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Regulatory & Investigations

Running a business is becoming ever more complex and concerns may be raised about things which are unexpected and potentially damaging. Addressing these issues effectively when they first arise can save time, resources and reduce the risk of them turning into protracted problems.

We are experienced in dealing with regulatory investigations involving advertising, consumer, retail and media issues. These include complaints, investigations and civil and criminal proceedings threatened or brought by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Trading Standards Officers (TSO), Information Commissioners Office (ICO), Ofcom, Ofgem, The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), Phone Paid Services Authority, The Groceries Code Adjudicator, The Charities Commission, The Electoral Commission, The Office of the Adjudicator (ITV contracts rights renewal), the Football Association, the Serious Fraud Office and other regulators impacting on creative, media, retail and brand businesses as well as sports clubs and players.

We can also assist with internal investigations arising from issues such as responding to confidentiality and data breaches, carrying out an independent review and then working with our client to take whatever follow up steps are necessary, including disciplinary matters and notification of regulators.

We advise our clients how to avoid regulatory interventions, and when they do occur the optimal strategy for dealing with them, to bring about the best possible outcome. We can also assist with any related reputation management issues. We have an experienced in-house criminal practitioner who works alongside our litigators, advertising, competition, data, media, sports and employment lawyers as part of a co-ordinated regulatory investigations team.

We are able to advise on dawn raids by regulators, particularly in relation to competition/anti-trust and bribery investigations, including conducting ‘mock dawn raids’ to ensure that clients are prepared to deal with such an eventuality if it arises.

Recent examples of work:

  • advised a well know online retailer in its successful defence of a trading standards prosecution
  • advised a major online platform in dealing with a CMA investigation
  • advised a major high street retailer in relation to a competition investigation by the OFT (now the CMA)
  • advised a major utility company in its dealings with Ofcom
  • advised a well-known businessman on an IPSO complaint
  • advised on the judicial review of the ASA decision to publish an adjudication against a major furniture retailer
  • advised a high-profile lobbying group in compliance issues with the Electoral Commission
  • advised concerns about a potential fraud involving both employees and contractors within a law firm

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