Emergency Response & Dawn Raids
Dawn raids are an increasing feature of corporate life and cause disruption and distress to organisations and individuals alike.
The early morning arrival of a team of investigators at an organisation’s premises with a search warrant (or equivalent) will usually be the first time that the organisation is aware that it is under investigation. It may be part of a co-ordinated operation involving the search of other locations, as well as the homes of directors or senior personnel who may, at the same time, be arrested and interviewed under caution.
In the first few hours after a dawn raid, it is vital that the organisation and its employees respond in a way that does not antagonise the investigators while at the same time preserve their legal rights.
The Serious Fraud Office, the European Commission, the Office of Fair Trading, the Financial Conduct Authority and HM Revenue & Customs (to name but a few) all have powers to enter premises to search for and seize material for their investigation. Issues can arise in connection with the scope of the warrant, the seizure of computers and electronic data that might contain both relevant and irrelevant material, the treatment of material that is subject to a claim of legal professional privilege, and the questioning of staff.
BCL has extensive experience of attending dawn raids and advising at the police station when employees are arrested. Where necessary, our lawyers will attend your premises to advise on search procedures and simultaneously, if needed, other members of our team will advise those individuals arrested for interview under caution at the police station.
We respond immediately to protect our client’s interests and to minimise business disruption. We also help with media strategy to avoid reputation damage. In addition, we assist organisations to be proactive by putting in place dawn raids procedures and training staff how best to respond.