NDP Helps Client Avoid Criminal Charges in Regulatory Compliance Dispute. 

In January 2016 we reported on a regulatory compliance dispute, where we advised and supported a client who was facing a criminal investigation by the Secretary of State for Business. Our client was highly stressed and believed he was heading at best for a large fine and at worst for a jail term.  We are delighted to report that the criminal investigation has now been concluded with no charges being brought against our client. This article revisits the case and how we were able to help.

Why was our client facing a Criminal Investigation?

As is often the case, our client received a letter through the post from the Secretary of state for Business, Innovation and Skills. The letter notified him that he was facing a criminal investigation into his conduct as a director, and that if charges were successfully brought against him, the outcome would be a hefty fine or even a jail sentence.

The investigation was directly related to the our client’s role as a director of two companies that had gone into liquidation. Specifically, the allegations were:

  • A failure to disclose company assets to the liquidator
  • Using a prohibited name in connection with his separate business dealings, which, it was alleged, amounted to a breach of section 216 of the Insolvency Act of 1986.

What were we able to do to Help?

As business solicitors, specialising in all areas of insolvency law and regulatory disputes we know just how stressful such allegations can be. In our experience, the best approach is to adopt a calm and measured approach in deciding how best to defend our clients against such allegations.

In this instance, our client had been ‘invited’ to attend an interview with a senior investigator from the Secretary of State’s department. In itself, such an interview is stressful enough. However, the interview was to be tape recorded and our client was to be under caution.

Following an initial meeting with our client, we worked with him to provide detailed and full answers to the questions that were raised, and attended the interview to help defend the allegations. We know how the authorities work. Above all, they require complete clarity, so that all ambiguity and any chance of misinterpretation are removed.

It’s always about putting in the preparation time for such interviews. We had all the necessary and relevant financial information and documentation available, which we were able to use to demonstrate to the investigator that the case against our client was incomplete and flawed.

Once the interview was over our client felt less stressed and we were all optimistic that the outcome would be positive.

The case against our Client is dropped

Several months later, we were all delighted to get the good news, which, in the words of our client:

“As a result of Neil and Suky’s sterling efforts, The Secretary of State’s Department  for Business, Innovation and Skills concluded its criminal investigations and no charges were brought against me. I am in no doubt that the outcome would have been very different had I attended the interview alone, or with solicitors less experienced than Neil and Suky.

I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending anyone to Neil Davies & Partners. Neil and Suky have been fantastic, a truly formidable team with the breadth of knowledge and huge experience that anyone facing similar allegations would surely want on their side.”

(G.P, Isle of Wight.)

Contact us if you are involved in a Regulatory Compliance Dispute

The NDP Team is experienced in defending clients faced with regulatory problems and in regulatory compliance disputes. It is a broad area of law, and includes: Financial Crime, Directors’ Duties, Company Investigations, Regulatory Interviews and Regulatory Raids.

If you are facing an investigation in any of these areas, please contact us or call us on 0121 200 7040 for a free initial consultation, so that we can analyse your case and plan for how to best defend you. It is not a foregone conclusion that the outcome will be a bad one, even if you have already received a letter threatening criminal charges, as this case shows. Or belief is that ‘no hole is too deep’ for us to help, but the sooner you contact us, the more likely we are to be able to help.