Our services

  • Andrew Smith is "extremely clever, realistic and tactical".

    Chambers UK 2018

  • Jessica Parker is highlighted for her "phenomenally hard-working" approach and she is "outstanding, pragmatic and personable."

    Chambers UK 2017

  • Corker Binning is "one of the pre-eminent firms in this area at the moment."

    Chambers HNW 2017

  • Jessica Parker is "very hard working and committed to her clients."

    Chambers UK 2018

  • "They know what they are talking about, they have good ideas and they take the lead."

    Chambers UK 2018

  • "He has seen both sides and understands what is achievable."

    Chambers HNW 2017

  • "Niche and extremely powerful in their field and in everything they do. I think they have some of the leading people."

    Chambers UK 2017

  • Peter Binning is ‘a major player who is supported by a strong team of junior colleagues’.

    The Legal 500 UK 2017

Independent legal advisors (ILAs)

Recent years have witnessed an exponential rise in corporate internal investigations. When a large company, bank or financial institution suspects misconduct, it will increasingly appoint external professionals, including lawyers and forensic accountants, to investigate the misconduct and to advise whether a self-report should be made to bodies including the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or Serious Fraud Office (SFO). An essential aspect of this work is to understand, in as much detail as possible, the factual background to the allegations. This involves reviewing the emails, documents and telephone calls that may be relevant to the allegations. It also frequently involves interviewing directors and employees so that their recollections, and their responses to particular documents, can be analysed.

In some internal investigations, interviewees attend such interviews without seeking legal advice beforehand. The interviewees may have concluded that a lawyer is unnecessary, or the possibility of instructing a lawyer may not have occurred to them. In other internal investigations, the company may suggest, in advance of the interview, that the interviewees seek independent legal advice. The name of a preferred lawyer – or a panel of preferred lawyers – may be proposed. Such lawyers are frequently referred to as ILAs or “independent legal advisors”. Their role is to provide legal advice to the interviewee that is independent from the advice provided to the company.

Being asked questions in an interview by experienced investigations lawyers can be a daunting experience. You may be given little information about the scope of the investigation, the allegations being investigated and whether you are suspected of being complicit in those allegations. You may be unaware whether a regulator is also investigating the allegations, whether the record of the interview will be given to the regulator and whether this record could be used as evidence against you in criminal or regulatory proceedings. You may be concerned about the risk of failing accurately to recall historic events, the risk of potentially incriminating yourself and what you should do if you are asked questions about complex documents prepared many years ago.

The dangers of attending internal interviews without any legal advice are manifold, particularly if the allegations are criminal in nature, such as bribery, fraud or false accounting. It is therefore important to have confidence that the lawyer you instruct has genuine expertise in acting for individuals in criminal and regulatory investigations, understands the full ramifications of an internal interview, and will engage constructively with the company’s lawyers whilst remaining scrupulously independent and acting in your best interests. For a detailed analysis of some of the issues that arise in such interviews, please see our blog here.

At Corker Binning, our lawyers have many years’ experience in acting for interviewees in internal investigations, particularly investigations relating to complex financial allegations. We have acted for individuals in internal investigations concerning benchmark rates including LIBOR and EURIBOR, the allegations of manipulation of the FX markets, as well as allegations of corruption, fraud, computer misuse, sanctions breaches and money laundering. We have worked opposite numerous City firms who are instructed to conduct the investigations. Most importantly, we understand how important it is that an interviewee gives answers which are not only accurate, but which place the interviewee’s relationship to the allegations within their proper commercial context.

Ultimately, if you have been asked to attend an interview in an internal investigation, instructing an ILA means not only that you will be placed in a more informed position about your exposure and the consequences of being interviewed, but is also likely to improve the reliability and quality of the evidence that you give. This benefits not only you but your employer, who will be provided with a better factual platform for understanding the extent of any misconduct and whether to self-report.

More

If you would like to speak to one of our partners with experience of acting as an ILA, please call us on 020 7353 6000.

Named as key individuals in the field of Financial Crime: Individuals by Chambers UK 2018:

chambers-2017
Top_tier_firms

David Corker – Band 1

Peter Binning – Band 1

Jessica Parker – Band 4

Andrew Smith – Band 3

  • Corker Binning is ranked in Band 1 of recommended firms for Financial Crime: Individuals by Chambers 2018.
  • Corker Binning is ranked as a first tier firm for Fraud by The Legal 500 2017 and David Corker and Peter Binning are named as leading individuals for Fraud.
  • Peter Binning, David Corker, Jessica Parker and Robert Brown are recognised as leading lawyers in Who’s Who Legal: Investigations 2018.

Related articles


Blog / News