Business Crimes & Investigations

Business Crimes & Investigations

The acceleration of globalisation and rapid expansion of the enforcement environment has placed the private and public sectors under increasing pressure to proactively manage their exposure to economic business crime and other risks.

Factors contributing to the global economic business crime crisis and spate of international corporate failures, are the lack of transparency and accountability of various institutions. This has triggered governments, including South Africa, to legislate and enforce criminal sanctions for violations of laws regulating business activities.

Accordingly, organisations are obliged to conduct internal assessments and investigations, either to act on tip-offs of alleged irregularities, or to demonstrate good corporate governance.

Economic crime is endemic in the global corporate arena and recent economic crime statistics show that the problem is escalating rapidly in South Africa, yet businesses are lagging behind criminals in their efforts to combat this crime.

The Werksmans Business Crimes & Investigations practice acts for entities in both the public and private sectors, including municipalities and multinationals, in the successful prevention, detection and investigation of economic crime along with the subsequent institution of legal action where necessary.

Investigations have become more sophisticated as the technical and judgmental challenges rise due to the increasingly elaborate tactics used by perpetrators. The team’s broad knowledge of investigations and enquiries, and the litigation which subsequently follows, enables us to guide clients through investigations whilst increasing the prospect of a successful outcome.

Our Business Crimes & Investigations experts assist clients in managing their economic crime risks by developing pre-emptive compliance programmes and strategies and by conducting internal assessments and investigations.

Instructing the team gives clients the edge as we approach their needs holistically by drawing from our wealth of experience in related practice areas such as insolvency, employment, litigation and competition law.

BUSINESS CRIMEs & investigations SERVICES:

White collar crime and forensics:

  • Undertaking fact and evidence finding investigations
  • Instituting disciplinary proceedings
  • Advising on possible civil remedies
  • Preserving and/or tracing assets (anti-dissipation and Anton Piller orders, etc.)
  • Liaising with law enforcement authorities
  • Undertaking due diligence investigations
  • Providing watching briefs in criminal trials
  • Instituting legal action

Prevention and detection of economic crime:

  • Completing internal assessments and formulating a tailored risk strategy focusing on prevention and detection of economic crimes
  • Drafting and implementing policies and procedures to deal with economic crime
  • Vetting suppliers and employees
  • Measuring the fraud and ethical climate within organisations and introducing appropriate awareness training

Electronic discovery:

  • Advising clients on managing their electronic discovery obligations
  • Analysing data and advising on privilege (anti-trust matters, etc.)

Corporate governance:

  • Advising on best business practices and implementing internal codes of conduct
  • Developing tailored corporate compliance programmes
  • Advising on the fiduciary duties of directors
  • Advising on King Code compliance

Regulatory compliance:

  • Advising and training on anti-money laundering compliance and reporting obligations
  • Implementing disclosure procedures and controls
  • Advising on applicable regulatory provisions
  • Investigating regulatory and policy breaches
  • Investigating tender and procurement fraud
  • Advising on Know Your Client (KYC) requirements
  • Undertaking UK Bribery Act and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act risk assessments

Contact Director Bernard Hotz, Head of our Business Crimes & Investigations practice.

Download our Business Crimes & Investigations practice area overview

Read the Bribery and Corruption chapter of Global Legal Insights.

Read our Table of Comparisons between corruption law in South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.