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.
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.