10 top tips for dealing with crisis management

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Unplanned events can have a devastating effect on a business and usually come completely out of the blue.

A crisis can affect productivity, staff, reputation, clients and customers and affect all types of business from small to large. It is essential to have a crisis management plan in place which all staff are aware of to guide you through the steps needed to maintain business continuity, minimise disruption and start your defence planning successfully! 

Understanding the investigators powers

The Police have: powers of entry; powers to request and seize documents, equipment and vehicles; powers to segregate areas and require them to be left undisturbed; powers of arrest and detention.

The Health & Safety Executive, EA and Local Authorities powers include powers of entry; powers to segregate areas to be left undisturbed, powers of seizure of documents and equipment; power to take samples. The HSE, EA and Local Authority can also request the attendance of the Police to secure a person’s arrest and detention.

How to react:

  1. Take legal advice quickly and check all requests being made by the regulator. With telephones and tablets, we are able to be there with you instantaneously. All staff should be made aware that throughout any regulatory investigation, regulators will take notes of everything they see, hear and witness. This is also the point where you should get in touch with your legal expert to guide you through the process.
  2. Inform your broker and insurer immediately. A crisis event is often covered, and we can work for you under the terms of the policy. If your reputation is on the line you can choose your own lawyers so don’t be fobbed off with a stranger. We’re in your corner from the outset. 
  3. Appoint a single point of contact within the business to take ownership of communication with the regulators, employees, press enquiries etc. A single point of contact will ensure continuity and retain ownership of the information requested and passed to the regulator.
  4.  Take a full note and timeline of all communications with the regulator and their requests for documentation.
  5.  Keep a duplicate copy of any documentation provided to the regulator. A really good practical step is to set up a single photocopier for this function, however if this is not possible photographs of each document will suffice
  6.  Liaise with your legal expert early regarding any internal investigation, it is extremely important to retain legal professional privilege on documents and investigation reports.
  7. Advise employees of their right to legal advice and support if they are requested to provide witness statements to the regulator
  8. If the regulator conducts witness interviews, your legal advisor should be on hand to carry out full witness interview de-briefs, these will be informal and conducted by experienced lawyers who are alert and sensitive to the issues going through an employee’s mind during the aftermath of a serious incident. 
  9. Arrange support, including counselling, for employees affected by the incident.
  10. Remember, do not obstruct the investigation, this can be a criminal offence.


Gateley Plc is authorised and regulated by the SRA (Solicitors' Regulation Authority). Please visit the SRA website for details of the professional conduct rules which Gateley Legal must comply with.

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