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Employment Law for Individuals

Criminal And Regulatory Investigations And Your Employment

Susie Al-Qassab
Susie Al‑Qassab
Partner
Ruth Harris
Ruth Harris
Partner
Homa Wilson
Homa Wilson
Partner
Neil Emery
Partner
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Natalie Wellock
Solicitor

Facing criminal and/or regulatory investigation or proceedings can be extremely daunting. You will be concerned about the risk to your reputation and liberty. You will be concerned about how a criminal case may impact your employment and career.

If you are in a regulated profession then a withdrawal of necessary approvals and other sanctions can also be an end to your career. At Hodge Jones & Allen our experienced criminal defence, regulatory and employment solicitors know how to assist you to navigate your way through this, working together to achieve the best possible outcome.

Informing your employer

The start of a criminal investigation can raise some difficult questions, including do you need to inform your employer? For certain jobs, and depending on your employment contract terms, there may be an obligation to inform.

Even if you are under no obligation there may be circumstances where you would wish to inform your employer as it may assist you in any disciplinary proceedings to be open about your situation and cooperative. It may also help your employer find alternative employment for you within the organisation.

Our employment solicitors work closely with our criminal defence solicitors to consider and advise our clients on how best to proceed.

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Disciplinary proceedings

The conduct behind the criminal case may trigger disciplinary proceedings. What you say in your disciplinary proceedings and how you manage the process may influence your criminal case. For instance, if you admit something as part of your disciplinary proceedings, or offer to compensate your employer for wrong doing this could have a consequence for your criminal matter.

If you admit, or are convicted of, a criminal offence this may be significant to proceedings taken by your employer. It is therefore essential to take account of both employment and criminal factors as you navigate through this process.

Regulated professionals and conduct proceedings

Many employees are subject to regulation by a professional regulatory body. Each regulator will have rules as to conduct. Certain types of misconduct, and certainly criminal investigations, convictions or cautions are likely to raise fitness to practise issues. The issues that bring about a criminal investigation may also lead a regulator to carry out its own investigation and proceedings follow. This may occur even if you are not charged or acquitted.

There are often also separate regulatory duties as to disclosure of wrongdoing and criminal investigation. Our regulatory solicitors are experienced in criminal defence issues and can advise and assist you through proceedings, working together with our employment solicitors.

Dedicated Criminal Defence, Financial Crime & Regulatory solicitors

Our Employment Solicitors regularly work alongside our Criminal Defence and Financial Crime & Regulatory solicitors as issues for clients start to become very closely entwined. The same facts could lead to criminal investigation, disciplinary proceedings by the employer and regulatory proceedings by the professional regulator. It is important all these different elements are carefully considered and first class and holistic legal advice and representation obtained.

Our legal teams at Hodge Jones & Allen

Ruth Harris heads up our Financial Crime and Regulatory Team and the Head of our Employment Team is Susie Al-Qassab. Both partners are highly experienced in their specialist areas of law. They work successfully together to achieve positive outcomes for their clients

Successful outcomes for our clients

  • Our Financial Crime and Employment Solicitors together advised and assisted an employee of a major international financial services firm in navigating and responding to an investigation for potential insider-dealing and disciplinary proceedings for conduct breaches. The criminal aspect did not proceed and the disciplinary proceedings upheld only in part and limited to a first written warning. We also advised on his rights relating to the subsequent notification to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and regulatory reference requirements.
  • Our Employment Team acted for a former Chief Executive facing an employment tribunal after named personally as a Respondent. As part of his case, he needed advice on the criminal implications of his opponent’s behaviour so that could inform his own pleadings and we were able to get the case against him struck out.
  • Hodge Jones & Allen acted for a client under investigation for serious sexual misconduct. He required help on the regulatory implications, following the accusation, as he was a regulated professional. In addition, he needed advice from the employment team when his partners attempted to remove him from the partnership.
  • We acted for a client who had a job offer rescinded because of a prior conviction. This situation had resulted in the General Medical Council (GMC) imposing a suspension and conditions for practice. Our Regulatory and Employment Solicitors successfully challenged the decision and he was able to progress his career.
  • Our Employment Solicitors acted for a client who had a job offer rescinded because of a prior conviction for peaceful protesting. We assisted the client with an appeal and our client was able to make a further application with her prior convictions disregarded.
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