Closely related to compliance is the topic of internal investigations. Violations of law can not only result in large financial losses for companies, but can even threaten the existence of the company itself. If there is a suspicion of violations of regulations within a corporation, the concerned company organs are obliged by law to clarify the facts and to prevent future violations by taking appropriate measures.
In cases of reported violations of criminal law or provisions penalized with significant fines, companies have the duty to investigate the facts of the wrongdoing and conduct internal investigations in accordance with Section 93 AktG and Section 43 paragraph 2 of the Act for limited liability companies (GmbHG).
In unusual events, such as e.g.
- crime committed by employees,
- violation of provisions of the Act against restraints of competition (GWB),
- disregard of the mandatory rules of compliance or of the Code of Conduct,
- betrayal of operating and business secrets,
- breach of trust,
- fraud, as well as,
- other operational irregularities,
a significant negative impact on the company can only be avoided by the support of a designated expert. Internal investigations can contribute to the executive board an important advantage of information over any investigation initiated by State authorities and, furthermore, is very useful for the development of an effective defense of the company as a potential secondary/side participant in the proceedings. It can make the substantial difference in preliminary investigations between terminating the proceedings.
Through interviews with employees, securing and evaluating electronic data and evidence the company will be put into the position to avert or at least minimize imminent damage. That way, companies are enabled to comply with the specific obligations to investigate the irregularities and to take all necessary measures.
Juergen Klengel has organized and carried out internal investigations in a large variety of clients for German and international companies. The reason for these internal investigations often were investigations of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), subpoenas of District Attorneys and investigations of German public prosecutor’s offices as well as financial authorities. Even without any official procedures against the company or its employees, Juergen Klengel conducted internal corporate investigations regarding irregularities on behalf of the board of directors or the supervisory board.
Within internal investigations triggered by the authorities, Juergen Klengel was able to clarify the facts through the analysis by e-discovery and employee surveys achieving the aversion of pre-existing suspicions, for example in international corruption and accusations of infidelity, embargo violations or collusions in procedures of the German Federal Cartel Office and the European Commission. In case of need, Juergen Klengel takes additional support of world-class compliance and investigation teams, as well as renowned auditing companies.