We have one of the UK’s leading investigations practices. We regularly advise clients on major investigations in the UK and around the world and have played significant roles in many of the most important inquiries and regulatory investigations of the past two decades.
We have particular experience of complex, multi-jurisdictional investigations involving multiple regulators, including advising on the proceedings - eg class actions - which often arise out of such investigations. On multi-jurisdictional disputes, we work closely with our Brussels, Hong Kong and Beijing offices, as well as our international network of 'Best Friend' firms.
We handle the full spectrum of statutory, regulatory and disciplinary investigations by regulatory or professional bodies and government agencies, including:
- competition investigations - eg by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the European Commission
- corporate crime - eg corruption inquiries led by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and international anti-corruption and sanctions investigations
- financial regulatory investigations - by the UK and overseas financial regulators including cross-border investigations and proceedings
- tax investigations - by HMRC and overseas tax authorities
We also advise clients in relation to internal investigations, eg on governance issues including investigations in disciplinary proceedings brought by professional or regulatory bodies.
Our many years’ experience means we understand the objectives and priorities of regulators. This enables us to guide clients through investigations, achieving strategically and commercially pragmatic results while minimising the risk of unsuccessful outcomes.
We were recognised in Global Investigations Review's (GIR) annual listing of the world’s 100 leading investigation practices (2016 Global Investigations Review survey).
The firm... excels in... matters relating to global regulatory investigations The Legal 500, 2012View all Global Investigations media comments
Our experience includes advising:
Standard Chartered (SCB) in relation to its agreements with the US Department of Justice, the New York County District Attorney's Office, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and Office of Foreign Assets Control, which include a total penalty of US$327 million announced on 10 December 2012, and SCB's agreement in August 2012 with the New York State Department of Financial Services, in relation to the same global sanctions investigation, pursuant to which SCB agreed to pay a civil money penalty of US$340 million.
British Airways in relation to the OFT’s criminal and civil investigations into alleged cartel activity involving passenger fuel surcharges on long-haul flights, including the multi-jurisdictional aspects of the US class actions against BA and the OFT’s criminal proceedings against four present and former employees.
British Airways in relation to DoJ and European Commission investigations into an alleged air cargo cartel, and subsequent follow-on damages action in the UK courts, Emerald Supplies Ltd v British Airways  EWHC 741 (Ch), the leading case on an attempted US style class action in the UK.
Olympus in relation to investigations by regulators in several jurisdictions into certain transactions entered into by Olympus which are now thought to have been part of a scheme (known as a 'tobashi' scheme) used to hide investment losses over a number of years.
a major international banking group in relation to numerous simultaneous regulatory investigations in multiple jurisdictions into the setting of various interbank benchmark rates.
Telegraph Media Group in relation to the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press.
GSK in relation to sanctions and corruption investigations by the UK (SFO) and US (SEC and Department of Justice) law enforcement bodies into the supply of goods into Iraq under the UN Oil-for-Food programme.
Norwich & Peterborough in respect of regulatory proceedings and class action litigation exposure arising out of the sale of structured products of Keydata Investment Services (in administration) to thousands of customers; the interaction of the FSA, FSCS and the FOS; and the design of a bespoke scheme to deliver ex gratia payments to investors.
an international pharmaceuticals group in relation to an investigation by the SFO into alleged fraudulent invoicing and a related investigation by HMRC into alleged VAT evasion.