Inquiries and Sensitive Investigations
Skilled in inquiries, investigations and evidence-gathering, we help government and businesses investigate issues of concern and provide privileged, independent advice. We have extensive experience of dealing with sensitive issues - often in the public glare and with witnesses based in multiple jurisdictions.
Our lawyers operate with discretion in the eye of media scrutiny on cases which include sensitive investigations into allegations of historical child sexual abuse and high profile inquiries when a board needs to take control of fast developing issues.
How we can help
We provide the resources and systems which are needed for any investigation or inquiry to fulfil its obligations in a timely manner and within budget including:
- Documentation collation and management
- Full administration and IT back-up teams
- Witness handling – Members of our team are IIC3 Level 3 Certified in Investigative Interviewing
- Expert legal advice based on in-depth Sector experience
- Drafting protocols to ensure effective use of legal privilege which is a developing area of the law requiring expert input
- For larger businesses, members of our team have extensive experience acting as senior lawyers in-house, enabling them to understand internal audit requirements, contribute to board packs and ensure compliance with internal reporting requirements
- Uniquely, we have an in-house team of forensic accountants who are available to support an inquiry team
We have substantial resources spread across the UK and the team has an international footprint supported by our global offices.
Our experience also extends to PLC board-level investigations involving inquiries into internal events. We flexibly manage statutory, regulatory and ad hoc investigations, as well as securities, litigation and disciplinary proceedings. We have an in-house forensic accounting team with substantial experience of different types of investigation. Other services include:
- Local and Central Government and Audit Committee references
- BEIS, FCA, PRA, ICO and UKLA investigations or investigations arising out of decisions of the FOS, CMA or other statutory bodies
- Judicial Review - acting for central government, local authorities, universities and regulatory bodies
- EU/Competition law
- Health and safety issues
- Corporate Governance
- Liaising with D&O or other insurers on handling issues affecting individual board members and senior employees
Our Inquiries Experience
- Grenfell Tower Inquiry
- Shipman Inquiry
- Baha Mousa Inquiry
- Al-Sweady Inquiry
- Dunblane Shootings Inquiry
- Piper Alpha Inquiry
Our Sensitive Investigations Experience
- The team has been instructed to conduct and advise on issues arising out of an inquiry into all and any connections a client may have had with the convicted child sex offender and any other anomalous issues. The team has also been instructed to review and advise the group client’s current safeguarding procedures. This has involved working with an extensive team of former police officers, safeguarding experts and support/counselling workers, together with a client team of the highest level. Where appropriate, the team has been liaising with a number of police forces and regulatory authorities. The instruction is in respect of the utmost sensitive and confidential information and so no further details can be provided.
- The team was instructed to conduct a wide-ranging investigation into allegations of historic child sex abuse by a former apprentice and employee. Our civil investigation coincided with a criminal investigation conducted by the police. Our team developed the method of the investigation, conducted interviews with the complainant, liaised with the police and advised the client on all aspects of the claims.
What others say
Legal 500 2017 says:
Department head Julian Diaz-Rainey is "a superb lawyer, strategist, and commands a very strong team". He is ably assisted by senior associate Andrew Mitchell (who is "a very savvy commercial litigator with good instincts").
Clients laud senior associate Jo Seed as "very tenacious and hard-working’’ and "just the kind of person you want assisting you in large-scale and complex litigation".
Legal 500 2013 says:
Julian Diaz-Rainey is "absolutely excellent, and undoubtedly one of the best litigators outside London"... with "a track record including acting in prominent public inquiries and advising major sports clubs."
"Colin Read is adept at dealing with business people directly... he knows our business. He is an excellent relationship partner."
"I want to pay particular tribute to Jim Richards whose commitment to us and support to me, is undoubtedly one of the best examples of customer relationship management I have experienced in over 30 years across several business sectors…Your firm would be a legal firm of choice for me and Jim the litigation partner of choice."