If you are requested to attend an interview as a suspect or witness, how you respond to questioning by enforcement agencies can significantly affect the outcome and may lead to criminal or regulatory action.
In complex investigations enforcement agencies and regulators will seek to understand the facts and gather evidence by way of interview. Suspects are usually interviewed ‘under caution’ following arrest or if they have agreed to attend voluntarily. It is often a ‘pressure cooker environment’ where those with no prior contact with enforcement agencies may feel compelled to answer questions but later contradict themselves due to difficulty in accurately remembering key events.
The interview is a key step in the investigation process. Expert advice is vital prior to interview to engage and negotiate with the authorities and post-interview to develop a strategy to robustly defend any contested allegations.
Increasingly, investigators are calling witnesses who are professionals, who work for regulated firms, or who are ‘approved persons’ for compelled interviews. In compelled interviews you have a legal duty to answer questions and could be prosecuted if you do not cooperate.
How we can help
Our team has in-depth experience of interviews conducted by all enforcement agencies including the police, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). We are experts in the interview process, whether that is robustly objecting to improper lines of questioning, clarifying issues or advising on a stance in interview. Often, thorough preparation before interview allows for early engagement with investigators and, on occasion, the provision of a written statement and representations may avoid the case progressing to charge.
We appreciate that every situation is unique and tactical skill is needed to challenge enforcement agencies to secure positive outcomes. We have the expertise to guide you through the most challenging of interviews and can assist with both interviews in person and remote live interviews.