Information Requests & Compelled Interviews
Whether you are a whistle blower, victim, witness or suspect, we will aim to provide sensible, measured and reassuring interview advice whatever situation you are facing.
If you are subject to or at risk of regulatory investigation, whether as a business or an individual, then it is likely the regulatory body will request that you provide information to them. And it is likely they will want to interview you and other colleagues either as a subject of the investigation or a witness.
Typically the information request will be ‘compelled’ or ‘compulsory’ – that means that the regulator has statutory powers to ‘compel’ you to provide the information (which can usually be provided electronically), often within a relatively short period of time. There can be serious repercussions if the information is not provided and businesses can underestimate the resources required internally to collate the information.
Regulators or Enforcement teams are likely to interview witnesses and suspects under ‘compulsion’.
Sometimes they ask for an account in writing. Failure to co-operate or mislead can have serious consequences.
We are specialists in advising you how to respond to compulsory information requests and advising you on how to deal with compelled interviews. In terms of the information gathering exercise we manage the logistics of that process for you as required.
In relation to compelled interviews, our team has represented clients in numerous investigations and represented hundreds of individuals in different types of interviews.
We will help you to prepare thoroughly for the interview. This may include assisting you in refreshing your memory and familiarising yourself with the evidence, explaining how to conduct yourself and the ramifications for getting it wrong. We will advise and explain what is likely to happen after being interviewed. We hope to prepare you sufficiently so that the unexpected has been anticipated.
Even if you are a witness, compelled interviews can have serious repercussions and are not to be under-estimated. Everyone finds compulsory investigation interviews a stressful and worrying time which at worst can have career limiting or career ending implications.
If you have been asked to attend an interview or been served with a compulsory information request, get in touch with us straight away for advice and assistance.
Acted for senior executives subject to compulsory interviews in the SFO investigations of British American Tobacco, GlaxoSmithKline, Quindell, Rolls Royce and Unaoil.
Advised overseas leisure sector company under investigation by FCA for alleged perimeter breaches subject to complex information request.
Represented IFA firm and Head of Compliance in Enforcement investigation regarding failure to manage conflicts of interest, and provision of unsuitable pension transfer advice subject to multiple information requests and compulsory interviews.
Advised bank trader interviewed under compulsion by FCA relation to their investigation into alleged manipulation of the Bank of England Special Liquidity (SLS) lending scheme to help banks following the financial crisis.
Advised public relations advisor subject to an unannounced SFO attendance at their premises to compel provision of hard copy and electronic evidence relating to an ongoing SFO investigation. Advice provided in relation to privileged material.
We can discuss the funding options, the proposed scope of work and budget with you. Depending on the situation, you should check whether you have any legal expenses insurance (for example under professional indemnity, Directors’ & Officers’ or household insurance policies) or consider whether a third party, such as an employer, will contribute to your legal fees (eg under an indemnity).
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