Our dedicated unit of Business Crime Solicitors has the expertise and resources to assist you, whether your organisation is being investigated by the police or HMRC.
BUSINESS OBJECTIVES ACHIEVED
We provide Business Crime services in the following areas:
Forbes Solicitors understand the anxiety and pressures experienced by directors and managers who find themselves and their businesses under investigation by the police or tax authorities. Our dedicated unit of Business Crime Solicitors has the expertise and resources to assist at all stages of such enquiries; directed in the first instance towards avoiding the instigation of formal proceedings if at all possible.
Business Crime matters are often very delicate and complex, and expert advice at an early stage is crucial and can pay dividends. Forbes Solicitors have extensive experience of a whole range of cases.
In addition to investigations by police, commercial and serious crime agencies Forbes Solicitors also have a dedicated department dealing with Regulatory Law which can advise in respect of investigations and proceedings by various regulatory bodies including DTI, Health and safety, Environment and Licensing Agencies and Local Authorities.
I have been contacted by the Customs and Excise for what appears to be an informal chat should I contact a solicitor?
The Customs & Excise may approach a director by telephone with a view to discussing some irregularity with the company VAT return. The initial approach may be pleasant and informal but the approach will become formal at the point the investigating officer enters the business premises.
Many directors have been lulled into a false sense of comfort despite being cautioned by an investigator. The directors or principals have only later realised the appalling consequences of entering into what they perceived as merely a discussion with the officer. As soon as you receive a call from the Customs and Excise you should contact the Forbes Business Crime team. Failure to consult a solicitor at an early stage may result in penalties, unlimited fines and imprisonment.
I, along with my fellow directors have been approached by inspectors of the Environment Agency about, what we believe is an accidental pollution incident. The inspectors haven't cautioned anyone. Should I instruct an experienced solicitor at this stage and would such instruction antagonise the investigators and make prosecution more likely?
No you should contact the Forbes Business Crime team. The invitation to the directors or principals to attend a formal interview under caution will probably not occur until a decision to prosecute has already been made. It will only be at that point that the investigators will invite the directors to attend with their solicitor adding usually the words "if they wish". It will then almost certainly be too late to avoid the prosecution. It is likely that all that is left for the solicitor to do is to limit the damage and prepare a defence for an expensive trial. Pollution can produce sentences of imprisonment and unlimited fines. A skilled presentation at an interview can sometimes prevent charges being brought.
If one of my employees has been tragically killed in the work place and it appears to me and to the other directors or principals that the cause was the gross negligence of a fellow employee and not the fault of management or safety systems I presume that all we have to do is inform the insurance company. Am I correct?
No you should immediately instruct a solicitor experienced in this sphere. The Forbes Business Crime team will react and offer immediate assistance. The police and officers of the Health and Safety Executive will arrive to conduct an investigation and are likely to remove the fellow employee and take him to the police station for interview and he may ask for and receive the services of an independent duty solicitor. The potential consequences for the firm or company if appropriate steps are not taken to protect the business could include the insurance company repudiating liability. The Health & Safety Executive and/or the Police may also institute criminal charges against those officers of the company who controlled the issues relating to safety systems.
The Department of Trade and Industry investigators have arrived at my business and have a warrant to search the offices. They are looking for material related to the export of products which might be used as weapons and which were delivered to the Middle East. I know that the products were for pacific purposes, what should I do?
Contact a solicitor with experience of this situation. The Forbes Business Crime team will assist immediately and answer your request to attend your business premises or offices. Do not try to deal with the situation without consulting a solicitor, even if you believe that you have the relevant export licence as situations such as this could result in a 7 year prison sentence if charges are brought and convictions follow.
What should I do if the directors, partners or staff employed in my business are to be investigated, under caution, by the Inland Revenue with regard to the company's accounts?
You should contact an experienced solicitor. Do not rely solely on the company accountants to assist the directors partners or staff through the investigation. If the investigators were to raise questions about the approved accounts then the company's accountants could potentially be placed in a difficult position and may fear that they cannot provide independent advice.