Global Investigations and White Collar Defence
Leading advisory team managing the risks associated with investigations and enforcement actions globally
Regulatory and criminal investigations represent some of the most serious threats to any business. And with companies facing greater scrutiny than ever before – from regulators, law enforcement agencies, whistle-blowers, short-sellers, opponents in litigation, and the media – it is a risk that is only increasing. When facing an investigation, an early, strategic and coordinated response is key to achieving the best possible outcome.
Our leading team help clients manage the risk associated with investigations and enforcement actions around the world, advising corporations and individuals on the full range of business crime and other misconduct, including bribery, corruption, fraud, money laundering, market abuse, sanctions and other misconduct. We also advise on compliance to prevent misconduct.
We have successfully handled many of the largest and most complex investigations, including multi-jurisdictional criminal investigations and internal investigations dealing with alleged ethical, ESG and other violations. Much of the teams work high profile and the team is experienced in reputation and crisis management including dealing with, and taking steps to prevent, adverse media.
Our team have a formidable track record in ending criminal and regulatory investigations without prosecution or any action against our clients outside of the media spotlight, and of successfully litigating against law enforcement agencies, including before the UK Supreme Court.
We also have significant experience of brokering negotiated settlements on behalf of our clients with law enforcement agencies, with whom we maintain excellent relationships.
Our global investigations and white collar defence practice includes:
Internal investigations and remediation
Our team have investigated a diverse array of alleged criminal misconduct including bribery, corruption, fraud, sanctions violations, market abuse/insider dealing/spoofing, benchmark manipulation, tax evasion, money laundering, and suspected criminal data protection breaches.
We have also assisted clients in allegations of ethics and ESG violations, and other areas of concern raised by stakeholders including short sellers, customers, auditors, shareholders and others.
We frequently conduct a parallel investigation to any being conducted by law enforcement. This is so that our client’s position on the evidence is fairly and robustly articulated to ensure that any misconception on the part of law enforcement is dispelled. We conduct our work in way which meets our client’s objectives, in compliance with local laws and without cutting across any law enforcement investigation.
Clients frequently ask us to review matters before or where there is no law enforcement interest, to provide proactive advice and remediation of any misconduct.
White-collar criminal defence
We defend companies and individuals that are subject to criminal investigation by all law enforcement agencies.
Our team have a reputation for successfully obtaining the closure of investigations in criminal matters without charge. Where clients seek a pragmatic resolution our team have brokered negotiated settlements with UK/non UK law enforcement agencies.
Our team's white-collar experience includes:
- Representing the first company prosecuted for failing to prevent bribery by the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO)
- Defeating the SFO in the UK Supreme Court, successfully challenging its claimed extraterritorial powers in the context of one of the largest bribery investigations of all time
- Representing institutional clients in 'Operation Spruce', a vast criminal data breach investigation conducted by the UK Information Commissioner's Office
We assist companies in relation to self-reporting misconduct to relevant law enforcement agencies, including advice on whether self-reporting is advisable.
We advise companies and individuals under scrutiny by government tax agencies, including criminal and other investigations.
We frequently advise high profile matters subject to prospective or actual media interest. We provide legal advice and work with PR professionals to protect our client's reputations and have dealt with numerous media publications to ensure that if a story is published, it is not defamatory. Where a defamatory story is published we have a strong record in remedying the position including obtaining the withdrawal of the offending story.
Horizon scanning, compliance reviews and risk assessments
Our experience enables us to help companies identify potential problems before they arise, so that risks can be avoided, mitigated and managed.
We also help clients devise compliance programs and assist with their implementation.