How should one respond to the introduction of a criminal investigation and to intrusive investigative acts?
Searches of company premises following the opening of an investigation for breach of trust and tax money laundering
Preliminary investigation opened for breach of trust and tax fraud laundering
Following a complaint from a minority shareholder, an initial investigation was opened against the company and its directors, who were accused of having misappropriated funds for a specific purpose and of having assisted in an operation to invest, conceal, or convert the direct or indirect proceeds of tax fraud.
Our client's challenge
Avoiding a governance crisis and reputational harm
When an internal conflict leads to criminal proceedings, the situation can be extremely sensitive as a lot of internal information and documents are used to support the investigation. The company’s activities and operations are analyzed and criticized, but above all, they are also thoroughly exposed in the proceedings and even in the judicial decisions rendered. This exposure, often unmanaged, causes the company to suffer an additional risk to the judicial or criminal one.
However, in many criminal business law issues, the company is accused by its employees or former employees, its shareholders, its former directors or even its business partners.
When the conflict is initiated by a shareholder or a former executive, governance is frequently destabilized. Distrust can also develop. The time dedicated to reducing the conflict is time that is not allocated to the defense of the legal entity and to the determination of the strategy to be implemented.
When the initiation of criminal proceedings is announced through a search or a summons, surprise often prevails over good reflexes, even though these initial stages of the investigation are often crucial and decisive for the future and the defense of the company’s interests.
Control and anticipate the steps of the criminal process to ensure a reassuring communication
We offer our clients tailored support that is specific to their case and the context in which it takes place.
We are committed to supporting and assisting our clients in the criminal legal proceedings, both in the construction of their defense strategy and in providing answers to questions that may arise regarding the impact of this aspect on their internal problems.
Thus, we explain and prepare our clients for all stages of the procedure. They are made aware of the correct reflexes to have in the event of an investigation and are prepared to deal with them. They are also informed of the possible consequences on the remainder of the procedure, so that they can take the necessary measure and draw conclusions regarding the strategic choices of governance and operations.
In close collaboration with our clients, we analyze the situation from a legal perspective to define, redefine and refine the line of defense to be adopted as much as necessary.
We work to understand all elements of the case in order to anticipate as much as possible the steps to come and to prepare our clients as well as possible.
This expertise allows our clients to work on the handling of any risk other than the legal one, whether social, reputational, economic, governance or political, so that they can take the necessary measures to protect their reputation and their commercial or economic activity.