How Your Company Should Handle Being Investigated by a Regulator.
If your company falls under the ambit of a regulator, (i.e. your company trades securities, or is a payment institution, etc.) you should have company policies outlining the steps every employee should follow in the event a regulator informs you that the company is being audited or investigated.
Having an experienced corporate lawyer (whether internal or external), is never more important than when your company finds itself being investigated by a regulator for an alleged wrongdoing. Regulatory investigations and audits do not have to be scary if your company and employees are properly prepared. In essence, from the moment you are on notice that your company will be investigated, your company should go into internal lockdown.
Your lawyer has the important task of preparing employees if there are any employee-interviews and safeguarding the rights of the company at all times. All employees should be made aware that the lawyer represents the company. Sometimes, the employees’ rights may conflict with- or diverge from the company’s rights and it is at this time that your lawyer should advise all parties involved on which steps to take.
Typically, during an investigation, your lawyer should analyze the allegations, prepare employees on what information is allowed to be disseminated (so that the integrity of the documents is preserved and the privileged information is not negligently disseminated), prepare reports and a reply to the allegations, and coordinate with the regulator if they are to physically come into the company for the purposes of the investigations.
Regulatory investigations and audits do not have to be cumbersome either for the company or the regulator if you are properly prepared in advance. Regulatory investigations should be conducted with minimal disruption to your institution’s business.
Our experienced corporate/securities lawyers act as internal General Counsel as well as external counsel in such matters. If you would like to consult with our experienced lawyers, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org