Consider your options to settle

If an investigation involves a serious issue and the company is at fault, it may often be in the company's best interests to resolve it as quickly and effectively as possible.

When possible, it is often desirable to resolve the issue with one global settlement for all regulators or prosecutors so there is only one impact on PR and capital markets. To achieve this, you need a coherent strategy that considers the actual and potential interests of all the regulators and prosecutors involved.

When entering into a resolution you need to remember some strategic issues.

In particular, consider the disclosures made during the negotiation, the risks these disclosures create and the admissions that have to be made as part of the settlement deal. Also bear in mind that reaching an early settlement with the investigating authorities may speed up the chances of the settling company facing follow-on civil damages actions from third parties.

It may not be possible to reach a voluntary resolution with all regulators in all cases. Most obviously, regulators in certain countries, such as Germany, Italy and Japan, are unable formally to settle an investigation. When it is not possible to reach a global or co-ordinated settlement, it is important to consider how reaching a resolution in one jurisdiction will affect investigations in other jurisdictions.

If you have not already sought external legal advice it may be appropriate at this stage. The decision whether to settle is potentially very significant and in most cases external legal advice will be of appreciable value.