Law360 has published an analysis of the recent termination of McDonalds’ CEO Steve Easterbrook written by IGI CEO Thomas P. Wendel, IGI President Arun G. Rao, and former IGI Director Madeline C. Prebil, emphasizing the importance of properly defining and communicating the scope and results of independent investigations.
An excerpt follows:
“An independent investigation is effective only to the extent that its scope is properly defined and appropriately tailored through clear communications between investigators and the client. The scope of inquiry should be sufficient to address the most significant questions facing the client. Both parties also must share a common understanding of the scope and the conclusions supported by the results of the investigation. Failure to meet these requirements can produce a compromised engagement that ultimately disserves the client.
The board of McDonald’s recently learned this lesson the hard way.
All sensitive investigations involve important and difficult questions of scope, resources, and timing. Investigators, especially independent ones, must ensure that their work and their communications about that work are clear and responsive to their clients’ immediate concerns, as well as to any potentially significant related legal, regulatory, or public relations problems that arise during the engagement.”