BCL partners, Tom McNeill, Richard Reichman, Michael 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.