Business crime investigations cover a broad spectrum of activities including tax investigation, money laundering, Health and Safety incidents, asset tracking and professional standards investigations and involve many aspects of a business.
In a climate of increasing demand for better corporate responsibility and ethical behaviour, we have seen regulatory bodies that exist become more active. The Serious Fraud Office, HMRC, Health and Safety Executive, FSA, to name just a few, all have far-reaching powers to investigate and prosecute behaviour and activity that isn’t aligned with the vast amount of governing legislation that exists. These cases are usually very complex and the penalties often severe.
However, it is the responsibility of business’ and individuals to be aware of the rules that govern them, and while most are very conscious of how they operate, it is possible to find yourself unintentionally falling foul of the law and subject to a legal investigation.
What happens during an investigation?
Any business crime investigation can have a major impact on a business and its employees as well as an individual being investigated. If you find yourself involved in any investigation you should expect:
- An extensive investigation as the powers given to regulatory authorities enables them to investigate widely, which means access to your business, documentation, employees, equipment or other areas integral to the investigation
- Disruption to business that makes it challenging for you to continue as normal and puts staff under pressure
- Raids on business and personal properties, with equipment and documents removed to assist with the investigations
- Assets may be frozen while investigations are ongoing
That’s why you need specialist legal support
In any business crime investigation, it is essential you have the support of specialist financial crime lawyers or business crime solicitors. Their experience and expertise in managing these cases and dealing with the authorities enable them to provide legal advice at every stage, including:
- Attending interviews under caution, advising and supporting clients during these times
- Advising on warrants and their legalities
- Working with investigating authorities with insight of how they operate, the obligations they work under and the extent of their powers and responsibilities
- Assisting with plea bargaining
- Support during any criminal trials
- Managing any media attention provoked by the case
If you find yourself under a business crime or regulatory investigation, you should contact financial crime lawyers as soon as possible. GSC solicitors are a business crime and fraud specialists and their business crime, and fraud solicitors can offer support and advice on anything from:
- Fraud & Asset tracing
- Money laundering
- Restraint, Confiscation and Forfeiture
- Tax investigations and Litigation
- Bribery and Corruption (see related article June 2010)
- Insider dealing, market abuse and mis-selling
- Extradition proceedings
- Professional disciplinary issues
- Food Safety and Environmental Health.
If you have a matter you need to discuss in confidence with one or our team of specialists, contact GSC Solicitors without delay.