Baker McKenzie has launched a global version of its Dawn Raid App, a mobile application that, across 44 countries, including South Africa, provides clients experiencing a raid with real-time step-by-step guidance on their rights and obligations, as well as instant access to Baker McKenzie antitrust lawyers.
Antitrust agencies often coordinate their investigations, so a company can find itself being raided in several countries on the same day. The App is a cutting-edge platform that provides practical assistance and peace of mind for individuals on the ground handling unannounced inspections. It answers a whole range of practical questions on a country by country basis under local law such as “Can inspectors demand passwords to allow IT access?” “Can employees leave the building with their laptops?”
Key features of the App include
- Coverage of 44 key jurisdictions covering both local administrative and criminal laws
- Automatic click-through to the correct country checklist with step-by-step practical guidance on what to do and what not to do for civil and criminal antitrust raids
- Ability to contact a local Baker McKenzie antitrust specialist directly with one tap
- Camera accessibility so users can take and send photos of the dawn raid warrant and other key documents so Baker McKenzie can provide immediate legal support
Speaking on the App’s launch, head of the Competition Group of Baker McKenzie’s London office Samantha Mobley said, “It is stressful when government officials turn up without warning and demand access to people and information. Our Global Antitrust Dawn Raid App is designed to provide instant practical and comprehensive information to ensure that employees know what do in a calm and professional manner so as to protect the company’s rights as much as possible. It allows our clients to navigate the complexities of potentially simultaneous dawn raids in an organised and systematic way”.
“Since the implementation of the South African Competition Act, 1998, the South African Competition Commission has conducted numerous dawn raids across several South African industries, including businesses in the cement, furniture removal, gas and recruitment sectors.
“Dawn raids by the Commission have been a consistent feature of the enforcement landscape in South Africa with several raids occurring each year, the latest round taking place in March 2017 when fresh produce market agents were searched on suspicion of price fixing. Dawn raids have also been carried out in Egypt, Kenya, Namibia and Zambia in recent times. We can expect an increase in the frequency of these events in these and other African countries” says Vani Chetty, Partner and Head of the Antitrust and Competition Practice at Baker McKenzie in Johannesburg.
Nick Altini, Partner in the Antitrust and Competition Practice in Johannesburg, notes, “The advent of dawn raids in African countries, outside of South Africa, together with the regularity of raids in South Africa makes it imperative that businesses have procedures in place in the event of a raid on their premises. While there is no substitute for having received training on how to deal with a raid and having a procedure in place, this app will take businesses through the procedure to follow during this disruptive process, including facilitating instant access to our legal team. In addition, for multinationals who might be experiencing raids in several countries simultaneously, the app will help co-ordinate the process by providing the different legal information and guidance in various jurisdictions.”
Global head of Baker McKenzie’s Antitrust and Competition group Fiona Carlin said, “Innovation is critical to our clients’ success, and they look for that same commitment to innovation in their law firms. Harnessing technology to deliver novel practical global solutions allows us to better serve our clients in a fast-changing world. The Global Antitrust Dawn Raid App is a very tangible example of innovation in action, and is leading the way in the legal industry in terms of its scope and user friendliness.”
Baker McKenzie’s Global Antitrust Dawn Raid App was launched in Asia Pacific late in 2016. Due to its success and the positive feedback from clients, the decision was made to roll it out globally. The Firm will launch local language versions for employees in China and Japan in the coming weeks to ensure maximum functionality as a working business tool.
About Baker McKenzie
Baker McKenzie helps clients overcome the challenges of competing in the global economy. We solve complex legal problems across borders and practice areas. Our unique culture, developed over 65 years, enables our 13,000 people to understand local markets and navigate multiple jurisdictions, working together as trusted colleagues and friends to instil confidence in our clients. (www.bakermckenzie.com)