EU and Irish regulators, including the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission ("CCPC") and the European Commission, are empowered to conduct "dawn raids" in order to gather evidence for competition law investigations. It is essential for businesses to have a procedure for all staff to follow in the event of a dawn raid.
At Matheson we have achieved successful outcomes for clients subject to dawn raids and we have leading expertise in effective dawn raid training and procedure design. We have distilled some of our experience into the below timeline guide on what to expect and what to do in the event of a dawn raid.
Our guide takes into account international best practice and the recent decision in CRH, Irish Cement Limited and Lynch v CCPC, which is under appeal and due to be heard in January 2017.
Dawn - Responding to the Investigation
The arrival of a team of officials from the CCPC or the European Commission (often including Gardaí) can be unnerving and it is important that all staff remain calm and cordial. The first contact point between the regulator and your business will likely be reception staff, therefore make sure to brief them on the procedure to follow.
What to Expect What to Do Arrival of officials at your office. Notify your Dawn Raid Contact List without delay. Display of Irish Court warrant / EU authorization. Take a copy of the document, so that competition lawyers can advise on whether it is valid and appropriate and what scope of search is permitted by it. Immediate commencement of the investigation. You may request that the officials wait the arrival of your Dawn Raid Response Team (including senior management and lawyers) before beginning their investigation. However, neither the CCPC nor the EU Commission officials are under an obligation to postpone their search and you must not obstruct their entry if they decline to wait. Midday - Monitoring the Investigation
What to Expect What to Do A Broad Sweep: The officials may inspect, copy or seize records relating to the subject of the investigation, including electronic equipment, hard drives, originals, and legally privileged records. Arrange for the activities of each official to be recorded by a 'shadower' throughout the investigation, so that a full duplicate of the files taken by the officials can be made. Allocate responsibility to...