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The history of the global investigation

Over the past decade, the number and profile of multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional regulatory and criminal investigations have risen exponentially. Naturally, this global phenomenon exposes companies and their employees to greater risk of potentially hostile encounters with foreign law enforcement authorities and regulators than ever before. This is partly owing to the continued globalisation of commerce, the increasing enthusiasm of some prosecutors to use expansive theories of corporate criminal liability to exact exorbitant penalties against corporations as a deterrent and public pressure to hold individuals accountable for the misconduct. The globalisation of corporate law enforcement, of course, has also spawned greater coordination between law enforcement agencies domestically and across borders. As a result, the pace and complexity of cross-border corporate investigations has markedly increased and created an environment in which the potential consequences, both direct and collateral, for individuals and businesses are of unprecedented magnitude.

The Guide

To aid practitioners faced with the myriad and often unexpected challenges of navigating a cross-border investigation, this book brings together for the first time the perspectives of leading experts from across the globe.

The chapters that follow in Volume I of the Guide cover in depth the broad spectrum of the law, practice and procedure applicable to cross-border investigations in both the United Kingdom and United States. Volume I tracks the development of a serious allegation (whether originating from an internal or external source) through its stages of development, considering the key risks and challenges as matters progress; it provides expert insight into the fact-gathering stage, document preservation and collection, witness interviews, and the complexities of cross-border privilege issues; and it discusses strategies to successfully resolve cross-border probes and manage corporate reputation throughout an investigation.

In Volume II, local experts from national jurisdictions respond to a common set of questions designed to identify the local nuances of law and practice that practitioners may encounter in responding to a cross-border investigation.

In the first edition, we signalled our intention to update and expand both parts of the book as the rules evolve and prosecutors’ appetites change. The Guide continues to grow and extend its reach, in both substance and geographical scope. By its third edition, it had outgrown its original single-book format; the two parts of the Guide now have separate covers, although the hard copy of the Guide should still be viewed – and used – as a single reference work. All chapters are, of course, made available online and in other digital formats. Volume I also features tables of cases and legislation along with an index.

In this fourth edition, we have revised extant chapters to keep up with recent developments. To reflect an increased prosecutorial focus on individual accountability and on tone at the top, we have added US and UK chapters on the duties of directors to Volume I, outlining quite divergent corporate governance models. The questionnaire for Volume II authors has been extensively revised and reviewed by the editors and GIR staff. New questions zero in on the growing importance of technology in carrying out and investigating misconduct. There are also questions on economic sanctions, an area of heightened enforcement activity, which GIR has responded to this year with the launch of Just Sanctions ( Volume II also carries regional overviews giving insight into cultural issues and regional coordination by authorities.

Volume II covers 25 jurisdictions, increasing the global coverage, particularly in South America, which continues to rake over recent corruption scandals. As corporate investigations and enforcer co-operation crosses more borders, we anticipate Volume II will become increasingly valuable to our readers: external and in-house counsel; compliance and accounting professionals; and prosecutors and regulators operating in this complex environment.


The Editors gratefully acknowledge the insightful contributions of the following lawyers from Clifford Chance: Oliver Pegden in London, Amy Montour and Mary Jane Yoon in New York, and Hena Schommer and Michelle Williams in Washington, DC. The Editors would also especially like to thank Clifford Chance associate Kaitlyn Ferguson in Washington, DC, Chris Stott, senior attorney at Ropes & Gray LLP in London, and Zoe Osborne, partner at Steptoe & Johnson in London.

Judith Seddon, Eleanor Davison, Christopher J Morvillo, Michael Bowes KC, Luke Tolaini, Ama A Adams, Tara McGrath
December 2019
London, New York and Washington, DC

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