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How to act

Our specialists advise on how best to act in response to claims, requests, ‘raids’ or in interrogations by inspection and investigative authorities such as:

  • Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA)
  • Netherlands Labour Inspectorate (NLA)
  • Financial Markets Authority (AFM)
  • DCMR Environmental Protection Agency Rijnmond (DCMR)
  • De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB)
  • Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service (FIOD)
  • Team POSS/Customs (Customs)
  • Environmental and Transport Inspectorate (ILT)
  • Healthcare and Youth Inspectorate (IGJ)
  • Consumer and Market Authority (ACM)
  • Dutch Safety Board (OVV)
  • Public Prosecution Service (OM)
  • Examining Magistrate (RC)

Foreign authorities may also approach you for information, for example the US SEC (similar to the Dutch AFM). In that case, too, we assist you and your company with specialist advice.

If you or your company is visited by investigating officers or supervisors, it is important to realise the following:

  • Many supervisors also have investigative powers; they are then special investigating officers (BOA). Examples include supervisors from the Dutch Labour Inspectorate, the Environmental and Transport Inspectorate, regional environmental services, the Health Care and Youth Inspectorate, municipal and provincial supervisors.
  • You are by no means always obliged to provide information. That impression is often created: wrongly so!
  • There is an important difference between requests to provide information, on the one hand, and demands and orders to provide information, on the other.
  • Claims and orders are subject to important legal requirements. If these are not met, there is no legally valid claim or order. Our lawyers can quickly inform you about these and advise you on your rights and obligations.
  • You cannot be obliged by investigating officers to testify. However, if you declare voluntarily, the declaration can be used in court. Going back on your statement later, or nuancing it, is not easy.

In our experience, it is wise not to make statements or voluntarily cooperate with requests before you have sought specialist legal advice. You would do well, at this early stage of an investigation, to ask yourself whether you have sufficient (factual and legal) information to consider the possible consequences of providing or not providing information. We can help you gather the relevant information and then advise you in this consideration.

It is understandable that there is a tendency to act quickly. However, speed should not come at the expense of quality. No matter how much time pressure there may seem to be, there is always time to seek prior advice. We will then help you move quickly. Our lawyers can also provide you with legal assistance during searches and interrogations, allowing us to advise you directly on the spot on a sensible course of action.

If you need a written guide on how to act when the investigating officer or supervisor is on your doorstep, please call or email us. In case of emergency, we are available by phone 24 hours a day.