Surprise investigations, or “Dawn raids,” are usually unannounced and unexpected. But there are steps you can take to be prepared. Knowing your rights and understanding the process can minimise disruption whilst protecting your legal position.
Our range of award-winning digital tools can help you prepare for a dawn raid by providing essential information you need to know before, during and after an investigation.
What is a dawn raid?
Dawn raids are unannounced inspections by a competition or criminal investigatory authority. They’re called dawn raids because the warrants are often executed early in the morning. The element of surprise reduces the risk of anyone trying to destroy evidence.
Your first alert of a criminal investigation could be investigating officers arriving with a search warrant demanding entry. Warrants are court orders which permit the officers to enter premises and search for property described in the warrant. If the officers find that property, they can seize and retain it.
Dawn Raid Management Tool
Bird & Bird has collaborated with safeREACH, a provider of user-friendly and reliable alarm and communication systems for safe handling of crises and incidents, to create a new tool that simplifies the stressful process of managing a surprise investigation and helps you navigate through dawn raids conducted by regulatory authorities.
The customisable system allows for secure communication over the app and documents the whole process of an investigation in real-time. It can be individually configured and runs independently from a company’s own IT systems.
How does it work?
- When investigators arrive, receptionists activate an alert through a user-friendly button on their computer screen
- Immediately, all stakeholders, including external counsel, receive an alarm on their phone informing them about the dawn raid
- The dawn raid coordinator automatically receives clear instructions on what to do
- Stakeholders can exchange information and documents through a secure internal chatroom
- Checklists and customised documents can be accessed directly through the app
Click here for more information.
Watch a short video to better understand how the tool works.
Dawn Raid App
The Dawn Raid App is a free compliance tool. It’s designed to guide you through the essential information you would need in the event of a dawn raid by antitrust authorities. Use it to find out exactly what to do, what rights you have and what powers the inspecting authorities have when faced with a surprise investigation.
What does it include?
- A checklist of information for before, during and after a dawn raid and the subsequent investigation
- Key information about your obligations and rights to ensure that your business cooperates fully, whilst minimising disruption and protecting your company’s legal position
- A list of frequently asked questions
- Emergency Bird & Bird contacts at your fingertips who can provide you with immediate support
The app is available in several languages. More information here.
Dawn Raid Game
Test your knowledge of what to do in the event of a dawn raid. Our free, interactive Dawn Raid Game lets you role-play as an employee at work when a dawn raid occurs. The game is available in English, Finnish, French and Japanese.
What are the benefits?
- An engaging way to test your organisation’s preparedness for a dawn raid or an investigation by the European Commission or any other regulatory authority.
- The game can be used in the context of competition compliance training.
Our interactive online courses cover the following topics:
- Dealing with competitors (30 minutes)
- Supply and distribution agreements (30 minutes)
- Dominant companies (15 minutes) – for companies that hold a strong market position
- Dawn Raid investigations (7 short modules of 5-10 minutes each)
Each short course uses plain language that is easily understood by non-lawyers. With practical examples, Q&As with feedback and case studies, there’s guaranteed learning for your employees.
What are the benefits?
- Training available to employees 24/7, wherever your team is located.
- Can form part of your company’s robust competition compliance programme.
- Can be a mitigating factor in case of a compliance law breach.
- You can track and measure participation and learning results.
More information available here.
Watch demo videos of the courses here.
- A dawn raid is at best unsettling, and at worst, a very traumatic event. You need to expect the unexpected and prepare for the worst.
- The cornerstone of every good compliance programme is training. Time spent using our resources to create a response plan will have huge benefits.
- In the event of a surprise investigation, it’s important to keep a clear head and to seek immediate legal advice.