Managing the inspection: setting up and instructing a response team

A well-resourced and well-briefed response team is critical. Make sure the team understands:
  • the objectives of the inspection
  • the key dos and don’ts (see immediate actions dos and don’ts)
  • their role (see below)
  • who they should contact during the inspection if they have questions/concerns (probably you or your designee)

The key role for most of the response team is to chaperone or “shadow” an official during the inspection. That means they need to:
  • monitor and take a detailed record of their official’s activities. They should, in particular, keep a record of which documents the official is inspecting and make copies of any documents that the official seizes or copies 
  • contact you if their official has any questions or appears to be exceeding their authority
The remaining members of the team should assist you to:
  • respond to officials’ and chaperones’ queries
  • assess evidence as it is gathered
  • develop the defence strategy or any applications for leniency/immunity/co-operation discount
How many people do you need in the response team?
  • you should assemble a team that has enough members to chaperone one official each
  • this may mean selecting senior managers, as well as legal and compliance people
  • make sure appropriate IT staff are on standby to assist – officials often target emails and electronic documents
Should you contact external counsel?
  • we would advise that external counsel is contacted immediately upon the commencement of a dawn raid due to the nature and importance of the issues that can arise on a raid and the exposure for the company if it fails to fulfil any of its obligations. As prosecutorial agencies’ powers and procedures vary significantly, most raids will require specialist advice and assistance 
  • external counsel will usually need to run a conflicts check before they start advising you, to ensure they do not end up acting for more than one party to the same investigation
  • if external counsel are travelling to the site, make sure reception/security have instructions to let them in. You should also inform the officials that you have contacted external counsel and you can ask the officials if they will wait until external counsel arrive before starting the inspection – they may wait for up to an hour depending on the nature of the inspection