"Put his own interests above those of the company" "Buried his head in the sand" "May not have undertaken their duties in a fit and proper manner" .... just a few quotes taken from recent proceedings against company officers.
Of course, these may be great soundbites for an article of this kind, but not words any executive would wish to hear, not least when applied to the exercise of his or her corporate and/or fiduciary duties owed to a company.
Whether concerning health and safety failings, corporate governance, regulatory matters or fraud, we at DQ Advocates are seeing a clear trend - an increasing emphasis being placed on company officers and their lack of action or wilful blindness when it comes to criminal prosecutions.
'Often when an initial arrest occurs or a letter arrives from a regulatory body, there is a sense of both shock and incredulity that the individual has ended up in this position,' says Dawn Jones, recently appointed consultant to DQ Advocates.
'It is really important that the individual has a safe and experienced pair of hands to guide them through from what could be their first time in a police station to what could also be the first time that they have been inside a court room.'
In Dawn's experience, it is imperative the client feels they have someone alongside them who is seeing things from their perspective, who understands their emotional state and who can provide wise counsel and challenge when the need arises.
This very much echoes DQ's experience with regulatory enforcement matters where the individual in question may consider that they have done everything they possibly can to comply with the requirements and now struggles to make the connection with the proposed proceedings.
'What is really important in that situation is to be able to help the client understand how the regulator might be viewing things and to bring our longstanding experience to bear in helping the client think logically and calmly about how to prepare,' added Sinead O'Connor, Head of DQ's Regulatory & Compliance team.
Reflecting on the addition of Dawn to the team, Director Leanne McKeown said: 'We want our clients to feel DQ can hold their hand from inception to conclusion of any investigation and/or litigation, with the benefit of a depth of experience targeted at achieving the best possible outcome.
'We believe that we have taken a positive additional step forward with the recruitment of Dawn, a highly regarded criminal practitioner and courtroom advocate of 30 years, a move which is already bearing fruit for clients of our Dispute Resolution and Regulatory & Compliance teams.'
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