Wait for your legal counsel
Request the senior investigating official to wait until your legal counsel – representatives of the Legal Department or a member of the Noerr Dawn Raid Team – has arrived.
The officials are often prepared to wait for a certain time if they are allowed to move freely in the meantime and can already carry out measures to secure evidence, such as sealing offices or filing cabinets and they are assured that no documents will be secreted away or hidden. Please note that the officials are not in principle obliged to meet this request and to wait.
If the officials are prepared to wait, request them to wait in a separate room, where they do not have any direct access to physical or electronic documents and cannot overhear any discussions.
Determining the subject of the inspection
Read the official/court decision on the basis of which the officials wish to carry out the search in detail and check the following points:
- Does it concern a search pursuant to Section 102 of the German Code of Criminal Procedure in proceedings directed against the company and which it has the status of an involved party or does the company not have any formal status as an involved party and is merely affected by the measure?
- Which corporation, operating divisions or business units of your company are specified in the search warrant?
- What properties (street, house number) are described in the search warrant?
- What period does the inspection refer to?
- What misconduct are the company, its corporate bodies or employees or the third party accused of?
- Ask the senior investigating official how the officials wish to proceed with the search.
- If possible, provide your legal counsel with a copy of the order in advance by fax or email.
If the court order does not contain specified grounds (if the proceedings are directed against a third party), request appropriate information from the senior investigating official. Please make a note of all answers the officials give to your questions.
Shadowing – Accompanying the officials
You may and should accompany the officials during the search. The search does not set the company’s domiciliary rights aside. You can also permit any other person, in particular your legal counsel, to be present in any rooms.
If possible, ensure that every official or every search team is accompanied by an employee of your company or a member of the Noerr Dawn Raid Team. This is not only in the interest of the company, but also facilitates a smooth and rapid search for the officials because they are being accompanied by people who canfunction as contact person.
Ideally, two people should accompany the officials:
- an experienced employee
- an assistant.
Give the employees the following instructions:
- Note down all questions the officials ask and your answers to these.
- Note down which rooms are accessed and which documents are inspected.
- If possible, make a copy of each document seized by the officials.
- Ensure that sufficient IT Department employees are available to provide the officials with quick access to the desired files and make them copies of the data storage media (e.g. copies of USB sticks and hard drives). Please ensure that also with respect to discussions between members of the IT Department and the officials a record is made of what questions are asked, what answers are given and what data are being looked for, copied or seized.
Room for the inspection of documents
Offer the officials the use of a separate room to which all requested documents can be brought for inspection. Please note that the officials are not obliged to accept the offer of separate inspection room. They will, however, most likely welcome this offer.
If documents or computers are seized, ask the officials for permission to make copies of the documents or hard drives before these are seized. If the officials agree to this, ensure that the room has at least one photocopier. Make a note of which documents are requested.
Inform the employees whose workstations are to be inspected about the search. Speak with the senior investigating officer beforehand about the intended notification of the employees in order to avoid any irritation. Warn your employees that they must keep the fact that a search is being carried out confidential.