Nobody in business ever expects that they will need the expert assistance of a Defence Solicitor but we can be of help for some matters. In this time of increasing regulation and criminal sanctions it does not matter how honestly and well a business is run, there is a limit to the control that can be exercised over customers/clients. Through no fault of anyone connected with the business you may find yourself of interest to investigators at HMRC, the Police or other agencies. The only way to obtain good quality business help in such circumstances is to take on the services of a firm with a proven track record of dealing with all many of business issues with many different investigatory agencies.
You may receive what appears to be a straightforward request from Investigators for assistance or you may find Investigators have attended at your reception area with a warrant issued by the Court.
If you receive a formal request for information in relation to your business or a client or if Investigators appear at your front door with a warrant, you will want to make sure that you react appropriately and legally. You will be concerned about just how much co-operation is appropriate especially if any of the papers and/or informaton you hold might be subject of any privilege.
You may also be concerned that the Investigators are asking for material that may not in fact be authorised by the Court Order handed to you. What if you hand over material that the Order did not cover? What might your Client do if you hand over material that is not authorised by the Order? Should you perhaps ring the client to get his views on what to do? This could be the worst thing you could do – for you and your business.
Perhaps worse than the above you suddenly realise that the whole of your business has come to a halt as everyone takes an interest in the visit and the chaos this creates. All members of staff are wondering, “What is going on?” or “Will I be affected?” or just “Will my job be affected?”. Everyone seems to have a view and the advice being offered is confused/confusing.
To save money and to avoid making a serious error all you need to do is have a policy in place that means that as soon as something happens you contact an experienced solicitor, someone who is used to dealing with HMRC, the Police and other agencies at a high level. We can supply you with a policy that will be sufficient for this purpose. We hope that it will not be necessary to use it but just in case…. contact Dennis Clarke to discuss this. The cost is minimal if anything at all.
If you need us out of office hours because it is happening right now ring us on our out-of-hours emergency only number at 01892 523999 and ask to be put through to Dennis Clarke. In normal office hours ring Dennis on 01732 360999. Speed of contact can be very important.
While you are about it you should check the position on the Bribery Act.