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Internal Investigations

The investigation of potentially non-compliant practices by enterprises is high on the agenda of competent authorities around the globe. Reports of new proceedings being launched appear almost daily. Every company may face allegations. Every company can become the target of a regulatory investigation. Regardless of whether an internal whistleblower files a report or allegations are raised by authorities or third parties, if the situation is not handled properly, companies may suffer not only severe regulatory sanctions (in individual cases in the billions), but also reputational damage, loss of revenue, value and confidence, which could be irreparable at worst.

These risks are intensified by a trend currently seen in the media to seize upon alleged unlawful acts committed by major companies at a very early stage. It is important for board members, managers and in-house counsel to respond properly and swiftly to suspicions of wrongdoing. If there is reason to suspect that potentially illegal or even criminal activities have been carried out in the company, the incidents must be investigated decisively and thoughtfully.

A thorough and swift clarification of the issue will ensure the management's ability to act and remain in the “driver’s seat”. Risks can be assessed and ultimately controlled only when the facts are known. Clarifying suspicions swiftly and comprehensively, identifying a legally sound response strategy and supporting you in its implementation in Germany and abroad – this is what we offer.

Please do not hesitate to contact us.

News & insights

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Publications: 22 OCTOBER 2019

Bank terminates customer relationship without notice for “exceptional circumstances” on suspicion of financial crime and money laundering

The High Court has held that a bank’s right to terminate a customer relationship without notice in “exceptional circumstances” covers a situation in which an authorised payment institution’s accounts have been determined by the bank to be vulnerable to fraud and money laundering. Although this case was decided on its facts, it will be a welcome judgment for banks seeking to take a robust approach to preventing financial crime and mitigating money laundering risk: N v The Royal Bank of Scotland [2019] EWHC 1770 Comm

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Coloured wool

Publications: 22 OCTOBER 2019

Fair corporate criminal liability trial despite absence of company's directing mind and will

The Court of Appeal has refused to grant a company leave to appeal its conviction for conspiracy to corrupt, notwithstanding that the directors who constituted the company's directing mind were not present at the trial and did not give oral evidence: Regina v Alstom Network UK Ltd [2019] EWCA Crim 1318

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Publications: 28 AUGUST 2019

New German act on corporate sanctions and internal investigations taking shape

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Publications: 11 OCTOBER 2018

Internal investigations documents seised in lawful law firm raid

The much publicised raid of U.S. law firm Jones Day’s Munich office and the seizure of documents relating to VW’s internal investigation by prosecutors in an investigation of Audi AG were legal, according to German courts. A constitutional complaint by the law firm, its client (VW) and individual German Jones Day lawyers has recently failed. The rulings highlight the (now familiar) tension in a corporate wanting to carry out an internal investigation, with external legal assistance, without fear of the internal investigation documents being disclosed to investigators: Federal Constitutional Court, orders dated 27 June 2018, file numbers 2 BvR 1405/17, 2 BvR 1780/17, 2 BvR 1562/17, 2 BvR 1287/17, 2 BvR 1583/17.

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Investigations Insight

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A&O's blog highlighting the current issues

Focusing on the latest trends, risks and developments in business crime and financial services investigations.

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