Regulatory Investigations

We have unrivalled expertise in advising on a wide range of investigations...

Investigations of regulated entities are now commonplace as regulators, politicians, shareholders and customers increasingly demand higher standards of behaviour. As a number of recent high profile examples demonstrate the risks of failing to comply with these standards are now higher than ever before for both the regulated entity and the individuals responsible for their management.

These risks include the imposition of huge financial penalties, the restriction or disqualification of individuals from holding certain roles within a regulated entity, significant loss of share value and long term damage to the entity’s brand.
We support clients in mitigating the risks associated with the commencement of an investigation and the management of those risks where investigations are ongoing. We have unrivalled expertise in advising on a wide range of investigations including industry-wide investigations such as the statutory investigation of the banking industry following the financial crisis, and the regulatory examination of the treatments by fifteen financial institutions of tracker mortgage customers. We also advise on appearances before Parliamentary Committees, as well as investigations into anti-competitive behaviour, misconduct of management, insider trading and a variety of whistle-blower allegations.

 

4Case Study

We led an investigation into insider trading at a NASDAQ listed client as part of which the US regulator demanded the immediate provision to it of detailed information on the dissemination of particular market sensitive information in advance of a public announcement and the trading activity which took place on foot of the dissemination of that information.

In response we worked closely with the client to identify all individuals who may have had advance knowledge of the market sensitive information. We then carried out interviews with a large number of individuals in multiple jurisdictions and created a blueprint map which traced the dissemination of the information by reference to time, date, individual and jurisdiction. We provide real time advice on critical issues such as the preservation of confidentiality and the transfer of sensitive personal data from multiple jurisdictions to the US. Our expertise enabled us to provide the client with a comprehensive, legally privileged  report on the dissemination of the sensitive information and the use of that information in advance of the public announcement.

This allowed the client to successfully manage the reputational risk of this investigation by complying in full with the US regulator’s demands for information while protecting itself from any civil or criminal actions arising out of the provision of this information. It also allowed the client to identify improvements that could be made to its inside information policy which will greatly reduce the reputational risks associated with any similar future interaction with its regulator.

 

Legal Professional Privilege

Protecting your reputation with legal professional privilege. Click here to read more.

 


 

 

Reputational challenges can strike any business at any time and the consequences of unsuccessfully dealing with these challenges can be severe and can potentially lead to the total and irreversible destruction of the business’ value. When a reputational crisis does strike management will very often be required to deal with critical reputational issues of which they have no prior experience. We have helped many of our clients prepare for and successfully navigate these challenges and whatever the reputational challenge our clients face we have the skills and experience to help.

The following are examples of our recent work:

  • Acting for a major financial institution in connection with the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry
  • Providing advice to various current and former executives of regulated financial institutions in connection with appearances at public hearings of Oireachtas Committees
  • Advising numerous clients on litigation readiness techniques such as the development and implementation of systems for the preservation and subsequent identification, collation and reproduction of large volumes of sensitive confidential data
  • Acting for a large professional services firm who suffered substantial financial loss as a result of the fraudulent activities of an employee of a firm engaged by our client to provide property services
  • Advising various regulated financial service providers on inspections, investigations and enforcement actions by the Central Bank of Ireland
  • Advising various public companies in connection with investigations by the Takeover Panel
  • Advising various clients in connection with audits and actions by the Data Protection Commissioner
  • Establishing and operating a highly confidential internal investigation into alleged criminal staff misconduct on behalf of a global software provider which involved the carrying out of sensitive interviews, the provision of advice in relation to disciplinary actions against senior employees and compliance with statutory law enforcement notification requirements
  • Advising private clients in connection with two separate cartel investigations by the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (formerly the Competition Authority)
  • Acting for various clients in relation to defamation proceedings
  • Acting in the first case to consider the law in Ireland relating to privacy, which is regarded as a seminal decision.

Positive Reporting Obligation Does Not Erode Right to Silence

This article considers the recent Supreme Court decision which found the criminal offence of "withholding information" to be constitutional. This may have reverberations in a regulatory context as similar offences are provided for across many pieces of legislation.


Dawn Raids in Sports Media Rights Distribution Markets

The European Commission recently carried out dawn raids at the premises of a number of companies active in the sports media rights market as a preliminary step in an investigation into suspected anti-competitive practices in that market.


One to Watch: Positive Reporting Obligation Declared Unconstitutional

An offence of failing to comply with a positive obligation to report information that could lead to the prosecution of an individual for a serious offence has been declared unconstitutional. What does this mean for persons involved in the management of regulated financial service providers who have obligations to report wrongdoing under s.19 of the Criminal Justice Act 2011?


High Court Confirms Legal Privilege Attaches to Documents Created in Regulatory Investigations

High Court confirms that documents sought by Director of Corporate Enforcement were covered by legal privilege


Newly-merged Office of Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman To Take Effect on 1 January 2018

Complaints against financial service providers will be investigated by the newly established office of the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman from 1 January 2018. Some of the changes effected by the new regime will have important consequences for financial service providers, including insurers.


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Key Contacts

Owen O'Sullivan Partner

Lisa Carty Partner

Shane Kelleher Partner

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