Criminal Investigations & Prosecutions
Raids and search warrants
"Corker Binning is a truly exceptional firm."
THE LEGAL 500 2021
An unannounced visit from an investigator is distressing, intrusive and an unwelcome distraction to the subject’s business and/or or personal life. Our lawyers are well-versed in the various powers available to law enforcement authorities to execute search warrants and are able to attend and supervise searches 24 hours a day.
A wide range of law enforcement bodies may search premises and seize documents or electronic records under the authority of a warrant granted by a court or compel inspection using other statutory powers. Whether it is the police, FCA, SFO, ICO, NCA or HMRC, our lawyers have unparalleled experience responding to compulsory inspections or search and seizure warrants.
In any situation where you are faced with investigators seeking to search or obtain documents, information or answers to questions, you should immediately seek legal advice. Our experience in this area includes preparing guidance for businesses to use in case of an anticipated or suspected search (so called ‘dawn raid guidance’) as well as advising on press, client and staff relations in the aftermath of a search. We are able to attend and supervise searches, challenge their legal basis and our expertise in criminal investigations enables us to handle the ensuing investigations on our clients’ behalf.
If you are visited by an investigative agency ring 0207 353 6000 (24 hours a day). Most agencies are not required to wait until lawyers arrive. Bear in mind the following guidance:
- Do not disclose confidential documents or information unless required to by law;
- Keep a record of what has been done including a note of timings;
- Do not obstruct the investigators;
- Do not allow them to exclude you from your premises unless there is good reason that to do so would interfere with their search.