A company may first learn that it is involved in an antitrust investigation in the US when federal agents appear at offices or homes armed with a search warrant to seize electronic and hard-copy records, computers, smart phones or other items that may contain relevant information.
No one expects to be handed a search warrant by a federal agent at the office, yet it is happening more frequently than ever before, and not only in the United States but around the world.
If a search warrant in a cartel case is executed on your business, it is likely the result of months or even years of investigation. When the FBI appears at your door, it is important that your personnel know how to react. In essence, to put your organization in position to effectively defend such an investigation, it is critical to be proactive and prepare for the possibility well in advance. Such preparation will allow you not only to understand what is happening when a search occurs, but also to have in place guidelines and procedures for dealing with the situation.
For our readers, we have prepared a handbook looking at the top ten “do’s” and “don’ts” for dealing with a search warrant in a cartel investigation in the US.
Every situation is different and calls for case-specific advice from experienced counsel, but making yourself familiar with general guidelines on appropriate behavior may prevent grave mistakes before counsel can arrive on the scene to assist.