Economic crime (also known as “white-collar crime”) is a subset of criminal law which focuses on offences committed by companies.
Economic crime includes the following types of offences:
- Financial offences and offences against the socio-economic order;
- Offences against the tax authorities and the Spanish social security system;
- Corporate offences, fraud, scams, money laundering, misappropriation, disloyal management and insolvency-related offences;
- IT-related offences;
- Offences against consumers;
- Offences against intellectual property;
- Offences relating to zoning/planning, urban development and the environment;
- Offences against safety at work;
- Offences against workers' rights; and
- Offences of libel and slander.
Our transversal approach and support from a multidisciplinary team allows our criminal law experts to regularly provide the following services:
Criminal Advice: when one is the victim of an economic crime, or is being investigated for its alleged commission, it is very common to have numerous questions. Our team of experienced criminal lawyers is highly qualified to answer any and all queries that arise throughout the process and explain possible options as well as potential consequences.
When a company falls victim to criminal activity by a third party, or one of its members is accused of having been the perpetrator, it is essential to obtain any and all available information concerning what occurred. In this regard, our lawyers are specialists in organising evidence as well as coordinating private investigations to complement those carried out by Spanish law enforcement agencies.
Court Involvement: as is to be expected, in addition to the services mentioned above, our criminal lawyers are accustomed to carrying out traditional legal actions, such as prosecution or defence of the company and its directors, representatives and employees in any of the phases of criminal proceedings (investigations, hearings, appeals, appeals to the Supreme Court, etc.) and before any jurisdictional body (Courts of Instruction, Criminal Courts, Courts of Appeal, High Courts of Justice, the Supreme Court or the Constitutional Court).
The COVID-19 pandemic has created the ideal environment (confinement, remote work, etc.) for cybercriminals to augment their criminal behaviour; cybercrime, thus, has indeed flourished during the pandemic.
This is especially relevant as cyberattacks not only endanger companies’ assets, such as trade and industrial secrets or the personal data of employees, customers, suppliers, etc. In addition, these attacks damage the company’s reputation and image as well as its intellectual property assets, such as trademarks used to do business.
Our Criminal Law and Cybersecurity Department helps our clients to prevent these types of attacks and to fight the perpetrators if and when such attacks occur.
Diagnostic Reports: the best way to prevent a cyberattack is to be very familiar with the company. Our Criminal Law and Cybersecurity Department carries out a thorough analysis of the company’s situation. In particular, we evaluate potential risks, security deficiencies, the types of information handled by the company, etc. This provides us with a snapshot of the organisation and assists us in determining whether or not they are adequately protected. In addition, thanks to our expert IT collaborators, we offer our clients a service known as "ethical hacking,” the aim of which is to attempt to access the company's servers in order to verify whether they are suitably protected. If they are not, we provide the most up-to-date recommendations regarding IT security.
Training and Policies in Case of Incidents: in our experience, the root of most cyberattacks is human error. For this reason, we offer clients the possibility to organise seminars and talks with employees, as well as to prepare codes of good practice. This ensures that the employees of an organisation are aware of the problems involved in cyberattacks and can learn simple measures they can take to protect the company as well as what internal strategies to follow when there is suspicion of a threat.
Reviewing and Drafting Contractual Clauses for Employees, Managers and Suppliers: this ensures that confidential information, or information that contains personal data, is adequately protected and, in the event that such information is leaked from the organisation by fault of another party, the possibility to demand accountability.
When, despite companies’ efforts and the preventive measures implemented, a cyberattack is carried out and causes damage, our experts in criminal law and cybersecurity are ready to take action.
We offer our clients advice and defence beginning with the initial stage of the crime: internal investigation of what occurred and assistance in the collection and custody of evidence; criminal proceedings against the offenders before the courts from day one until the end, through all the intermediate stages, such as proceedings against the offenders before the public prosecutor and law enforcement agencies.
In addition and where necessary, we involve our team of privacy experts from the firm’s Data Protection Department. They are normally in charge of drafting and filing the corresponding complaint before the Spanish Data Protection Agency when personal data is compromised.
Finally, we help our clients with crisis management when cyberattacks result in media cases, advising both on how to act vis-à-vis the press and on how to deal with and respond to queries and complaints from clients and suppliers.