Kingsley Napley made its reputation on its outstanding criminal defence work and our modern white-collar practice is built on those foundations.
Whether advising corporates or individuals caught up in criminal or regulatory investigations to conducting internal investigations for companies or advising individuals affected by internal investigations, we help our clients steer a course through the legal, regulatory and reputational challenges such situations present.
From suspected fraud, corruption, tax evasion or regulatory breaches to allegations of sexual misconduct or human rights abuse, our broadly-based criminal and regulatory practice gives us the experience needed to provide our clients with the best strategically-sound and practical advice.
It is often a business, rather than the police, SFO or FCA, that begins an investigation. The internal investigation has become an increasingly common feature of the UK corporate landscape.
A whistleblower alert, a discrepancy thrown up by internal audit or a query raised by a supplier or customer may each point to potential criminal activity or a regulatory breach, meaning that an organisation needs to discover the facts.
How this is handled can have significant legal, financial and reputational consequences. We are adept at managing all aspects of an internal investigation – from agreeing its necessary scope to managing the technical and legal pitfalls of data collection and then conducting interviews, whether in person or remotely. We can also give you the advice you need on whether and, if so, when to report to relevant authorities and we have the experience to help you manage the resolution stage.
We can assist with discreet, focused exercises to large-scale and high-profile international investigations.
Investigations into corporates raise complex questions of criminal law and regulation, and present the company with a raft of commercial, employment and reputational issues to confront. Drawing from across the firm, we have the skills and experience to provide the company with the advice it needs to manage the situation in the round.
Unlike individuals, companies can sometimes resolve criminal investigations into financial matters and avoid a conviction by way of a deferred prosecution agreement. Our lawyers have negotiated such agreements, and we can advise you on how best to secure one if that is in your company’s best interests.
Individuals caught up in investigations also require expert advice before they respond to requests by their employers or investigative authorities for the provision of information through interview.
Whether being called as a suspect or witness, it is essential to have advice from specialist advisers to protect your interests whatever the wider context.
Our lawyers have advised in hundreds of interviews on a myriad of matters. From investigations into #MeToo issues to suspected financial irregularities, we can offer expert advice on the complex issues that frequently arise.
DAWN RAIDS AND SEARCH AND SEIZURE
The first indication of a criminal investigation can be a so-called dawn raid, where the police or other enforcement agency officials arrive at domestic and business addresses, often first thing in the morning. Officers may be there to arrest individuals or to search for, seize and retain material relevant to their investigation.
We are used to dealing with unexpected and rapidly-developing situations and can advise while the raid is on-going, on the lawfulness of the action and possible legal challenges, as well as on the progression of issues after the event.
COMPELLED INTERVIEWS AND INTERVIEWS UNDER CAUTION
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.
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.
No situation is ever the same yet we have the skills to assist. Whether matters are high profile or conducted behind closed doors, we apply our experience and judgment to navigate difficult issues involving potential criminal behaviour or regulatory breach.
We provide strategic and pragmatic criminal defence advice and can bring in colleagues from other departments at the firm as necessary to ensure employment, regulatory and reputation management issues are fully considered and all areas of risk are covered.
We also have a trusted network of international lawyers whom we can call on and work closely with on cross-border matters.