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Inquiries and investigations

The international Inquiries and Investigations team is made up of over 200 lawyers worldwide and is able to mobilise dedicated resource on a scale, and at a speed, which few can match.

Our clients include financial institutions, corporates and public bodies, and our work includes internal investigations and self-reporting, collation of evidence and document production, inquiries led by external authorities and defence of clients in consequential criminal and civil proceedings. We also provide a suite of tailored advice on related issues such as compliance, risk and reputational management. We investigate allegations of human rights abuses and advise on the inter relationships between domestic and international law.

This holistic approach, combined with our multi-jurisdictional, multi-discipline offering, allows us to deliver cost effective and tailored solutions, whilst providing you with the resource you would expect from one of the world’s biggest law firms.

Inquries and investagtions legal services in the UK

Inquiries and investigations - experience

Our recent inquiries and investigations experience includes:

Public bodies

Our inquiries and investigations team comprises hugely experienced lawyers dedicated to clients in the public sector. We have unparalleled experience of acting in high profile governmental inquiries, including matters of international security. We have acted as solicitors to the inquiry in the largest inquiries conducted in the UK, with the role of collating, preparing and managing the relevant evidence for all interested parties; these inquiries include the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, the Shipman Inquiry, the Rosemary Nelson Inquiry and the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry.

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We also act to protect our clients who are asked to appear before a government inquiry or a government select committee. We have acted for the Metropolitan Police Authority (MOPAC) in the Leveson inquiry. We acted for senior police officers in proceedings in France relating to the death of Lady Diana. We have acted for clients in child abuse inquiries, health inquiries, ecoli inquiries and transport inquiries.

We advise international governments on issues such as governance, justice systems, the principle of ‘Complementarity' and the investigation of alleged human rights abuses. We advised the Government of Sudan on international law issues arising out of the ICC investigations into Darfur, including advising at the UN General Assembly. We also advise on reputation management issues and the steps appropriate to influence international opinion, in conjunction with specialist PR advisers where appropriate. This includes advising on human rights issues, and judicial training.

Corporate and financial institutions

Regulatory investigations and enforcement

We guide clients through the self-reporting process, reviews by skilled persons, back book reviews and representation before regulatory disciplinary tribunals across the globe. Typical issues include conduct of business failings, principles breaches, systems and controls irregularities and personal liability on the part of those in senior management functions.

Financial crime and market abuse

We advise institutions, corporates and individuals in a variety of different situations including whistleblowing, suspicious transaction reporting, anti-money laundering, investment fraud, data security, insider dealing and market manipulation.

Civil fraud and asset tracing

We have helped some of the world’s biggest companies investigate and uncover fraudulent activity, and to freeze, trace and recover assets around the globe. Our work typically involves the mobilisation of substantial international resource, obtaining worldwide freezing orders and pursuing proceedings to seek evidence and obtain restitution from those unjustly enriched, or caught up in the fraudulent activity.

Bribery and corruption

We advise multi-national companies on issues of compliance to ensure conformity with applicable laws and industry best practices and conduct internal investigations (often on a cross-border basis) acting on information received from employees and third parties alleging malpractice. We also defend corporates, and their directors and officers, in connection with prosecutions arising under bribery and corruption legislation.

Criminal investigations and inquiries

We represent senior office holders, financial institutions and companies facing investigation or prosecution by the SFO, FSA, US SEC, US DOJ and other prosecuting authorities or bodies of inquiry, and advise on all aspects of the procedure including discrete issues such as responding to disclosure notices, interview under compulsion and provision of evidence.

Competition and anti-trust

Our competition specialists advise major corporates and financial institutions in connection with competition investigations, dawn raids, requests for assistance and related internal investigations. We regularly defend clients in the context of unannounced inspections from the European Commission and from national competition authorities, including sector regulators with concurrent powers.

Tax investigations

Global business is faced with an increasingly aggressive approach to tax avoidance. We advise clients in connection with requests for assistance and formal investigations initiated by HMRC and related authorities involving issues such as sophisticated avoidance and trading structures, financial products, tax arbitrage and transactional activity (such as M&A). We also advise on all aspects of the FATCA regime.

Reputation and risk management

We help our clients manage reputational risk and our rapid response team regularly secures injunctive relief (often across international borders) in cases of defamation, breach of confidentiality and intrusion of privacy. We work proactively with clients to help them develop systems and controls to manage risk more effectively, and to implement processes and project management techniques (including our award winning RAPID resolution toolkit) to ensure problems can be dealt with effectively and on a cost-efficient basis.

Compliance, corporate culture and ethics

We work with clients to help them meet their regulatory requirements and demonstrate the highest level of ethical conduct. We also advise clients on how to meet regulatory expectations around corporate culture and indicators in policies, procedures and business models which are likely to attract regulatory scrutiny. We have also have received a number of innovation awards for our ethical tools such as anti-bribery@work, ethics@work and the Competition Law Online Toolkit.