Chapter 20

Working with Attorneys

Thomas W. Golden, Michael T. Dyer, and Sonya Andreassen-Henderson

When matters arise at a company that require investigation, in-house or outside counsel often participate in or direct an investigation. The forensic accounting investigator often works with such counsel. That relationship is the subject of this chapter.

IN THE COMPANY OF LAWYERS

The first person to be contacted when there is a suspected fraud is often in-house counsel. Depending on the apparent severity of the matter and its apparent location in the company, other internal resources to be alerted at an early stage, in addition to the board, typically through its audit committee, may include corporate security, internal audit, risk or compliance management, the controller's office, and the public relations and investor relations groups. Investigations usually begin with extensive conversation about who should be involved, and the responsible executives may naturally wish to involve some or all of the functions just mentioned.

Depending on the circumstances, the group of internal auditors can in fact be a tremendous asset to an independent forensic investigative team. As participants in the larger team, internal auditors’ knowledge of the company may improve both the efficiency with which evidence is gathered and the forensic team's effectiveness in lining up interviews and analyzing findings. Our advice to client executives and in-house counsel is to engage an external team but ...

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