CALL+44(0)845 474 0069
OFFICE HOURSMon - Fri 0900 - 1800
Corporations are being scrutinised today as never before. Public and private companies alike are examined and investigated not only by the U.K. government, but by increasing numbers of foreign government agencies. Private plaintiffs are also filing more and more cases with significant allegations that attempt to call a corporation’s conduct into question. Frequently, corporate scrutiny focuses on compliance issues: that is, whether companies comply with the legal obligations to run the business ethically around the world. Corporations are clearly facing significant challenges.
There is a path, though, for corporations to best protect themselves in the harsh glare of the spotlight on compliance issues. That is: When a company is confronted with evidence or allegations of potential wrongdoing, the company is well served to respond deliberately and thoughtfully by making sure that it understands all the facts. If the facts evidence a violation of policy—or worse, of law—the company should respond promptly with appropriate discipline, remediation, and (in certain cases) perhaps even discussions with the government.
Under the right circumstances, conducting an effective corporate internal investigation protected by the lawyer/client privilege can benefit the company in several ways:
• Revealing all the relevant facts so that management and/or the board can make a fully informed decision as to how best to proceed
• Stopping the conduct to prevent further violations
• Insulating management and/or the board against allegations of complicity
• Promoting a culture of transparency and compliance throughout the organisation.
Each of these benefits can be achieved if the investigation is well designed with a specific work plan that addresses document collection and review, witness interviews, careful analysis, and periodic reporting in the format that best serves the client’s interests.