Our market-leading Investigations Group provides a comprehensive service to organisations that need to carry out internal investigations or that need support in handling investigations including any subsequent action by external authorities. Investigations may be business critical and are often highly-pressured, cross-border and sensitive. The group has substantial experience in handling the wide range of legal, regulatory and strategic issues to which such investigations give rise. We have substantial resources across the network and strategic partnerships in jurisdictions where we do not have offices.
Our special investigation services include:
- It is critical that the scope and structure of the investigation is clear from the outset, with clear reporting lines and a clear purpose. Our experience means that we are able to help ensure investigations are structured so as to minimise the possibility that additional legal and reputational risk is created by the investigation process, and to ensure that investigations are conducted as efficiently as possible.
- Document management is key to any investigation. We advise on steps that can be taken to preserve documents, and to reduce the risk that damaging documents are created. The group includes leading experts on questions of legal professional privilege.
- We provide flexible support on document review exercises, partnering with clients or with third party providers as appropriate. We regularly advise on steps to ensure that the collation, movement and review of documents is carried out in a way that is compliant with data protection and other local laws.
- In the event that documents are required to be produced to authorities, we advise on compliance with and (where appropriate) challenges to production orders. We are also experienced at dealing with mutual legal assistance issues.
- We advise on and carry out interviews of witnesses, whether employees or third parties. If interviews are to be carried out by authorities, we provide advice on preparation for and the approach to such interviews.
- We have leading employment law experts who work with organisations to ensure that investigations are carried out in a way that takes account of local employment laws, and who advise on the interaction between the investigation and any consequential disciplinary action that may be required.
- We advise on and prepare reports regarding the outcome of investigations, being mindful of the different purposes for which the report may be required.
- Our team comprises experts across our international offices, and we have substantial experience of the complexities and challenges of handling cross-border investigations involving multiple agencies. We regularly work with other law firms, forensic accountants and contractors to provide the comprehensive international support that such cases often demand.
- We understand the regulatory environment in which our clients operate. Many of our team have spent time working for regulators, and we have substantial experience of advising on self-reporting to authorities and advising on strategy in handling regulatory investigations.
- We have a strong corporate crime capacity across our offices, covering ‘sharp end’ representation in the face of criminal investigations and prosecutions as well as compliance advice to avoid such problems arising.
- Our experience covers investigations triggered by a wide range of issues, including whistleblowing by employees, third party complaints, internal audit reviews, civil litigation intervention by authorities.
- We adopt a flexible approach, partnering as appropriate with clients and other advisers on different aspects of an investigation to ensure an efficient approach. We understand the need to manage tight timetables and cost limitations.
- Advising a leading international bank in connection with an investigation by international regulators.
- Acting for an investment bank in relation to a notice to produce information, served by the Serious Fraud Office following a request for mutual assistance by an overseas prosecutor. We successfully applied for judicial review of the request on the grounds that the requesting agency overseas had no authority to make the request.
- Handling a key investigation for a leading international bank, involving the FCA, SEC and Federal Reserve. This was highly sensitive work, involving significant reputational issues for the client, making it one of the highest priority items for the board.
- Internal fraud investigation of an international investment bank in Hong Kong and the UK: proceedings in the UK, obtaining freezing orders and search orders, tracing funds through several jurisdictions and advice on money laundering and enforcement.
Asset Management & Investment Funds
- Undertaking an investigation for an asset manager in relation to a series of investments made for clients by an individual portfolio manager. This was a highly sensitive matter and involved possible regulatory consequences and investor complaints
Energy and Infrastructure
- Representing an international company on one of the first investigations in France regarding corrupt practices overseas.
- Largest criminal investigation in The Netherlands covering corruption, money laundering and other criminal activity in seven major real estate projects: we were instructed after raids at 54 premises across three jurisdictions by 600 investigators.
- Advising a multinational company on responding to a Section 2 Notice from the Serious Fraud Office in connection with its Oil for Food investigation, including conducting extensive document retrieval and review work, dealing with complex issues of legal privilege and separately conducting an internal investigation.
- Advising a large pharmaceutical in an ongoing investigation performed by the DDPP (“direction départementale de la protection des populations”) concerning alleged improper payments made to healthcare professionals.
- Advising a French pharmaceutical company in relation to major product liability litigation, involving thousands of indemnity claims and over 3,000 claims announced before the criminal courts. This makes it one of the largest-scale product liability cases in French legal history.
- Advising a multinational company on pre-deal M&A due diligence and anti-bribery and money laundering issues.
Technology, Media & Telecommunications
- Representing a high profile individual involved in the investigation into telephone hacking by the press on issues of criminal law and in relation to the ensuing Leveson Inquiry.
- Advising on a major European Commission cartel investigation in relation to LCD’s.
- Carrying out a large-scale compliance investigations, involving self-reporting to criminal authorities.