Creating an internal investigation framework
Produced in partnership with Caroline Black and Noel Power of Dechert LLP
Creating an internal investigation framework

The following Risk & Compliance guidance note Produced in partnership with Caroline Black and Noel Power of Dechert LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Creating an internal investigation framework
  • What sort of events may trigger an investigation?
  • Why conduct an internal investigation?
  • Key steps in conducting an internal investigation
  • Employment issues
  • Practical tips and market insight
  • Internal investigation policy plan

An internal investigation is a legal process undertaken by an organisation (with or without outside counsel) to review and identify facts relating to a specific allegation, concern or misconduct and remediate potential irregularities.

What sort of events may trigger an investigation?

Common scenarios that may trigger an investigation include:

  1. an individual raising a concern internally via a whistleblowing hotline or otherwise (whistleblower)

  2. a response to a regulatory or criminal agency demand

  3. part of due diligence in advance of a merger or acquisition

  4. a civil litigation claim

  5. an internal or external auditor’s report

  6. media reports

  7. an external allegation, eg from a customer or counter-party

Why conduct an internal investigation?

Internal investigations are an important process in establishing the factual circumstances of a particular event or series of events in a way which best protects the organisation and board. The overriding aim should be to determine the facts and mitigate any legal, regulatory and reputational outcomes, ie:

  1. establish the relevant facts to enable the board to make fully-informed decisions regarding the organisation's response including disciplinary actions for any employees who engaged in conduct in breach of internal corporate policy or suspected breach of law

  2. remediate and prevent future violations

  3. allow the organisation to provide necessary disclosures including statements and to deal with adverse press reports

  4. provide comfort to shareholders that the