Business crime

Global investigations, white-collar crime, cybercrime, criminal compliance and due diligence

See also Internal investigations

Our criminal law team has extensive experience in all aspects of business crime. We act in internal and governmental investigations and represent clients in criminal trials relating to fraud, bribery, offences against companies and creditors, money laundering and bid rigging. We serve as auxiliary or private prosecutors in criminal trials as well as defend clients in white-collar crimes and extradition. We also advise on all corporate criminal liability issues.

We have unique expertise handling cyber incidents. We represent victims of cyber frauds in criminal and civil matters to recover losses.

We draw from our trial experience to advise on criminal compliance and criminal risk due-diligence projects.

Multi-practice approach. Members of our Business Crime team are well known for their expertise in civil law. We work closely with our colleagues from other practices on cases requiring in-depth knowledge of dispute-resolution tactics (pre-charge civil freezing orders and civil fraud), public procurement (debarment from public tenders), antitrust and consumer protection (bid rigging and price fixing), tax (tax liability and criminal tax liability), employment and data protection (criminal infringement of employee rights and data protection duties), corporate (liability of managers, especially where there is a risk of insolvency), M&A (criminal risk due diligence and advising on structuring of deals and wording of representations and warranties). With this approach, we can provide clients comprehensive cross-practice strategies to solve their problems.

High professional integrity. In providing our service we adhere to the highest professional duties with regards to conflict of interest and privilege. We consider ourselves officers of the court, and represent our clients zealously without breaching our duties to the court.

International expertise and reach. Although we are a local firm, we have global capabilities. We have experience working for international clients and law firms on global investigations and compliance projects. We provide local expertise in the wider international context. Our lawyers are also dually qualified, which provides them a unique understanding of the international legal context. Thanks to our international contacts and engagement in international networks and organisations, together with our foreign colleagues we can deliver legal assistance in almost all jurisdictions worldwide. For our international work for a multinational retail chain, designing and implementing the client’s anti-corruption policy in the CEE region, we were awarded the Lex Mundi Award for Best Multijurisdictional Project in 2020.

Cooperation with experts. We cooperate with leading, renowned risk analysis firms and private investigators to preserve and collect evidence.

Recognition. We are a group of specialists in the field, top-ranked by Legal 500.

Pro bono. We engage in significant pro bono activity. We cooperate with major domestic human rights NGOs (Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, Panoptykon, Human Rights and Business, Pro Bono Centre) on precedent-setting matters. Our work highlights civil, political, socio-economic and developmental human rights.

 

We have extensive experience assisting clients in matters involving criminal fraud of many types (e.g. occupational fraud and clinical trial fraud). We conduct internal investigations aimed at identifying fraud, abuses and wrongdoers. To this end we cooperate with leading risk analysis firms providing necessary expert assistance. We also assist clients in reporting fraud to the authorities and representing them as aggrieved parties in governmental investigations and at trial.

We advise and represent clients in corruption and bribery matters. We represent clients who were injured by corruption and bribery as well as defend individuals. We also advise corporations whose employees were involved in corruption and bribery practices on corporate criminal liability issues.

Drawing from our trial experience, we advise clients on designing and implementing anti-corruption and anti-bribery policies. We also assist in M&A transactions, conducting pre- and post-acquisition anti-corruption due diligence.

We cooperate with Transparency International as country experts for its Exporting Corruption Progress Report.

See our guides on criminal investigation and trial in Poland, and anti-corruption compliance

We closely cooperate with our colleagues from the Competition practice in matters relating to cartels and bid rigging. We provide pre-charge advice to clients with regard to self-disclosure and corporate criminal liability.

We advise companies and shareholders on corporate criminal liability. Although the current law hobbles effective prosecution of corporations, the risk of corporate criminal liability should always be taken into account, especially in the context of M&A transactions. The government is also signalling its intention to pass a new law on corporate criminal liability to modernise the procedure, expand its scope, provide for stricter penalties, and impose mandatory duties on business to adopt compliance and whistleblowing policies.

We defend individual clients in white-collar matters in governmental investigations and at trial. We have particular experience in defence relating to fraud, corruption, bribery, money laundering, and criminal mismanagement.

We conduct internal investigations, both at the company’s initiative and in response to whistleblowers’ complaints. We investigate occupational fraud, corruption and bribery, the root causes of cyber vulnerabilities, money laundering, and other misconduct, for domestic and multinational companies. Our services range from general compliance audits across the organisation to targeted inspections of suspicious conduct within selected business units. We aim to provide clients insightful examination of potential risks and assist them in shaping the optimal responses to mitigate legal, commercial and reputational impact. We also advise on self-disclosure to enforcement authorities and regulatory agencies.

We tailor our team on a case-by-case basis, engaging investigators from a pool of experienced white-collar attorneys, civil litigators, and regulatory and tax advisers. With support from trusted private investigators and risk analysis firms, we can run quick background checks of suspects and swiftly analyse the client’s available databases using tailor-made data analytics tools.

We draw from our trial experience to advise clients on criminal law compliance projects. We have particular experience advising clients on designing tailor-made anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) and anti-money laundering (AML) procedures. We also advise clients on designing and implementing whistleblowing procedures. To this end we cooperate with leading international firms providing platform solutions to business. We can help companies identify risks and design procedures, and assist clients in implementation, including providing training for all employees and board members.

We provide assistance to buyers and sellers with regard to criminal-law risks resulting from M&A transactions. We assist in pre- and post-acquisition due diligence and advise on transaction structures with a view to mitigating risks of criminal liability (appropriate structure of the deal, post-sale remedies). Our criminal risk due diligence covers detection of ongoing and past cases of corruption and bribery, occupational fraud and abuses, money laundering and human rights violations, especially in supply chains (e.g. human trafficking, child and forced labour).

We have extensive experience assisting clients in responding to various cyberattacks and cyber-facilitated frauds, e.g. business email compromise, phishing, data hacks, ICO fraud, ransomware, and collapses of cryptocurrency exchanges. We combine our expertise in civil and criminal law to deliver to clients a comprehensive response and recovery strategy. To this end we conduct internal investigations aimed at determining the course of events, securing evidence and eradicating threats. We also represent clients in criminal, administrative and civil proceedings to repair harm and enforce liability against the perpetrators as well as third parties contributing to losses through their negligence.

We have experience working on multijurisdictional teams tackling cyber frauds. We have deep knowledge of instruments enabling international cooperation between law enforcement authorities (mutual legal assistance treaties, European Investigative Orders). We also have experience assisting authorities in collecting user data of major digital platforms via governmental disclosure requests. We also have experience securing evidence abroad using local procedures (for example, in support of a pending investigation in Poland we successfully worked with an English firm to obtain a Norwich Pharmacal order against a major telecommunications provider in the UK).

See our guide on BEC fraud

Civil fraud is an umbrella term used for a plethora of causes of action and remedies available to fraud victims. These measures aim to recover defrauded assets. We have extensive experience litigating disputes over the civil repercussions of criminal fraud. We assist clients who have suffered losses originating from occupational fraud, clinical trial fraud, cybercrime and money laundering.

Unlike many foreign jurisdictions, the Polish civil justice system does not provide effective tools to pursue civil fraud claims. It does not for example provide for pre-action disclosure, search warrants, or similar orders for obtaining information. We have experience finding alternative tools, for example obtaining information and evidence via criminal proceedings.

We represent clients in regulatory and disciplinary proceedings. We have experience representing clients before the Polish Financial Supervision Authority and various professional responsibility bodies (e.g. medical associations and bar associations).

We assist clients in preparing for dawn raids (designing tailor-made policies, conducting training and mock dawn raids) as well as providing clients emergency assistance during dawn raids (remotely and on-site) and in subsequent investigations.

See our general note on dawn raids and criminal-specific guidance on search of business premises and seizure of items by law enforcement authorities.

We have extensive experience in human rights law. We represent clients in various matters concerning human rights abuses before domestic and international bodies (e.g. the European Court of Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Commission, and OECD Contact Points).

We also advise clients on human rights due diligence, especially in supply chains (human trafficking, forced and child labour). In these matters we follow the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights.

We defend clients in extradition matters and provide assistance in Interpol Red Notice challenges. We also advise clients on mutual legal assistance issues. In MLA and extradition matters we closely cooperate with foreign colleagues to provide clients comprehensive strategies in both jurisdictions of interest. We also cooperate with leading NGOs and experts to obtain reports on the state of human rights observance in countries seeking extradition. We also have expertise with challenges to Interpol Red Notices, especially when they are politically motivated.

We provide assistance to clients involved in immigration offences (illegal attempts to cross the border, forged visas and forged border-control stamps) and resulting administrative proceedings (e.g. visa revocation and entry in domestic or SIS databases of persons unwelcome in the EU).