Jim Meyer and his team have successfully represented several individuals in the most high profile bribery and corruption investigations. These include senior managers and directors from BAE Systems plc and Rolls Royce plc, as well as an ultra-high net worth businessman who was contemplated for prosecution by authorities in the Turks and Caicos. Each one of these individuals successfully avoided criminal prosecution. Other clients include senior political figures (or their relations) in West Africa, as well as employees of UK construction and utility companies, and Jim can provide solid advice and guidance in relation to whether hospitality, promotional or other business-related expenditure may fall foul of the “facilitation payments” provisions of the Bribery Act 2010.
Most of these sorts of cases are investigated by the Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”), and Jim and his team are well versed in their powers, some of which carry a criminal sanction if those at the receiving end fail to comply. This includes those exercised under section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987, which enables the SFO to compel individuals to attend interviews and/or produce documents and/or information.
Jim and his team can help you conduct a thorough internal investigation so that the scale of any problem is known
Companies and individuals will often find out that they are suspected of criminal wrongdoing before any official contact by the SFO. As soon as this happens, the first step should be for the company to conduct its own, “internal”, investigation; this will establish the existence and extent of any wrongdoing and help inform the decision on what to do next. The latter is a vexed question which requires experience and a thorough understanding of the options available and the potential repercussions of each. A decision to self-report is no guarantee against prosecution, but it can be the precursor to an informed dialogue which has that as the end goal.
What is required, and what Jim and his team will deliver, is:
- A thorough understanding of the circumstances surrounding a specific event or allegation;
- An open channel of communication with the board or other senior figures so that they are kept fully informed of what has happened;
- The confidence that the organisation can properly assert that it has thoroughly investigated an issue and taken any action necessary;
- An opportunity for the organisation to respond to concerns or criticism from shareholders, potential investors, trading partners or other third parties;
- Advice on whether legal and/or disciplinary action needs to be taken against anyone;
- Reassurance as to whether all regulatory obligations are being complied with;
- Advice on what, if any, remedial action needs to be taken, including self-reporting.
Organisations often have their own solicitors and possibly an in-house legal team; they may not have the capacity or expertise to conduct their own investigation, or they may seek the protection of legal professional privilege. They may simply want to put some distance between themselves and the suspected culprits. These are just some of the many reasons that multinationals and magic circle firms have all sought Jim’s services, making good use of the forensic investigation and interviewing skills that he has honed over his 27 years‘ experience as a criminal litigator. His ability to work as part of a larger team, often multi-disciplinary in nature, is one of the key reasons for his success in this type of work.