Law of sanctions
JahaeRaymakers has extensive knowledge of (special) criminal law, disciplinary law and administrative sanctions law. By representing clients in often large and complex high-profile cases, we have become accustomed to adequately analysing the risks and rapidly determining a strategy. Our aim in doing so is to optimally safeguard your interests. Discretion towards the outside world and transparency towards our clients are in our DNA. We proactively approach issues regarding the liability of companies, officers and professional practitioners, and provide assistance if they are involved, or run the risk of being involved, in any manner whatsoever in criminal, disciplinary or administrative investigations. Such cases may involve searches or dawn raids, summons to surrender data, prejudgement attachments and garnishments, summons to appear as a witness, expert, suspect or offender, and summons to appear in court. Wherever possible, our aim is to quickly nip an investigation in the bud. If necessary, we will resolutely litigate up to the highest Dutch or international court.
We also advise and assist companies and professional practitioners who have fallen victim to criminal and other offences. Such cases often involve questions such as: What appropriate measures can be taken against the parties? Should a report be filed with the authorities? How can the loss be estimated and limited? How can we repair confidence and avoid future incidents? We offer you our experience, expertise and assistance in performing internal or other investigations, supervising the filing of reports with authorities and filing claims in special proceedings.
We assess in each case, in consultation with the client, whether experts or other lawyers should be engaged in order to provide you with optimal assistance also in multidisciplinary investigations. Our excellent network is of great service in that regard.
In the event of serious workplace accidents, you are required to inform the Social Affairs and Employment Inspectorate (I-SZW). That authority will investigate the employer’s and supervisors’ liability, among other things. It is important in that regard to obtain timely and sound advice on your legal position. We understand the urgency, will respond immediately and can quickly provide legal assistance on site, if necessary. We also represent clients who are being investigated by the I SZW, possibly together with other Inspectorates or investigative authorities, on the grounds of breach of the working conditions regulations and the Foreign Nationals Employment Act (Wav) (employment without the correct permit). The enforcement of those regulations and the imposition of fines are a priority of the authorities, and the fines imposed may add up to significant amounts.
Trade and industry are increasingly confronted with various types of computer criminality, which can be annoying and harmful. We take speedy action against any suspicion of computer crime, so that enforcement measures can be taken as soon as possible, possibly in consultation with the authorities in question.
As a result of the digitalisation of society, the authorities are increasing exercising powers and means of investigation, whereby business data are seized and copied, sometimes on a large scale. We can assist you if you are confronted with this type of order or dawn raid. We can also help devise solutions to related questions, such as the relationship to and the handling of confidential business data and privacy aspects.
JahaeRaymakers has special expertise and broad experience in the field of corruption and integrity issues. We are therefore particularly aware of the sensitivities, risks and implications involved. Not only the bribing of Dutch and foreign officials (the corruption of public servants) is punishable, but also the corruption of private individuals. The latter means, briefly stated, that an employee is committing an offence if he accepts a work-related gift from a third party but wrongly fails to report it to his employer. The investigation and prosecution of the corruption of both public servants and other persons are a high priority of the various Dutch and foreign investigative authorities.
In international commerce, foreign regulations must also be taken into account in this regard, such as the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the British Bribery Act. Both Acts have such a wide scope that they may also have serious consequences for companies and their managing directors in the Netherlands if they operate (or also operate) abroad. We can inform you about those implications and contribute our ideas towards the timely identification and settlement of trade practices that may not be in compliance with Dutch or international regulations in this field.
Companies, officers and professional practitioners are being faced with ever-increasing regulatory pressure. Compliance on the one hand and the imposition of fines on the other hand appear to constitute the (digital or black-and-white) reality. New developments must therefore increasingly be taken into account before any action is taken. This involves the timely identification of legal and other risks, the investigation of the current situation and in particular, if possible, the limitation of reputational and other damage. JahaeRaymakers has a wealth of expertise in this field. We can also perform cross-border investigations if a client is the suspect, subject or injured party. Third-party and other investigations by enforcement authorities are more frequent and increasingly common. That is due to the position given to the law of sanctions by investigative authorities, such as the Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service (FIOD), other special investigation services and the Public Prosecution Service, as well as supervisory authorities, such as the Netherlands Organisation for Financial Markets (AFM), the Financial Supervision Office (BFT), the Dutch Central Bank (DNB) and the Dutch Healthcare Authority (NZa). These authorities regard the law of sanctions as an optimal means of supervision, enforcement and punishment. A great deal of economic, financial or tax legislation is therefore subject to criminal sanctions under the Economic Offences Acts and other special legislation and regulations. Such criminal offences are usually combined in practice with suspicions of general punishable acts, such as forgery, money-laundering and sometimes participation in a criminal organisation.
For the purpose of such investigations the various Dutch and international investigative and supervisory authorities often set up multidisciplinary alliances. Those alliances then investigate entire sectors that might be acting in a criminal manner, after which specific companies and persons are prosecuted that are showing (or appear to be showing) deviant behaviour. Extensive exchange of information between the various authorities involved, often obtained from financial and other institutions that have been forced to surrender that information, such as banks and the tax department, appears to have become an end in itself, rather than a means to an end. Those authorities therefore definitely no longer shy away from the use of special investigative powers (e.g. taps and bugs) and financial and other coercive measures (e.g. attachments). JahaeRaymakers is familiar with this entire spectrum and can firmly and can effectively assist you in all the phases of an investigation by investigative and enforcement authorities.
Both nationally and internationally, many and large investigations are being performed into various types of fraud (such as tax and allowance fraud, bankruptcy fraud, mortgage fraud, property fraud, insurance fraud and healthcare fraud). Combating money-laundering is also high on the international agenda of e.g. the European Union, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). JahaeRaymakers has a great deal of experience with proceedings regarding several types of fraud and money-laundering.
The legislation and regulations on the import and export of goods, services and technology vary per sector and are often extensive and complex. That may give rise to discussions in advance with supervisory authorities such as the Customs Authorities, the Central Import and Export Office (CDIU), the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) and the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT). In some cases you may be involved in criminal and enforcement investigations into imports and exports that have already taken place. The regulations regarding the import, export and transit of strategic goods and services, and the Dutch and international sanctions (embargoes and trade restrictions) constitute a separate field. The Customs Authorities/CDIU and the Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service (FIOD) monitor and investigate compliance with those regulations. We can assist you in discussions with those authorities and in their investigations in order to optimally safeguard your commercial interests.
Supervision of the compliance with and enforcement of environmental regulations by e.g. the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) or the Regional Implementing Agencies (RUDs) can give rise to investigations of criminal or finable offences. We have broad experience in assisting companies and officers that are confronted with investigations of suspicions of offences in the following fields:
- Domestic and cross-border carriage of waste
- Hazardous substances for high-risk and other companies
- Permits under the Environmental Permitting General Provisions Act (Wabo) (e.g. for companies to which the Major Accidents Risks Decree (BRZO) applies)
Disciplinary law is in a permanent state of flux. It is a focal point of the public authorities, professional practitioners and the general public. The government is paying increasing attention to both the general organisation and the supervision of professional practitioners, as well as specific complaints regarding the functioning of professional practitioners.
JahaeRaymakers has a good feeling for disciplinary law. We address questions of disciplinary law and supervision issues also within our own profession. We also frequently assist professional practitioners in disciplinary proceedings, such as accountants, lawyers, tax consultants, bailiffs, estate agents, physicians, civil-law notaries and dentists. They may be disciplinary proceedings based on complaints from clients or former clients, or complaints filed by supervisory authorities (the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM), the Financial Supervision Office (BFT), the Netherlands Healthcare Inspectorate (IGZ), the Royal Notarial Association (KNB) or the Netherlands Institute of Chartered Accountants (NBA)), or even the Public Prosecution Service. Issues regarding the duty of confidentiality and lawyer-client privilege also receive our special attention.
JahaeRaymakers frequently represents clients in the traffic and transport sector (passenger and freight transport) that are confronted with large-scale or other criminal and enforcement investigations by e.g. the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT). The clients that we assist in that regard include airlines, cargo handlers, shipmasters and shipping companies, taxi companies and (special) transport companies.
We furthermore have specific knowledge and experience in the field of incidents in aviation and shipping that are (or are also) being investigated by the Dutch Safety Board, and represent companies, officers and airline pilots in such investigations.
You can also count on us if you are involved in traffic offences and proceedings before the Central Office for Motor Vehicle Driver Testing (CBR).
The Intelligence and Investigation Service of the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA-IOD) focuses in particular on fraud in the production of and trade in food products at a company or within a chain, such as the meat or fish industry. It pays particular attention to catering establishments. The law of sanctions is a means of enforcing the regulations in question. Together with the Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service (FIOD), the NVWA-IOD also investigates the assets of companies that breach regulations and launder the proceeds in question. We assist companies and their managing directors that are the subject of an investigation (or possible investigation) of the NVWA-IOD or the FIOD.
Healthcare providers may be confronted with investigations of healthcare fraud by the Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service (FIOD), the Netherlands Healthcare Inspectorate (IGZ), the Social Affairs and Employment Inspectorate (ISZW) and the Dutch Healthcare Authority (NZa). The officers in charge may also be investigated. On the basis of our own (internal) investigation, we will enter into a dialogue with the authorities in question in order to adequately settle the case. We pay special attention to issues regarding client confidentiality and lawyer-client privilege, and also represent physicians involved in criminal or disciplinary investigations.