By employing a forensic approach to internal investigations, our attorneys guide businesses through troubled times and can conduct an internal investigation that will protect the attorney-client privilege and where possible, keep confidential the nature and extent of the business problem being investigated. We work with forensic accountants along with retired officials from the FBI and other federal agencies to perform internal investigations for companies with sensitive internal business problems; public relations consultants may be employed when necessary. Our attorneys at Finch McCranie have considerable experience in these matters and work diligently to protect the confidentiality of sensitive and confidential business matters such as internal investigations.
When is an Internal Investigation Performed?
Internal investigations are often performed as the result of some alleged misconduct or dishonesty of an employee or executive. There could also be a compliance issue where a corporation is in need of assistance in developing tighter internal controls and compliance procedures. Internal investigations may also be required per federal regulations.
Often an internal investigation takes place in the midst of a state or federal criminal investigation where grand jury subpoenas have been issued. As an adjunct to the firm’s white collar criminal defense practice, the firm is able to advise its clients, not only in reaction to events as they may unfold internal to the organization, but also prophylactically with respect to compliance controls and reform measures necessary to protect the integrity of the business going forward.
Protecting The Attorney/Client Privilege
When a business or corporation retains an outside law firm to conduct an internal investigation, it is vitally important that the investigation be conducted in such a way as to protect the Attorney/Client privilege. By way of an example only, when a business conducts an internal investigation, the business should not itself hire outside accountants, experts and investigators for the internal investigation but rather should allow its outside attorneys to do so. When an attorney retains the services of independent contractors, investigators, forensic accounts and the like, the attorneys control what they do and therefore can protect the work product of such experts under the attorney/client privilege and/or the attorney work product doctrine.
Many times this can insure that sensitive business matters are handled on a confidential basis without undue publicity as the investigation itself is privileged and confidential as a matter of law. Indeed, oftentimes it is quite possible to protect the complete confidentiality of such matters provided they are handled professionally and competently. The attorneys at Finch McCranie, LLP have the experience and background necessary to conduct internal investigations so as to protect sensitive business information from becoming public information.
Contact Us for a Free Initial Consultation
As former federal prosecutors, Finch McCranie has the experience to guide organizations through these sensitive business situations. Our attorneys have worked as members of the U.S. Department of Justice and, in connection with such duties, worked routinely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Office of Inspector Generals for a variety of federal agencies. Regardless of the circumstances, Finch McCranie, LLP and its attorneys have experience in conducting such investigations on a privileged basis and in guiding its clients through what can be a difficult business environment. Please contact us for a free consultation.