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 laws. They are authorised to impose considerable fines following infringements of those laws (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 on 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 observe 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.
On the other hand, companies have fundamental rights that need to be respected during and after dawn raids by the authorities (e.g. the right to counsel), and there are clear limits to the powers that competition authorities have. Bringing in legal assistance ensures that the activities of competition authorities during a dawn raid are supervised, and that the company observes its duty to cooperate.
Stek Dawn Raid Team
Stek Advocaten has a specialised dawn raid team ready to assist you or your company with unannounced inspections by a competition authority and ensures 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 and 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 tools.
The Stek dawn raid team can offer immediate assistance to companies in case of a dawn raid by the ACM or the EC, reducing the burden on the investigated company. 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.
Key elements of Stek’s assistance include:
- Monitoring the inspection 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;
- Assistance during employee interrogations;
- Clear follow-up arrangements with the competition authority in relation to the remainder of the investigation;
- Advice on important next steps for the company.
Preparing for an unexpected visit from a competition authority will help to reduce the burden of an investigation and to maintain composure within the organisation. Stek can assist you with these preparations, for instance by making a checklist, manual or 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.