BCL Partners author the England & Wales chapter of ICLG: Corporate Investigations 2024

BCL Partners author the England & Wales chapter of ICLG: Corporate Investigations 2024

BCL partners, Tom McNeill, Richard ReichmanMichael Drury, and John Binns examine some of the common issues in corporate investigations laws and regulations – including internal investigation, self-disclosure to enforcement authorities, investigation process, confidentiality and attorney-client privileges – in England and Wales for International Comparative Legal Guide to Corporate Investigations 2024.

*Here is a short extract from the article. You can read the England and Wales chapter of ICLG: Corporate Investigations 2024 here.

The Decision to Conduct an Internal Investigation

What statutory or regulatory obligations should an entity consider when deciding whether to conduct an internal investigation in your jurisdiction? Are there any consequences for failing to comply with these obligations or with regulatory expectations? Are there any regulatory or legal benefits for conducting an investigation?

Although there are no explicit statutory or regulatory obligations pertaining to internal investigations in England and Wales, it is often in an entity’s best interests to conduct an internal investigation when wrongdoing is suspected, whether this be criminal or regulatory. This will enable an entity to identify at an early stage evidence that might demonstrate if any criminal offences or regulatory breaches have been committed, and to make informed decisions.

An obvious benefit of an internal investigation is that it allows the entity to satisfy itself that it has isolated and dealt with the wrongdoing. Additionally, conducting an internal investigation may help an entity decide whether or not to approach a relevant authority with a view to securing a more favourable outcome than would likely be the case if it were the authorities in the first instance (including by means of a “dawn raid”) that had approached the entity.

*It was first published by ICLG on 12 January 2024. If you wish to read the full guide please visit ICLG website.

Tom McNeill is a partner at BCL Solicitors LLP specialising in business crime and regulatory enforcement.  His work focuses on serious and complex crime, including crisis management, corporate and director liability and corporate investigations.  Tom advises on a broad range of matters including regulatory investigations and prosecutions by the police/CPS, HSE, ORR, Local Authorities, Fire and Rescue Authorities and Environment Agency, and financial crime investigations and prosecutions including by the SFO, NCA, FCA, City of London Police and in overseas jurisdictions.

Richard Reichman is a partner specialising in regulatory investigations and enforcement, corporate crime and financial crime. He is ranked in Chambers UK and The Legal 500. He has extensive experience representing companies and individuals in the most serious, complex and high-profile contentious matters across a broad range of risks. He advises regarding investigations and prosecutions involving offences such as corporate manslaughter, gross negligence manslaughter, health and safety, food safety and hygiene, environmental, fire safety, and product safety. He is frequently involved in significant cases involving ESG compliance issues. He also advises regarding financial offences such as fraud, bribery, insider dealing, market manipulation and money laundering.

Michael Drury is one of the most experienced white-collar lawyers operating in England today, being involved in the field since 1985 and his admission as a barrister (subsequently as a solicitor).  He was a founding member of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in 1988 and is the last of that cadre in full-time practice, afterwards becoming Legal Director at GCHQ, the UK government’s electronic intelligence and security agency, and, for the past 12 years, practising as a partner at BCL Solicitors LLP, where he has been engaged in representing clients investigated by the SFO, FCA, NCA and in overseas jurisdictions.

John Binns is a specialist in proceeds of crime laws, cannabis regulation, sanctions, and tax investigations. He has extensive experience in financial crime, which also involves bribery and corruption, extradition, Interpol, fraud, market abuse, and the conduct of related civil proceedings. He is a prolific writer and speaker on a variety of topics.

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