With so much potentially at stake, the initial steps and strategic decisions taken in any company investigation are critical to setting the tone for a focused, credible and effective inquiry. This is paramount not only for the purposes of getting to the bottom of what has happened and responding appropriately, but also for limiting a company's potential exposure and preparing it to engage with the relevant authorities. While every investigation is different, there are a number of key considerations that are common to all and that, if tackled appropriately, can ensure that a company is set on the right course from the outset.
- setting the scope and terms of an investigation;
- securing and reviewing evidence;
- dealing with issues of legal privilege, data protection and banking confidentiality;
- assessing the nature of the company's risk;
- dealing with employment issues;
- conducting interviews;
- assessing jurisdictional reach; and
- preparing the investigation report.
In providing an overview of these, this chapter aims to give companies and their lawyers practical guidance on how to approach what are often fast-moving and complex investigations.