Business Crime & Fraud
Corporate internal investigations
“Corker Binning has consolidated its position as a leading criminal and regulatory litigation firm.”
CHAMBERS UK 2020
The discovery that criminal activity or other misconduct may have been taking place within your organisation is one which can have huge ramifications in commercial and reputational terms.
The right response requires a considered approach to the problem so that the solution – and any subsequent investigation – is both proportionate to the particular circumstances involved and avoids making the situation worse than it needs to be.
At Corker Binning we have extensive experience of conducting focussed internal investigations for companies using a tightly structured team drawing, when required, on the best skills available from the Bar, forensic accounting and IT, together with other experts such as public relations consultants and foreign lawyers. This range of experience and flexibility to work with other firms, here and abroad, allows us to structure investigation teams carefully to meet the demands of individual cases.
In larger cases, we also work with major international law firms on global investigations, providing independent expertise in complex situations, particularly those concerning the application of English criminal law.
Where criminal activity or other misconduct has taken place within your organisation, it may have been drawn to your attention by a member of your own staff rather than via an outside investigation; alternatively, the information may come from an outside source and there may already have been some publicity. Either way, immediate questions include: what kind of action should be taken? Are there regulatory bodies which need to be informed? Should the employees allegedly involved be dealt with in any way, such as by suspension or summary dismissal? Is there any chance the situation will ‘leak’ into the public domain or to those you deal with commercially? Is a Suspicious Activity Report to the National Crime Agency required? If so, what are the consequences?
The way in which you deal with these questions will have immediate and far-reaching effects, and the answer to them all boils down to the same basic response – take proportionate action to establish exactly what has happened. Getting to the key facts is likely to require a combination of an unbiased external viewpoint and investigative experience.
Whether, as is often the case, an investigation arises as a result of internal concerns, or whether it is in response to inquiries instigated by an external agency such as the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), establishing the facts will involve gathering and analysing evidence in the form of accounts from witnesses and documents, as well as working with in-house auditing or legal teams.
If regulators or prosecutors are already involved or need to be informed, we will liaise with them and conduct any investigation in the appropriate way.
Corker Binning offers carefully targeted advice and assistance in corporate investigations without over-reacting.
- Conducting an internal investigation into high-profile allegations of accounting and invoicing fraud at a multinational corporate group simultaneously under investigation by the SFO (this advice was sought because Corker Binning was “independent” of the corporate’s usual advisors)
- Acting for an international engineering firm to carry out an internal investigation into allegations of attempts made to offer bribes in return for the award of contracts
- Acting alongside a major international law firm in conducting an internal investigation into allegations of fraud and money laundering in the Italian business of a major IT manufacturer
- Carrying out an internal fact-finding investigation into allegations of fraud on behalf of a supplier of pharmaceutical products to the National Health Service