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.
Disclosure in English litigation: a sea change is coming09 January 2018
English rules on disclosure (‘discovery’ in many jurisdictions) are set for a major overhaul. Draft rules were published in November 2017. Once approved by the Civil Procedure Rules Committee, the resulting draft is intended to be introduced as part of a pilot scheme lasting 2 years, potentially beginning in April 2018 and running in the Business and Property Courts. This will cover virtually all High Court litigation. It will not be optional.
Erosion of privilege – Law Society seeks to intervene08 January 2018
The Law Society is applying to intervene in the upcoming appeal of the landmark privilege decision in Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) v Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation Limited (“ENRC”).
Use of disclosed documents to threaten new proceedings was a breach of court rules and may amount to a contempt of court by the solicitor and client12 December 2017
The Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) provide that using documents disclosed in existing proceedings (except for the specific purposes allowed) breach the rules. CPR 31.22 provides various exceptions to when a document disclosed in a set of proceedings may be used. Any use outside of the rules could also amount to a contempt of court. Both the client who relied on the solicitor’s advice and the solicitor may be equally vulnerable to the contempt proceedings where there is no evidence of deliberate or reckless misconduct by the solicitor.
Enforcing arbitral awards in England & Wales12 December 2017
Where a party has obtained a favourable arbitration award in a jurisdiction other than England and Wales and the respondent to those arbitration proceedings has assets in this jurisdiction, the successful party may wish to enforce the arbitration award here. This guide will consider the steps that the successful party must take in order to be able to do so.