What Should Lawyers Redact in Corporate Internal Investigations?
In recent years, cross-border corporate investigations have been on the rise. Foreign law enforcement authorities and lawyers have become increasingly familiar with the Chinese legal environment. Corporate investigations in China in terms of targets, approaches and scales are no longer lost missions. Cross-border corporate investigations require cooperation of multiple parties at home and abroad. The amount of investigative information is enormous for all parties to share. Therefore, the PRC legal counsels who jointly participate in the investigations, have the highly important task of screening out information which potentially involves “State Secrets” and personal information. Chinese lawyers should take a different approach to the same material. Firstly, no document potentially containing state secrets can be transferred abroad – regardless of whether or not it is related to an investigation. Companies should obtain an employee’s express consent at the start of employment to disclose their name, position, office number, work email and other information related to the company when necessary. But the company should assure employees of their personal information security. For example, that the company will keep all personal sensitive information confidential.