WHAT TO DO IN THE EVENT OF AN INVESTIGATION OR SEARCH (A “DAWN RAID”) BY AN AUTHORITY OR JUDICIAL BODY?
We advise you to contact the IBJ-IJE immediately on
- +32 2 500 03 25 (reception)
- +32 471 82 62 42 (Simon Vander Putten, Secretary-General)
- +32 478 75 70 37 (Julie Dutordoir, Director-General)
Ensure the confidentiality of all company lawyer advice:
- In the event of a dawn raid, inform your team(s) of this search and ensure that each investigator is always in the presence of a company lawyer or a person with knowledge of the company's rights.
- Inform the investigators of your status as company lawyer and state (orally and in writing in the official report) the existence and scope of confidentiality (Article 5 of the Act of 1 March 2000 on the establishment of an Institute for Company Lawyers : “The advice provided by an company lawyer to his or her employer in the context of his or her duties as legal counsel is confidential.”).
- Identify confidential documents that cannot be read or taken and resist any attempt to read or take them.
What if legal advice is seized anyway?
If confidential documents (whether electronic or paper) are nevertheless seized, ask for them to be placed in a closed envelope for a later decision by the competent authority.
Have the following recorded in the official report:
- The fact that confidentiality was invoked even if the documents were eventually seized;
- The list of documents for which confidentiality has been claimed;
- The state of the documents at the time of seizure: whether under seal or unsealed.
How can the IBJ-IJE support you?
The President of the IBJ-IJE, or a person delegated by him or her, can go to your company to assist you in the procedure if confidentiality is at stake; the IBJ-IJE can also assist you by telephone by intervening afterwards to defend the confidentiality of your advice in the procedure that may follow the search.