MHC: Reputational risk biggest concern for business leaders in criminal investigations

MHC: Reputational risk biggest concern for business leaders in criminal investigations

Brian Horkan

Six out of 10 business leaders identified reputational damage as their biggest concern following a regulatory investigation, a new survey by Mason Hayes & Curran has found.

The survey of 208 industry professionals was carried out at the business law firm’s regulatory investigations and prosecutions webinar, which offered practical advice to companies dealing with criminal investigations.

The survey also found that resource and time constraints are the biggest challenges to companies when conducting an investigation (47 per cent), while more than a third (35 per cent) struggle with understanding regulatory requirements.

Shane Reynolds, partner at Mason Hayes & Curran, said: “Regulatory investigations are a high-stakes process for any business, and can have a lasting impact on public perception and stakeholder trust.

“Our findings indicate that while businesses are acutely aware of the reputational risks involved, there is less clarity around regulatory expectations and the resources that are required to effectively carry out these investigations.”

Taking witness statements during an investigation brings its own set of challenges, with nearly half (48 per cent) of leaders struggling with questioning skills, followed by followed by logistical and technical issues (27 per cent) and emotional and psychological aspects (25 per cent).

Brian Horkan, partner and head of prosecutions at Mason Hayes & Curran, said: “Witness interviews are a critical part of many corporate investigations and can provide vital information and context, but they are accompanied by their own unique challenges.

“We would advise companies to adequately invest in preparing their teams for the rigours of regulatory investigations, and to ensure robust policies and protocols are in place. It’s not just about navigating the present; it’s about safeguarding the future.”

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