When do i instruct a solicitor for an environment agency investigation?

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.

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08 Nov 2013

Business Crime

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