Company investigations
Company investigations

The following Corporate Crime practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Company investigations
  • Company investigations under section 432 of the Companies Act 1985
  • Company investigations under section 447
  • Destroying or falsifying documents
  • Consequences of an investigation or an inspection

Company investigations under section 432 of the Companies Act 1985

Companies are regulated by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to protect investors, suppliers and customers from Corporate misconduct. The Secretary of State may appoint inspectors to investigate a company's affairs in circumstances described in section 432 of the Companies Act 1985 (CA 1985). On 1 January 2017, the BEIS Criminal Enforcement Team transferred to the Insolvency Service and the Insolvency Service Criminal Enforcement Team (ISCET) now is the lead criminal enforcement agency for insolvency related fraud and corporate misconduct. The powers under CA 1985 to investigate offences may also be exercised in respect of overseas companies carrying on business in Great Britain. Where there are circumstances to suggest that a company or those involved in the running of the company have been engaged in fraud, misfeasance or other misconduct, the CA 1985 provides investigators with wide powers of investigation. Where there are circumstances to suggest that a company or those involved in the running of the company have been engaged in fraud, misfeasance or other misconduct the CA 1985 provides BEIS and within that, the Criminal Investigations Branch (CIB) with wide powers of investigation including the power to:

  1. require a company to produce all documents in respect of the company

  2. require a company to attend the inspectors when required to do

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