Regulations & compliance
At Libra Solicitors, we can provide expert guidance in respect of regulatory compliance that will help you achieve your compliance goals.
We believe that implementing an effective compliance programme that incorporates the rules and regulations of the industry that govern your operations can help ensure that your business does not inadvertently break the law.
In addition, in implementing an effective compliance programme, your business could benefit in other ways as it will likely free up important resources and allow your management team to operate in an environment geared towards reducing risk.
For a confidential discussion about your compliance needs and concerns, call us today on 01223 632420 and arrange an appointment.
Regulatory enforcement actions
In addition to the legal services we provide in respect of regulatory compliance, we can also assist you in circumstances where a regulatory authority decides to intervene because of ineffective compliance, or where rules have been breached.
Regulatory authorities proactively enforce their area of responsibility, and they may employ a number of different enforcement tools to encourage compliance, deter inappropriate conduct, provide remedies to any harm caused, and to punish transgressors appropriately. Authorities tend to favour outcome focussed-enforcement processes which can vary from body to body, depending on the sector that they are regulating and can involve either the civil or criminal courts.
These processes can range from compliance notices, prohibition orders and withdrawal of approval, through to injunctions and even criminal prosecution of the organisation and individuals involved. The action taken will be influenced by factors including the severity of any regulatory breach, the history of the organisation and individuals involved, and whether they show a genuinely helpful and contrite attitude that allows them to work with the regulator to minimize the impact of the breach and remedy any harm. For instance, in some circumstances organisations that self-report a breach which the authority is not yet aware of may be dealt with more leniently.
At Libra Solicitors we can assist organisations and individuals facing a regulatory intervention irrespective of whether the authority intends to impose civil, or criminal penalties. Where appropriate, we can use independent industry-specific experts to assess the breach before we advise on the best course of action and devise a strategy to limit any harm to your business or career.
We can also initiate dialogue with the regulatory body or local authority on your behalf, and when appropriate, make representations to them in respect of your matter. It may be that they subsequently decide that no further action is necessary, particularly if every effort to prevent future breaches has been made.
Interviews under caution
In some instances, the first time your organisation will become aware of an alleged breach is when it is asked to nominate an individual (such as a managing director) to attend a voluntary interview under caution. Whatever the circumstances, we will quickly assess the situation, advise you accordingly and help you take the appropriate course of action to protect your interests.
Should you be asked to attend an interview under caution we will provide expert advice and guidance throughout the interview process. We will also focus on ensuring that any interview under caution is carried out in accordance with all the rights and protections afforded to you under the rules and codes governing PACE interviews.
For a confidential discussion in respect of the issues involved in being interviewed under caution, call us today on 01223 632420 and arrange an appointment.
At Libra Solicitors we understand that sometimes the consequences that can follow a regulatory investigation or prosecution, even if guilt has not yet been attributed to any particular party, can be severe. The reputational damage that could occur, for example, may well cause a loss in investor or customer confidence and might even threaten the future of a business.
We believe, therefore, that the party being investigated or being prosecuted should plan ahead to protect their interests. So if you or your business are facing an investigation or prosecution, our expertise in strategic planning could help protect your interests and limit any detrimental impact.
For a confidential discussion about the issues that may be concerning you, call us today on 01223 632420 and arrange an appointment.
In the event that a regulatory body or local authority decides to prosecute either you, or your organisation, our expertise could prove to be a real asset. A QC, barrister or solicitor-advocate will lead your case, so you can be confident that you are in expert hands. For more on how we can assist you with a regulatory prosecution, click here.
Alternatively, for a confidential discussion about the issues that may be concerning you, call us on 01223632420 and arrange an appointment.
Health and safety Investigations
Whilst all businesses should minimise the risk of harm to individuals in the workplace, it is not always possible to predict when or where an incident will occur. However, it is possible to predict that if the incident is a serious one, the company’s health and safety procedures will be thoroughly examined by the regulatory authorities.
Whether the investigation is carried out by the Health and Safety Executive, the Coroner’s office or another government agency, both management and employees are likely to be questioned, normally under caution. As both individuals and businesses can be criminally liable for breaches of health and safety regulations, it would be prudent to know what your rights are before you are questioned. Read more
The powers of the Environment Agency (EA) are significant and businesses that breach the United Kingdom’s extensive environmental regulations can face a range of enforcement methods and sanctions. The EA can impose civil penalties or it can begin a prosecution in the criminal courts. A criminal conviction for environmental breaches can lead to extensive fines with the possibility of custodial sentences for individuals, should they be found guilty of a serious regulatory breach. Directors of companies in breach, may also be subject to directors’ disqualification orders. Read more
Companies Act 2006 offences
It is the officers of a company such as the directors, as well as the company itself and its senior employees that have a legal responsibility to discharge their duties correctly. Breaching such a duty could lead to prosecution and those found guilty of an offence, may well face substantial penalties being imposed. Read more