In today’s rapidly changing business world, companies must anticipate significant risks associated with complex regulatory environments, insider theft and misconduct, and competing and rapidly changing data security and privacy requirements. Failure to prepare and anticipate crises related to any of these risks can potentially expose a company’s directors and officers to liability and adversely affect the company’s brand, reputation, and bottom line.
Morrison & Foerster’s Global Risk + Crisis Management Group provides critical advice that modern businesses need to anticipate and respond to any crisis. Our lawyers have decades of collective experience, across disciplines and industries, successfully guiding clients through crises of the highest levels, including:
We help you anticipate crises and plan your response. Should a crisis occur, we respond immediately and act strategically to develop communications, litigation, and regulatory plans that ensure your business will continue to thrive.
Our interdisciplinary practice, which draws on our strengths across various practices, is chaired by John P. Carlin. Prior to joining Morrison & Foerster, Mr. Carlin served as assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Security Division. A former federal prosecutor and FBI official, he has more than a decade of experience leading and managing multi-jurisdictional responses to high-profile situations, including cybersecurity and intellectual property investigations, as well as cross-border criminal, national security, and civil matters.
Other members of the global risk and crisis management team include former federal prosecutors and regulators, internationally recognized cybersecurity authorities, seasoned white-collar defense lawyers, and professionals who have helped influence legislative and rulemaking processes in high-ranking positions with U.S. government agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, and the FCPA Unit of the Department of Justice, Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.
We draw on these diverse experiences to help you identify potential risks to your business and develop a comprehensive response that cuts across traditional practice areas.
Crisis prevention is a pillar of our practice, and we have helped countless organizations design and strengthen their data security policies and practices.
Our cybersecurity team is unmatched in its ability to help organizations develop a comprehensive plan, from assessing potential vulnerabilities through the testing and execution of a strategy that protects your continued operations, preparing incident response plans, and testing those plans through comprehensive and customized tabletop exercises.
We also recognize that bad actors have become increasingly more sophisticated, and it is impossible to guard against every threat. Our team has helped hundreds of clients respond to all types of emergency data incidents, including some of the largest, highest-profile breaches of the past few years.
In these situations, time is of the essence, and the ability to “hit the ground running” with a practical, tested plan is invaluable.
Winner of the 2016 Chambers USA Privacy & Data Security Award for Excellence and Legal 500 U.S.’s Cyber Crime Firm of the Year for 2015, the team has a thorough understanding of all relevant federal, state, and international requirements and a host of experience confronting public and customer relations issues, addressing contractual obligations and remedies, and responding to threatened litigation or government investigations.
International trade raises compliance issues for U.S. companies that export, import, seek foreign investment, or have global business interests. The increased focus on international terrorism and non-proliferation requires companies to be vigilant about sanctions and export control laws.
Our national security lawyers are adept at helping you evaluate the national security implications of a proposed transaction to ensure that any risks are identified and addressed with the relevant government agencies. We also will help preempt and address any political and public relations issues that may arise.
Should you find yourself the subject of an investigation or enforcement action, we will work with you in undertaking a thorough review to determine whether a violation has occurred. This includes conducting an internal investigation and developing safeguards to prevent any future violations.
Once we establish the facts, we can help develop any necessary disclosures, defend you in civil and criminal proceeds, and recommend remedial action to mitigate potential penalties.
Government Enforcement and White-Collar Defense
In the ever-expanding area of anti-corruption enforcement, our clients frequently seek our advice on the many U.S. and foreign laws regulating international business transactions beyond the FCPA, such as the UK Bribery Act, Sarbanes-Oxley, the whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, international trade, export control and sanctions laws, anti-money laundering laws, and the Bank Secrecy Act. Our broad range of legal expertise, across legal disciplines and across the globe, provides clients with access to legal counsel concerning all of these areas of law.
Our lawyers include former federal prosecutors and regulators, veteran career defense lawyers, and seasoned foreign counsel. We truly understand how the regulators think, can anticipate their next move, and utilize this knowledge to secure the most favorable outcomes for our clients.
We approach each engagement from the client’s perspective, and provide pragmatic advice that balances risk with the realities of running a business. We are uniquely qualified to represent companies and individuals in all states of federal and state criminal proceedings and regulatory investigations by the SEC, congressional and state legislative committees, grand juries, and foreign enforcement and investigatory agencies.
SEC Counseling and Compliance
Our team includes attorneys who, prior to joining the firm, held senior-level positions in the SEC’s Divisions of Enforcement and Corporation Finance. During their tenures with the SEC, these lawyers played active roles in the rulemaking that occurred in the wake of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and worked on groundbreaking enforcement actions, including cases concerning market manipulation of public stock, major financial reporting and disclosure cases, and cases brought against auditors, broker-dealers, and investment advisers.
Our securities lawyers offer counsel on a range of regulatory matters, including disclosure obligations, shareholder proposals, contested elections and other forms of shareholder activism, as well as advice concerning sales of securities by insiders and affiliates, and insider-trading guidelines and restrictions.
Product, Workplace, and Environmental Safety
Our product liability and environmental lawyers have a wealth of experience managing complex crises involving product safety, workplace disruptions, and environmental incidents. When faced with product recalls, product defect allegations, industrial accidents, environmental releases, or other unexpected health and safety events, our clients look to us to develop comprehensive, cross-disciplinary responses that prioritize health and safety while protecting their brand. Having served on the inside, our team has intimate knowledge of regulatory agencies that respond to these events, including CPSC, EPA, OSHA, FDA, and their state counterparts. Our deep litigation experience allows us to counsel our clients both on how to minimize the immediate impact of crisis-based litigation, and how to develop dynamic approaches to reduce the risk of future incidents.
Spotlight on Risk and Crisis Management
MoFocusVolume 2, Issue 1
MoFo and Ethisphere are compiling research focused on emerging trends in crisis management. Participate in the survey here.
The Importance of Pre-Crisis Planning
How Can Your Company Protect Itself Against Economic Espionage?
The Role of Corporate Governance in Crisis Management
Cybersecurity Resource Center
Our BD/IA Regulator blog provides timely insights and recommendations on compliance, regulatory and enforcement matters
Read our “Data privacy and transfer in cross-border investigations” chapter first published in GIR’s The Investigations Review of the Americas 2018.
A Primer on SEC Investigations and Enforcement Actions Related to Financial Reporting and Accounting Cases
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