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Independent Investigations

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

There are many occasions when an organisation will need to conduct an investigation.

Obvious examples are when allegations of bullying, harassment and/or misconduct are made. Often those investigations can and should be done internally. However, some instances benefit from the appointment of an independent investigator.

Who is an independent investigator?

Simply put, this is an investigator who does not work for the company.

Why do you need an independent investigator?

Carrying out an employment investigation internally may not be the best idea. There are times:

  • Where organisations lack the necessary skills and expertise to carry out an effective investigation (this is often the case where the dispute is sensitive or involves members of senior management/board members/directors).
  • When reputational resilience may benefit from the appointment of a regulated professional investigation
  • Where a company needs to safeguard against resentment between internal personnel – this can arise if an investigation is carried out internally as employees can resent members of the internal investigation team.
  • Where the company wishes to protect its reputation by appointing an impartial investigator.

What can we offer?

  • Deal with the investigation in an ethical and transparent manner in accordance with our professional obligations.
  • Conduct the investigation with the utmost care and confidentiality.
  • Analyse the facts and evidence and make appropriate recommendations.
  • Years of experience in respect of investigations.
  • Detailed understanding of the ACAS guidance.

When might you need us?

  • The investigation itself involves senior employees or board members.
  • When the employees lack sufficient independence and/or seniority to conduct an investigation it’s not possible or appropriate for the company to have a specific person carry out the hearing or investigation.
  • If the issue involves multiple employees or requires a large amount of evidence and statements to be collected.
  • If the investigation and/or allegations are highly likely to attract the media.
  • If the investigation has been triggered by a protected disclosure or ‘whistleblowing’.
  • Investigating grievances raised by two senior directors against each other.
  • Undertaking an investigation in relation to allegations of sexual harassment in a local town council.
  • Carrying out an internal investigation and review of a registered social landlords employment practices and procedures and reporting arrangements, following the death of a resident.
  • Providing investigation support to multi-national company’s internal compliance team – this could involve supporting the company’s own internal investigators in gathering, reviewing, reporting on evidence, and providing support during investigation meetings.
  • Supporting an investigation into allegations of serious sexual harassment made by junior employees against senior managers. This might include reviewing documentation and CCTV footage, interviewing the complainant, witnesses and the managers concerned, and assisting in the preparation of a comprehensive investigation report.

Investigations we have experience in

  • Grievance and disciplinary matters.
  • Bullying and harassment – including accusations against high-ranking officials in local government.
  • Whistleblowing – including protected disclosures purporting health and safety breaches.
  • Compliance concerns.
  • Serious incidents – violence or sexual misconduct
  • Company policies & procedures concerns.
  • Data Privacy and Cyber.
  • Online safety.
  • Professional Services.

When can we help you?

Please don’t hesitate to contact our employment law team on a confidential basis to discuss how we might assist with workplace investigations.

Tom Charteress

Posted:

Tom Charteress

Trainee Solicitor

Tom is a Trainee Solicitor in the Employment team based in the Northampton office and deals with employment issues in a pragmatic and logical approach.