Regulatory Investigations & Prosecutions
Good corporate governance requires the effective management of regulatory risks from board level down. This means keeping abreast of legislative change and ensuring all relevant compliance policies and practices, reinforced by comprehensive training, are kept up to date.
Effective compliance does not mean zero failure. Even the best-run companies breach regulations. No organisation is immune from human error or oversight and breach is invariably a criminal offence.
Navigating a business through a regulatory investigation can be a minefield. Dawn raids, interviews under caution or compulsion, production notices and formal notices prohibiting trade or imposing conditions on how you trade are just some of the tools available to regulatory authorities. Often individuals in the business – officer, managers or other staff – will be under investigation as well as the company. The process is daunting and time consuming. Investigations can go on for months, or even years. In addition to criminal or civil penalties, businesses risk reputational and commercial damage.
Our expert Regulatory Investigations & Prosecutions Team has extensive experience advising clients in connection with regulatory investigations and defending civil and criminal proceedings brought by various authorities including the police, Serious Fraud Office, DTI, OFT, HM Revenue and Customs, the Health and Safety Executive, Food Standards Agency, Trading Standards and the Financial Conduct Authority.
We provide cost effective, hands-on investigation management from the outset. Because a crisis can happen at any time of day we are available 24 hours via designated contact numbers. Our specialist Team can be on site within a short time of a raid, accident or similar incident to help manage the situation and limit damage effectively. This is a critical time when cool objective thinking is essential to protect our client’s position. Ground lost carelessly or unthinkingly at this stage can rarely be recovered.
Our aim is to take the pressure off by helping you deal with staff and affected third parties, liaising and negotiating with regulatory authorities and coordinating a response to the press where necessary.
Follow-up is likely to include an exhaustive investigation on our client’s behalf, conducted under legal professional privilege, to establish the facts and relevant liability. If the authorities cannot be persuaded not to pursue formal enforcement proceedings, evidence obtained will be used to mount a robust defence or build a cogent case in mitigation.
We are proactive but flexible and pride ourselves on our down to earth approach. Listening to our clients’ needs and working closely in partnership with them is vital to help us deliver the best possible outcome for their business.