Our client was subject to a four-day raid by a European Commission team (with CMA support) investigating alleged competition infringements in relation to Norwegian salmon. The Scottish premises of various firms were raided simultaneously, as were premises elsewhere in the EU.
We supported the client and protected their interests on issues such as legal privilege, securing premises overnight, and securing and downloading email accounts from the cloud. We shadowed the investigators’ review of physical and digital documents and supervised the questioning of client employees. We reported back to the client’s Norwegian advisers each night, in liaison with the team dealing with the raid of premises elsewhere in the EU.
- Despatched a response team within 30 minutes of the initial call.
- Deployed a team of 13 solicitors over the four days, scaling up and down as required.
- Drew on our standing rapid response capability, with more than 40 lawyers trained on dawn raids across our Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen offices.
- Each responder has their own rapid response manual setting out the powers and obligations of the investigators and the key procedures to follow during a raid.
- Our manual attracted favourable comment from the Commission team, who were pleased to learn that their shadowers would know the rules.
On receiving the call, we dispatched a sizeable and well-trained team to the client's premises within 30 minutes to provide essential on the ground support. We struck up a good working relationship with the on-site client team and the joint European Commission/CMA team conducting the raid, which allowed us to best protect the client's position.
We worked closely with the client's head office in Norway, Norwegian lawyers, and external lawyers elsewhere in the EU to keep them updated on the proceedings in Scotland and inform the client group's response.
European Commission or CMA dawn raids of Scottish premises have not been common in recent years, and very few firms are able to call on similar experience or deploy anything close to our level of trained resource in responding to raids in Scotland.