and the needs of the company, including not least its need to maintain its day-to day business.

We have extensive experience of this kind of work, having conducted internal investigations for sovereign wealth funds, financial institutions, listed companies, growing businesses and charities on matters ranging from concerns of economic crime and sexual misconduct in the workplace to human rights abuses.

We understand that our clients need to know not just what happened but how they should react to it. There might be criminal, regulatory, civil or employment issues to address. Reputation management action may be necessary. Whatever the range of issues to deal with, we have the specialist teams to assist.

By appointing us, clients can be assured of an expertly-managed process that delivers not just the information the company needs but a clear and strategically-sound guide through the complex issues arising from it.

How we can help

  • We advise on the scope of the work that needs to be conducted, and the way that the investigation should be structured in order to ensure confidence in its outcome.
  • We manage the data collection exercise, whether the data is kept in hard or soft copy and whether it is stored here or overseas. In so doing, we ensure data is collected in a forensically sound manner, it is handled in compliance with data protection laws and that, throughout the process, legal professional privilege is protected. We have the relationships with overseas lawyers to make certain that all angles are covered and with data forensics professionals to secure the reliability of the exercise.
  • We plan and conduct interviews, whether they are conducted face-to-face or, in this post-Covid world, remotely.
  • Where there is a law enforcement or regulatory nexus, we manage the relationship with the authorities. We have long experience of doing so, particularly where the SFO or FCA are concerned. If the investigation has attracted the attention of overseas law enforcement, such as the US DoJ or the French PNF, we can leverage our excellent contacts with leading overseas lawyers to ensure these relationships are expertly managed.
  • Throughout the process we are sensitive to the context in which the company operates and are quick to identify any wider issues that arise.

Our approach

It is essential to our clients – and so to us - that the internal investigations we conduct produce robust and credible findings. Only in this way can our clients take properly-informed decisions about how to proceed. If that entails co-operating with the authorities then it is all the more important that the investigation’s outcome can stand up to rigorous scrutiny.

Our investigations are led by partners with significant experience of criminal and regulatory investigations, and undertaken by teams put together with the client’s specific needs in mind. Throughout the process the core team is able to call on specialist resources from across the firm or beyond as and when required.

In conducting our investigations, we are conscious of the client’s need to maintain its core business. As such, we aim as far as possible to minimise disruption to day-to-day activities whilst at the same time ensuring that we give the client the right strategic advice at the right time.

Finally, we appreciate how sensitive internal investigations are, and we operate to the highest levels of discretion.

For more information please contact our specialist internal investigations team.

A premier outfit for individuals under regulatory investigation."

Chambers UK 2021

Deep bench of experienced lawyers with an approachable style."

Legal 500 UK 2021

Bright and dedicated lawyers."

Chambers UK 2021

They're one of the firms that is right at the top of the scale. They're very experienced in handling the big cases. They're extremely well resourced and I've never had anything other than a good experience with them."

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

Latest blogs & news

Charities and internal investigations

Charities are not immune to financial crime, fraud or other wrong-doing; there are a number of ways in which charities may be exploited by criminals. 

Insolvency interviews in the context of suspected criminal or regulatory misconduct

Interviews are frequently conducted by office-holders with individuals previously involved with an insolvent company, such as directors and officers, employees, accountants, lawyers and other third parties. Such interviews will often provide key information regarding the company’s trading and dealings and the actions of its directors and employees, thereby assisting office-holders seeking to investigate potential fraud, misfeasance and other forms of misconduct.

SFO v ENRC: what did the Court of Appeal decide and what does it mean for lawyers?

In September 2018, the Court of Appeal handed down its judgment on ENRC’s appeal against Andrews J’s High Court decision in the case of The Director of the Serious Fraud Office v ENRC. The judgment has been praised for going some way to restore sense and order to the protection of legal professional privilege.

Tackling illicit finance: lawyers under the spotlight

At the end of last year the National Crime Agency published its annual report on Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) for 2018. Media reporting (such as in the FT, subscription required), on the annual report has focussed, amongst other things, on the relatively small proportion of SARs made by lawyers. Is this a fair criticism and, if so, what is the reason for it?

Search warrants at banks in the UK: what you need to know

Many a CF11 money-laundering reporting officer has watched the police carry his bank's computers away in the knowledge that this will bring its business - or part of it - to a grinding halt. What can a firm do to minimise disruption of this kind and challenge a search warrant? In this blog, Vivien Cochrane takes the compliance officer through the vagaries of British law, with a checklist for action at the end. 

The SFO’s privilege battles reaches the Court of Appeal

ENRC’s highly anticipated challenge to Andrews J’s High Court decision in the case of SFO v ENRC was recently heard over three days in the Court of Appeal.

Litigation privilege: the Court of Appeal endorses ENRC

In another recent case relating to the circumstances required to successfully establish a claim to litigation privilege (see Philip Salvesen’s blog on the case of Bilta & Ors v RBS & Anor [2017] EWHC 3535 (Ch), the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) has followed the approach adopted in SFO v ENRC [2017] 1 WLR 4205 in ruling that a statement made by an employee to his company’s solicitors as part of their investigation into a death at work was not covered by privilege.

Inferring Advice: A helpful clarification on the extent of privilege

The recent case of Edwardian Group Ltd v Singh [2017] EWHC 2805 (Ch)(“Edwardian Group”) has clarified the extent to which privilege can be claimed over documents in which legal advice is not explicitly stated but can be inferred. At a time when a string of recent authorities have appeared to limit the scope of privilege (Director of the SFO v ENRC [2017] EWHC 1017 and RBS Rights Issue in particular), it is reassuring to see a decision which reinforces the fundamental protection provided by privilege and offers assistance to a party wishing to assert a claim. 

Privilege, Confidentiality and the Challenge of Modern Technology

The question of when, and in what circumstances, a document capable of enjoying the protection of legal professional privilege will be said to have lost its confidentiality such that privilege cannot apply has arisen in two cases in separate jurisdictions in recent weeks.

Brexit and the general election – UK misses implementation deadline for European Investigations Order Directive

Debate during the 2017 general election campaign has, predictably, centred on Brexit. The UK is scheduled to leave the EU by April 2019. However, until we leave, the UK remains a Member State of the EU and is therefore subject to the obligations of EU law and the acquis communautaire. One of the fundamental principles of EU law is the requirement placed on EU Member States to implement Directives. Ordinarily, a Directive must be provided for in domestic law by a Member State by a specified date. It would appear that thanks, at least in part, to Theresa May’s decision to call a snap general election, the Directive on the European Investigation Order (“the Directive”) has not been implemented by the UK within the prescribed time period. In this blog, we explore what has (not) happened. 

Strengthening accountability in banking: FCA issues final rules for UK branches of foreign banks

With the advent of the Senior Managers and Certification Regimes soon upon us, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued a policy statement that sets out the final rules for the application of the new accountability framework for individuals working in the UK branches of overseas banks (incoming branches). Accordingly the position in relation to the application of the Senior Managers Regime (SMR), Certification Regime (CR) and Conduct Rules to incoming branches and their staff is now clear. 

Lessons learned from the first resolution under s7 of the Bribery Act

More than four years since the offence of failure to prevent bribery was introduced through s7 of the Bribery Act 2010, the UK’s first s7 resolution has taken place in Scotland. Following a self-report in June 2015, the Crown Office has agreed a civil recovery order with Brand-Rex Ltd, a company that develops cabling solutions for network infrastructure and industrial applications. The self-report related to an independent installer who had passed on to a customer the benefit of an incentive scheme which was aimed at Brand-Rex’s installers and distributors.

Corporate liability extension rejected: “failure to prevent” offence confined to the Bribery Act

The government has announced that it will not proceed with the proposed extension of the corporate criminal offence of failure to prevent bribery under s7 of the Bribery Act (“the s7 offence”) to encompass a wider range of economic crime. It has also shelved its review of whether current rules on corporate criminal liability should be widened to make it easier to convict companies who commit wrongdoing. 

The Yates memo: will it make a difference to prosecutions in the UK?

The US Department of Justice (“DoJ”) has issued a memorandum to Federal Prosecutors on Individual Accountability for Corporate Wrongdoing (“the Yates memo”). It is widely regarded as the DoJ’s response to criticism that they tend to prosecute companies rather than individuals in contrast to the criticism often levelled at their English counterparts at the SFO.

Anti-Money Laundering: under review

The Government’s latest step in its Cutting Red Tape review programme focuses on the regime to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.  Louise Hodges looks at the review and how preparations for the Fourth Money Laundering Directive are to be set in train. 

Fraudsters on the inside

There has long been a call to make the reporting of fraud a compulsory requirement, akin to the suspicious activity reports regime in money laundering, so that we have a full picture of the amount of fraud that goes on. 

FCA targets financial crime in new business plan

The FCA has published its 2015/16 business plan, a weighty document setting out its strategy and priorities for the next 12 months...

Banking Regulation: Senior Managers and Certification Regime – timetable announced plus extension to include UK branches of foreign institutions

A written statement by the Economic Secretary on 3 March 2015 announced the timetable for the introduction of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) under the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013. The Government also announced that following a period of consultation it had decided to extend the SM&CR to UK branches of foreign institutions.

Senior Managers Regime: Tougher regulation of senior bankers and non-executive directors (NEDs) confirmed

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) published a paper 24 February 2015 entitled “Approach to non-executive directors in banking and Solvency II firms & Application of the presumption of responsibility to Senior Managers in banking firms” (referred to here as “the New Consultation”). 

Publicity Order and prison sentence in latest corporate manslaughter case

On 3 February 2015 Cumbrian building firm Peter Mawson Ltd became the latest company to be convicted of corporate manslaughter. The conviction followed the death of Jason Pennington who was killed in 2011 when he fell through a skylight onto concrete. The company, which pleaded guilty to the offence, was fined £220,000, as well as costs of £31,500.

Internal Investigations Insights

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Blogs

The SFO’s privilege battles reaches the Court of Appeal

Litigation privilege: the Court of Appeal endorses ENRC

Inferring Advice: A helpful clarification on the extent of privilege

Privilege, Confidentiality and the Challenge of Modern Technology

Internal investigations and legal professional privilege: an increasingly tricky area

Reducing sentences for guilty pleas – a new proposed Guideline

Spotlight on worldwide corruption

Co-operation in competition – will we see more from the CMA?

New call by the SFO’s Director for US style powers to punish companies in the future

Financial crime: compliance challenges for 2016 and beyond

Cyber-crime: 2015 – a year in review

Strengthening accountability in banking: FCA issues final rules for UK branches of foreign banks

First deferred prosecution agreement approved

Bringing justice - private prosecutions for companies and individuals

Corporate manslaughter, health and safety and food safety sentencing guidelines published

Whistleblowing in banks and insurers: FCA and PRA confirmation of their new rules

Good news, bad news - costs in private prosecutions

Lessons learned from the first resolution under s7 of the Bribery Act

Corporate liability extension rejected: “failure to prevent” offence confined to the Bribery Act

Rugby World Cup: tackling corruption

The Yates memo: will it make a difference to prosecutions in the UK?

Anti-Money Laundering: under review

No place to hide: HMRC shines a light on tax havens

Is the FCA’s use of skilled persons reports on the wane?

Care Home charged with Corporate Manslaughter

FCA targets financial crime in new business plan

Banking Regulation: Senior Managers and Certification Regime – timetable announced plus extension to include UK branches of foreign institutions

Senior Managers Regime: Tougher regulation of senior bankers and non-executive directors (NEDs) confirmed

Personal commitments: Benefits and risks of signing an attestation with the FCA

Publicity Order and prison sentence in latest corporate manslaughter case

Why every company should have a sound understanding of legal privilege issues

Compensation under cross undertaking in damages: principles applied by High Court

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