Stek Dawn Raid Team
Visit by an authority
Competition authorities such as the Dutch Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) and the European Commission (EC) monitor compliance with competition provisions. They are authorised to impose considerable fines following infringements of those provisions (up to 80% of the group turnover). Competition authorities have extensive investigative powers. In cases of suspected competition law infringements, authorities have the power to carry out unannounced inspections of company premises and conduct interviews to gather information for their investigation. These inspections are commonly referred to as dawn raids, which may be executed simultaneously on multiple locations and can last for several days.
By law, companies have to cooperate with an investigation conducted by the ACM or the EC. In case of a dawn raid, they may not obstruct the investigation for instance by refusing entrance to the premises or destroying documents. Failure to abide by the obligation to cooperate may result in large fines, which are separate from any potential fines in relation to a finding of competition law infringements.
Importantly, however, companies do have rights during and after dawn raids (e.g. the right to counsel), and there are limits to the powers that competition authorities have. That is why it is important to bring in legal assistance to supervise the activities of competition authorities during a dawn raid, while ensuring the company cooperates according to the law.
Stek Dawn Raid Team
Stek Advocaten maintains a specialised dawn raid team ready to assist you or your company with an unexpected inspection by competition authorities and ensure that the investigation goes as smoothly as possible from the very beginning. Stek sets itself apart by offering top-tier legal assistance at competitive rates. We have:
- A specialised dawn raid team of approximately 20 attorneys, guaranteeing available assistance at any time;
- Extensive experience with dawn raids and competition law investigations by the ACM as well as the EC;
- A combination of competition law and litigation specialists, ensuring (i) competition authorities will not exceed their investigative powers, and (ii) any procedural action in court is directly available if necessary;
- Access to and extensive experience with advanced digital (forensic) investigation programmes.
The Stek dawn raid team can offer immediate assistance to companies in case of a dawn raid by the ACM or the EC, relieving the client of any investigative burden. The Stek dawn raid team is ready to assist at short notice, allowing companies to ensure that their rights are protected, even if they are caught off guard.
Stek services include:
- Monitoring the process by:
- making clear arrangements with officials;
- ensuring that the inspection remains within its legal scope;
- working closely with your IT specialist on digital investigations;
- Legal assistance during employee interrogations;
- Clear follow-up agreements with the competition authority about the remainder of the investigation;
- Advice on important next steps for the company.
Preparing for an unexpected visit from a competition authority will help investigations run more smoothly and maintain composure within the organisation. It would be our pleasure to assist you as you prepare, for instance by making a checklist or an internal road map for possible dawn raids.
Our Unannounced Visit Checklist provides an overview of important points to keep in mind during a dawn raid.