Investigating claims

In many cases we are instructed at a very early stage in order to assist a client to investigate prospective claims.  This can be an important part of the evidence gathering process.  However, if it important to understand that the outcome of internal communications and investigations which take place before you instruct lawyers may need to be disclosed to the other party. 

We recommend the following

  • Take advice before undertaking any internal investigations;
  • As soon as you suspect a dispute might arise, take every possible step to preserve electronic evidence such as emails. Due to the volume of emails traffic many organisations have a default policy that emails will be destroyed after a certain period of time. It is essential that you prevent this;
  • identify key potential witnesses and speak with them and ensure that they preserve any other evidence that they may have;
  • if evidence from computer systems is required then it may be necessary to instruct experts to gather this without undermining its credibility.  We can advise on the options available to investigate claims in this situation;
  • consider preparing a chronology so as to understand the relevant timeline.