Public and private businesses exist in an environment of enhanced governmental scrutiny. We help clients develop appropriate compliance programs and safeguards and respond to possible enforcement actions, lawsuits and government investigations, all of which can be costly and intrusive.
Our Government Enforcement and Corporate Investigations Practice Group is comprised of experienced lawyers from offices around the world—including former senior federal and state prosecutors and regulators. Our Group helps our clients navigate complex, high-scrutiny environments efficiently and effectively, with minimal disturbance to their businesses and lives.
Our Group assists our clients in three primary ways: (1) preventing government investigations and enforcement actions by developing and maintaining innovative compliance programs and internal safeguards; (2) investigating potential problems internally and conducting due diligence before any governmental involvement arises, thereby managing enterprise and reputational risks; and (3) responding to government-initiated investigations and enforcement actions when they occur, whether in the civil, criminal or regulatory context.
A key advantage to conducting internal investigations through our Group is that our clients can take advantage of the attorney-client and work-product privileges, ensuring that most communications, advice and work product relating to their due diligence and internal investigations will remain protected if an external investigation or proceeding occurs.
We offer a number of informational resources which can be accessed below:
When it comes to enforcement proceedings, we know that the greatest victory comes from avoiding them. We help our clients develop, implement and maintain comprehensive compliance programs designed to avoid, deter and detect fraud and other forms of misconduct.
Our lawyers are available to support our clients’ internal compliance and training programs by providing workshops on a range of topics, including methods of investigation, evidentiary requirements and maintaining confidentiality and privilege in communications.
Organizations increasingly recognize that due diligence is an important tool with respect to ensuring compliance with anti-corruption and anti-fraud requirements and avoiding reputational issues. We advise clients engaging in acquisitions, either domestically or abroad, on their due diligence procedures, benchmarking them against procedures adopted by a number of other organizations and government entities. We are experienced in drafting agreements with vendors and joint venture partners that ensure that our clients can conduct sufficient ongoing due diligence to detect and avoid reputational issues, such as the vendor’s use of child labor.
Our team of 35 attorneys has extensive experience navigating criminal and regulatory procedures. Collectively, our lawyers have tried hundreds of federal, state, and regulatory cases, conducted internal investigations for corporate clients around the world and, when appropriate, assisted clients with making disclosures to the government.
We have substantive expertise in a variety of areas highly relevant to government enforcement, including:
- Administrative and regulatory investigations
- Anti-corruption, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the U.K. Bribery Act
- Anti-money laundering
- Criminal antitrust
- Campaign finance investigations
- Consumer Financial Protection Act, including Unfair, Deceptive and Abusive Practices (UDAAP)
- Data privacy and data breach issues, including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
- Economic Espionage Act
- Environmental offenses
- Export controls, including CFIUS, EAR, ITAR, NISPOM and OFAC matters
- Import controls, including customs, Section 301 and Section 337 matters False Claims Act
- Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
- FIRREA and bank fraud
- Federal and state grand jury investigations
- Government contracts and minority set aside programs
- Healthcare fraud
- Political bribery
- Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)
- Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute violations
- Securities fraud
- Special counsel and congressional investigations
- White collar crime, including mail, wire, and tax fraud
When our clients find themselves under the regulatory microscope, we leverage the solid reputation we have built over the last 100 years to gain the trust and cooperation of skeptical government regulators and law enforcement authorities. Our Group provides our clients, both domestic and foreign, with insight and advice on all aspects of government investigations and the ability to negotiate resolutions efficiently and effectively.
The nuances of how to respond to a government investigation vary depending on the entity involved. We have extensive experience negotiating and working with a large number of government authorities, including:
- Securities and Exchange Commission
- Department of Justice
- Commodity Futures Trading Commission
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
- England’s Serious Fraud Office and Financial Services Authority
- State Attorneys General
It is increasingly common for a government action to involve parallel proceedings in civil, criminal, political or regulatory forums. When these types of related matters arise, our Group explores innovative ways to use these parallel proceedings to our clients’ advantage, such as by using knowledge gained in one dispute to effectively manage risk in another.
Some of the matters the members of our Government Enforcement and Corporate Investigations team have worked on include:
- Represented a globally-ranked investment company in numerous related investigations. Several investigations were commenced by the Office of Thrift Supervision, the NASD, the SEC and the Attorney General for the State of New York. Allegations included claims of late day trading and market timing of mutual fund shares. After an internal investigation, we obtained a very favorable settlement with the OTS without any repercussions for our client’s officers or directors and convinced the NASD, the SEC, and the State of New York to cede to the jurisdiction of the OTC. When our client was sued for damages in a multidistrict, consolidated class action, we obtained a dismissal of the complaint with prejudice.
- Defended a high-profile CFO in a securities enforcement action. This investigation involved 10b-5 and other claims. We achieved a hung jury following a month-long trial and a favorable settlement of all claims without the CFO making any monetary payments.
- Represented a large public company in connection with an SEC investigation following a financial restatement. After a three-year investigation and 25 days of testimony, we convinced the SEC to drop the matter.
- Represented a national brokerage firm and investment bank accused of mishandling client accounts. A state Commissioner of Securities sought extensive fines. After an internal investigation, we successfully negotiated with the State and achieved a very favorable settlement.
- Internal Investigation. Conducted an internal investigation for a medical device company involving senior corporate officers and how they handled an internal investigation into alleged misconduct by senior executives at the company’s business unit in China.
- Congressional Inquiry. Represented healthcare technology company in connection with Congressional inquiries and a subpoena from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Finance Committee relating to the implementation of the Patient Protection and the Affordable Care Act on HealthCare.gov.
- Insider Trading. Represented client in connection with investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into alleged insider trading violations. Investigation terminated with conclusion that no insider trading took place.
Industries & Practices
- Anti-Corruption Group
- Antitrust & Competition Law
- Corporate Governance & Compliance
- Cybersecurity, Privacy & Social Media
- Government Contracts Counseling & Litigation
- Health Transactions & Regulations
- International Trade
- National Security Law
- Tax Controversy & Litigation