Investigation firm Miami Beach South Beach

Investigation firm Miami Beach South Beach

Investigation firm Miami Beach South Beach
Investigation firm Miami Beach South Beach

An increasingly complex global business environment, combined with changing expectations and enhanced scrutiny both in Asia and overseas, meaning that more companies are finding themselves subject to regulatory investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach and proceedings. In 2014, 64 per cent of large companies in the US with revenues of US$1 billion or more, and 44 per cent of companies with revenues of US$100 million to US$1 billion, retained outside counsel to assist with investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach. In recent years, in the US, approximately two-thirds of companies in the insurance, energy, financial services, and healthcare industries faced some type of regulatory or government investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach. In Hong Kong, in 2014 alone, the Securities and Futures Commission (Hong Kong SFC) conducted over 2,000 investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach and the Independent Commission Against Corruption (Hong Kong ICAC) instigated 222 prosecutions.

This increasing regulatory scrutiny, along with a renewed focus on ethical behavior and protecting (and in some cases incentivizing) whistleblowing activity, has created an environment where regulatory lawyers are increasingly called upon to conduct or supervise internal investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach into suspected wrongdoing.

An effective investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach may provide management or the board with the information it needs to make an informed decision on how to proceed in the face of alleged misconduct. In many cases the investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach will provide the information needed to take steps to ensure that no future violations occur. Unlike many forms of traditional litigation, however, there is often no roadmap to follow. Internal investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach may cover various topics such as suspected accounting fraud, violations of the antitrust and environmental laws, violations of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Hong Kong Prevention of Bribery Ordinance and the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Ordinance, violations of government contracting regulations, violations of trade sanctions and export controls, insider trading, employee theft, suspected kickbacks, violations of a company’s specific policies and procedures, and so on. There are usually no mandatory procedural rules or court-imposed deadlines; there are no local rules or forms to follow. More importantly, how an investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach is conducted, and the scope of that investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach, are necessarily informed by the context and the potential impact on a particular company.

Whether to initiate an internal investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach

Internal investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach often start with an allegation of wrongdoing, which may come from an employee, shareholder, director, the media, the company’s outside auditors, the regulators or someone else. At the outset, the company must decide whether the allegation warrants investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach and, if so, who should conduct the investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach.

In some cases in the US, the decision to commence an internal investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach is prescribed by statute. Section 10A of the US Securities Exchange Act of 1934, for example, requires a registered public accounting firm to take certain actions when, during the course of an audit, the auditor becomes aware of information that indicates that an ‘illegal act’ may have occurred (regardless of whether that illegal act is perceived to have a material effect on the issuer’s financial statements) 1. In these circumstances auditors generally require the company to investigate the potentially illegal activity and then the auditors assess, pursuant to Section 10A, whether the company has taken ‘timely and appropriate remedial actions. 2 In Hong Kong, however, there is no statutory requirement for a company to conduct an internal investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach even when there is suspicion of wrongdoing. This means that the decision to commence an internal investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach is entirely at the discretion of the company. In reality, however, many companies choose to conduct internal investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach when they discover potential breaches so that they can assess their exposure ahead of formal investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach by the regulatory bodies, and ensure that directors and senior management discharge their fiduciary and professional duties to the companies.

Investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach can be disruptive and expensive and resources are limited. While the need to investigate in some situations is obvious, in some situations determining whether to conduct an investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach, and how that investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach should be conducted, are judgment calls. Some factors to consider in making these determinations include:

The seriousness of the allegations, including whether the alleged misconduct violates criminal law or company policy whether the alleged misconduct involves senior management or board members the company’s potential exposure if the allegations are true the possibility for additional, future violations, or the possibility that the violations are continuing whether the alleged misconduct implicates a potential health and safety risk to employees or others whether the alleged misconduct calls into question any prior internal control or financial certifications provided by executive officers and whether the alleged misconduct prevents such officers from truthfully executing future certifications the likely response of the company’s auditors to the alleged misconduct whether there are a parallel government investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach or whether such an investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach is likely to occur whether the company’s audit committee charter, code of conduct, or other policies mandate or encourage an investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach whether the issue must be reported to regulatory officials the extent to which the company may receive credit from enforcement officials for conducting its own investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach the possible impact on any pending or potential civil litigation.

Consideration should also be given to whether the company has a history of similar incidents, since such history raises the likelihood of regulatory intervention. If a complaint cannot be objectively dismissed as frivolous, the following scenarios often warrant some type of formal internal investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach.

Investigation firm Miami Beach South Beach
Investigation firm Miami Beach South Beach

A subpoena from a government agency or regulatory authority, such as the US Department of Justice (US DoJ) or the US Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC), or a notice from the Hong Kong ICAC or the Hong Kong SFC, which suggests that the company and/or its employees are the focus or subject of an inquiry a shareholder demand letter issues raised by an external auditor an internal report, such as through an ethics hotline, raising serious allegations involving senior management.

The likelihood of litigation or a separate regulatory investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach usually weighs in favor of initiating an internal investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach. A prompt and thorough investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach gives the company the opportunity to get ahead of a separate investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach by the regulators and gather the facts it needs to respond appropriately. In some Asian countries, such as Hong Kong, if the findings arising from the internal investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach suggest that there has been misconduct on the part of the company and/or its employees, the company will need to consider whether to self-report to the relevant regulator since failure to do so may result in severe penalties.

Determining who supervises the investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach

The decision of who should supervise the investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach, as the decision of whether to conduct an investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach, is highly contextual. Many investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach can be properly handled by a company’s own employees. Many larger companies, for example, have highly skilled legal and other staff dedicated solely to conducting such investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach.

In some situations, however, management should not be in charge of the internal investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach. If the alleged misconduct involves senior management, for example, or if the corporate entity itself is the focal point of a government investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach, the board should consider delegating the task of overseeing the investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach to an independent committee of board members who are not implicated in the alleged wrongdoing (such as the audit committee or a board committee consisting of non-executive directors formed specifically for the investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach, which very often will engage separate independent counsel for advice). If management is perceived as influencing the investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach, the investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach may not be afforded credibility by regulators. Further, if the investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach involves public company accounting or other disclosure issues, the company’s outside auditors may insist that the investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach be conducted by independent board members and independent outside counsel.

Assembling the right team

Internal investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach are often handled with the assistance of outside counsel, who may have expertise concerning the laws at issue and experience with the interested government agency or regulator.

There are, however, significant costs that come with hiring a separate outside law firm to conduct an investigation firm services Miami Beach South Beach. In addition to outside counsel, consideration should be given at the outset to potential experts, such as forensic accountants, needed to assist counsel. These experts should usually be retained in such a way as to ensure legal privilege is protected, and such experts should sign retention agreements that make clear their engagement is intended to facilitate the provision of legal advice.

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