Code of Professional Conduct

IPF is committed to conducting its business with the highest integrity and in compliance with all applicable laws. IPF often conducts investigations into suspected illegal activities that cause harm to its clients’ business. We regularly work in partnership with law firms or assisting law enforcement agencies in the investigation of suspected criminal activity. In all aspects of its investigative work IPF seeks to uphold the highest ethical and legal standards. IPF employees, partners and consultants engaged in investigation activities must adhere to this code of conduct.

1) Investigators will conduct investigations in an unbiased, diligent and professional manner.

  • Investigators will seek to gather all material facts and to report those facts accurately and completely.
  • Investigators will not permit any bias, prejudice or preconceived opinions to interfere with an investigation.
  • Investigators will not participate in any investigation in which they have an actual conflict of interest or in which there is an appearance of their having such a conflict. Any potential conflict will be raised with the client prior to an investigation commencing.

2) Investigators will conduct their investigations with honesty and integrity, and will use only those investigative techniques that comport with the highest ethical standards.

  • Investigators will not (a) assume the identity of another real person or pose as the employee, representative or agent of another real identity; (b) misrepresent their identities or make any other false, fictitious or fraudulent statement in order to obtain records from third parties, including financial institutions, telephone companies, utilities, delivery services, or landlords; or (c) hold themselves out to be law enforcement officers. Investigators will not employ techniques that could constitute “pretexting” or “blagging”.
  • When necessary to an investigation of illegal activity, and only with the prior approval of the appropriate authority, investigators are not required to disclose their true identity and may assume a fictitious identity, but in no event will an investigator assume the identity of another real person. For example an investigator may, when necessary in the legitimate conduct of their work, use a fictitious identity to make test purchases from a person or company suspected of infringing a clients intellectual property rights, but the investigator shall not assume the identity of a real person.
  • In the course of an investigation, an investigator shall not make a false statement of a material fact, provided however that investigators may, in the limited circumstances stated in this code, use a fictitious identity to accomplish proper investigative objectives in gathering evidence of illegal activity.
  • When interviewing the target of an investigation (other than in the course of an investigation where the use of a fictitious identity has been approved), investigators will make clear their identity as IPF employees, partners or consultants.
  • Investigators will not contact persons or entities who are known to be represented by counsel with respect to matters on which they are represented or similarly with respect to matters with which they have been charged.
  • Investigators will not induce any person to breach a legal obligation to which the person is subject, including a non-disclosure agreement, confidentiality agreement or similar contractual obligation.
  • Investigators will consult with the appropriate authority before using a confidential informant and follow guidance on how informants may be used in such investigation.
  • Investigators will not promise anything of value to any person based on investigative outcomes except in accordance with agreed reward programs.
  • Investigators will not promise the target of an investigation any specific result in exchange for cooperation.

3) Investigators will gather and handle information and other evidence in a manner that respects the relevant privacy rights and protects the integrity of that evidence.

  • Investigators will conduct their investigations using public records and only those commercial databases that may be accessed in compliance with all applicable privacy laws.
  • Investigators will not “trespass” or surreptitiously enter onto the private property of another, or enter a building located on private property unless the property is generally open to the public. – Investigators will secure and maintain information and evidence obtained during the course of investigations so as to protect the integrity of that evidence.
  • Investigators will safeguard confidential information and exercise due care to prevent its improper disclosure.

4) Investigators will comply with all applicable laws, regulatory requirements and this code of conduct.

  • Investigators have a duty to know the laws and regulations applicable to the conduct of investigations and will conduct all investigations in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.
  • When investigations cross national, state or other borders, investigators will familiarise themselves with applicable local laws to ensure their cross-border activities comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
  • This code is established to guide IPF employees, partners and consultants engaged in investigations on behalf of IPF. It is not intended, nor shall it be read to create any express or implied promise or con- tract to any employee, partner or consultant for any benefit or specific treatment in particular situations.