Why you should update your dawn raid guidance

Unannounced inspections or ‘dawn raids’ are used by antitrust authorities to obtain evidence when there are suspicions that individuals or businesses have infringed the antitrust rules. Often triggered by tip-offs from whistleblowers or confessions from leniency applicants, dawn raids provide investigators with an opportunity to swoop and seize information for subsequent interrogation and review. The surprise element of dawn raids offers reassurances to investigators that evidence of a possible infringement will not be destroyed.

Many businesses will have protocols for responding to a dawn raid. Typically, these include notes for receptionists on what do to if investigators arrive and detailed guidance for compliance teams about the need to ‘shadow’ investigators as they move around the office and to photocopy all documents before they are taken away. The issue that these protocols ought to cover – but often don’t – is how to deal with the arrival of digital forensic investigators.

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Partner; Head of Brussels
Head of Antitrust and Competition, South Africa; Director
Head of Antitrust and Competition, Asia

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