When a company, institution, or public authority is confronted with fraud (or suspected fraud), there are numerous legal questions that may arise: how exactly will it become clear what has happened; who should investigate this; who should be the client that commissions such an investigation; will there be criminal law risks; will employment law sanctions be imposed; are there tax risks; how should the rules of good governance be applied in the event of suspected fraud; will there be directors’ liability; how can the damages be recovered; are there problems with data protection; etc.?
A fraud or suspicion of fraud is often very threatening to the reputation and even the continuity of the company or institution concerned. In recent years (usually in the background, but also in the foreground if desired), we have been involved as adviser in a number of familiar but also less well-known fraud issues in Limburg. If necessary, we work in a multidisciplinary team in which we combine our knowledge of effective investigation (knowledge due to investigations into the causes of insolvency, among other things), employment law, directors’ liability, criminal law (including tax law), and privacy legislation. In addition, we work with a broad network of other advisers, among them accountants (including forensic accountants), communication advisers, company investigators, etc.
Usually, at the client’s request, we take control of the overall approach. We first draw up a strategic plan: who will carry out the investigation (a lawyer, company investigator, a forensic accountant) and on whose behalf (the management board, the supervisory board, a shareholder)?. This is of great importance. The choice can have major consequences in terms of confidentiality, the obligation to notify the authorities, whether or not the investigation will be part of the company’s records, etc. We direct other advisers in such a way that you can utilise the investigation results for legal purposes.
Legal proceedings are sometimes necessary in order to obtain information (for example seizure of evidence, a preliminary hearing of witnesses, or an enquiry proceedings before the Enterprise Division). Here, too, we have the necessary expertise.