Investigations & Regulatory
In an increasingly complex legal and regulatory landscape, dealing with the intricacies of workplace and regulatory investigations can be fraught with difficulties. Often conducted under intense scrutiny, allegations need to be carefully and appropriately investigated.
Our Investigations and Regulatory team are highly experienced at conducting investigations, UK or internationally, in a way which ensures that the facts are uncovered and all parties are treated fairly. This helps our clients to ensure that appropriate action can be taken and all risks to the business are identified.
Our team of specialist investigators routinely conduct the full spectrum of workplace investigations, from bullying, misconduct, #metoo or safeguarding, to dishonesty, expenses, financial fraud or data breaches. We are also highly experienced in dealing with regulatory investigations, including those involving advertising, health & safety, consumer, retail, sports and media issues.
Our lawyers have conducted some of the most sensitive, high profile and complex investigations, across a range of sectors; from professional and financial services to media and sport. These investigations can be undertaken on an open or a legally privileged basis.
We conduct investigations without fear or favour, building trust with all parties and delicately managing the human elements at play. Uniquely, our team consists of expert lawyers, HR professionals and trained mental health first aiders working seamlessly together to manage all aspects of the investigation and to ensure a proportionate response. We are also able to use experienced HR consultants to act as an extension of your team, managing issues of capacity and keeping costs down and, in circumstances where your own HR Director is too close to the allegations, we can leverage our in-house HR Director to work with you.
Our work includes interviewing witnesses, locating and collating documents and other evidence, working with forensic experts, and preparing written statements. We then prepare detailed investigation reports, which enable your business to determine the way forward with confidence that you have a full grasp of the facts.
We routinely investigate allegations raised against regulated employers and help the business to manage its relationship with the regulator. We ensure that the company’s response to any allegations raised meets the expectations and requirements of its regulators.
We are experienced at dealing with investigations threatened or brought by regulators such as: the Advertising Standards Authority; the Independent Press Standards Organisation; the Information Commissioners Office and many more. We can also assist with any related reputational management issues.
As many businesses look to manage a safe return to the workplace arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, compliance with government, health and safety laws and regulations and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance is more vital then ever. Failure to do so can expose businesses to negligence claim, regulator investigation or criminal prosecution. We can assist with HSE enquiries, investigations and defending prosecutions when facing a health & safety breach.
Our team includes an experienced in-house criminal practitioner who works alongside lawyers specialising in dispute resolution, advertising, competition, data, media, sports, employment, and partnership law as part of a co-ordinated Investigations and Regulatory team.
Audits and Training
Our team works closely with clients to protect against future allegations. We provide tailored audits (including diversity and inclusion audits and workplace data privacy audits) and a full suite of bespoke training for HR, in-house lawyers, managers and others, provided by our specialist training team. We also offer ‘mock dawn raids’ to ensure clients have a coordinated and rehearsed response plan in place.
Handling allegations of criminal conduct: what should an employer do?11 August 2020
Recent events in the Conservative party have focussed attention on the question of what an employer (or indeed a political party) should do if one of its people is accused of committing a crime. A Tory MP has been accused of rape, but at the time of writing has not been charged. It transpires that the Chief Whip had been aware for some weeks of allegations of ‘abusive behaviour and threats’ made against the anonymous MP by a parliamentary aide. Despite this, no investigation took place.
Investigations10 August 2020
We set out the key considerations for organisations faced with grievances or allegations of wrongdoing which may require formal investigation.
Up & Coming HR Academy - Partnerships in Practice22 July 2020
Join us for a series of online sessions on 8, 15 and 22 July 2020 where we will discuss the operation of law firm partnerships, and how they are addressing current events.
Race discrimination complaints in the workplace and how to address them11 June 2020
With Black Lives Matter protests taking place across the UK and around the world, many businesses have been publicly stating their commitment to equality and the BLM movement. But what happens when the experience of current or former BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) employees is alleged not to live up to that standard?
Conducting workplace investigations remotely01 May 2020
As we are all in midst of this Covid-19 world, we are clearly some way away from ‘business as usual’. The vast majority of employers are grappling with new ways of working, with many of their employees working from home or in other unusual ways. But it is clear that ‘business as usual’ issues can and do still arise. So, what should an employer do if it becomes aware of an allegation of misconduct or wrongdoing? In this article, we look at whether a remote investigation is the right step to take, and what to bear in mind if you conclude it is.