It is becoming more prevalent that Solicitors are being instructed to conduct internal investigations into companies, NHS Trusts, and Local Authorities. There is pressure for businesses and other institutions to conduct and bear the costs of an internal investigation.
There are several reasons why a business may consider an internal investigation. The business may take this course of action as a preventative step to safe guard against any malpractice, negligence, HMRC investigations, fraud, corporate manslaughter, gross negligence manslaughter or regulatory breaches such as health and safety, FCA or environmental.
Internal investigations can also be conducted after an incident has occurred. For example an NHS Trust may wish to instruct a solicitors firm to conduct an internal investigation after a death of a patient where an allegation of negligence has been made. The Directors may decide that it is pertinent to instruct solicitors to protect the Trust against allegations of corporate manslaughter or its staff against gross negligence manslaughter.
An internal investigation could be used to help avoid an investigation by an external government agency; these may include the SFO, FCA, Trading Standards, Environmental Agency, HSE, HMRC, amongst others. External investigations can be extremely disruptive to a business and its staff members. It can impact on the profitability of the company and potentially harm the businesses reputation.
HOW WE CAN HELP
• Conduct a full investigation into the businesses procedures and protocols which are in place when dealing with critical incidents.
• Acting as a conduit between the business and the regulators.
• Establishing whether there has been any breach of any regulations or criminal offences.
• Providing advice on how to deal with breaches of the law and/or amending procedures and protocols.
• Assessing whether there are any financial irregularities or fraud being committed which may be having a detrimental effect on the business i.e. fraudulent activity by staff members or other third parties.
If you require the expertise of Richardson Lissack to conduct an internal investigation into your business then please do not hesitate to contact us.