News & what's on - Written by on Monday, January 16, 2012 14:53 - 0 Comments

Curious statistics – internal investigations…in decline?

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In an article entitled ‘Sue or be Sued’ in the FTI Journal we picked up on some statistics.

The article’s theme was that of legal actions against global corporations surging across the map with companies facing suits from regulators, shareholders, employees and competitors.

We have seen plenty of this in recent months.

We recently wrote a piece relating to Olympus which neatly wrapped up most of these actions in one nice package (excluding actions from competitors – as far as we know…).

However the report did pick up on another statistic.

Internal investigations see sharp increase…

The same piece contained some data about internal investigations. Under the headline ‘UK Bribery Act Is Making Itself Felt’ the report notes that in 2010 the UK saw a sharp spike (more than double from 12 to 26) in the number of corporations who have engaged outside counsel to assist with a corruption or bribery investigation in the prior 12 months cited to support the proposition that the UK Bribery Act is making itself felt.

Followed by a sharp decline…

And yet the same piece contained another statistic which did not quite fit the narrative.

The same report states that in 2011 this number collapsed to 6 UK companies engaging outside counsel to assist with the same type of investigation.

The statistics raise the question: will the Bribery Act live up to the hype or even the headlines?

The reality

The entry into force of the Bribery Act has seen a step change in the awareness of anti-corruption measures and activities on the part of corporates with associated internal investigation activity.

Quite where the steep decline in internal investigations statistic emanates from is not clear.

It is not our experience.

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