Morrison & Foerster has extensive experience conducting a wide range of internal investigations for companies around the world. We have represented companies, board committees, and individuals in some of the most sensitive and high-profile internal investigations, involving complex accounting and disclosure issues, whistleblower claims, potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), potential violations of competition laws, and other issues. These investigations are both internally generated and in response to governmental investigations, often involving multiple jurisdictions.

When making assessments and recommendations, we recognize that early and assertive crisis management can increase a company’s credibility with its shareholders, regulators, prosecutors, and auditors, and can eliminate or mitigate its exposure.

Our lawyers continue to lead sensitive internal investigations for clients from diverse industries, including aerospace, consulting and professional services, consumer products and services, government and defense contracts, e-commerce and Internet, electronics and manufacturing, energy, financial services, information technology, life sciences and health care, software development and sales, and transportation, among others. We frequently represent companies, audit committees, special litigation committees, officers, or directors, whether in connection with pending litigation or regulatory inquiries, or before any action is commenced.

While we handle more focused, rapid reviews, and investigations on a smaller scale, we have the expertise, experience, resources, and global reach necessary to perform large, complex investigations quickly and efficiently, anywhere in the world and in multiple locations simultaneously. Our team also includes an in-house Forensic Accounting Services Group led by a former Big Four audit partner and Certified Fraud Examiner, providing ready access to in-depth public accounting experience.

  • Representing a Special Committee of the Board of a solar energy company related to financial reporting in its public filings and investor communications in connection with a PIPE offering.

  • Represented the Audit Committee of an international fertilizer company in its internal investigation resulting from a whistleblower complaint alleging FCPA violations. After we completed the investigation and reported the results to the SEC, it declined to conduct an investigation of its own, and closed the file.

  • Representing current and former executives of three international investment banks in U.S. investigations of the hiring of relatives of Chinese government officials.

  • Representing individual working for company with ties to Latin America in connection with ongoing FIFA corruption investigation.

  • Represented a hedge fund in SEC enforcement action alleging a fraudulent investment scheme by one of the hedge fund’s controlling partners.

  • Representing global head of AML for large international bank in connection with wide-ranging, multi–government agency investigation into all aspects of the sufficiency of the bank’s BSA/AML program.

  • Representing a high-ranking finance executive in internal and SEC accounting restatement investigations.

  • Represent six independent directors of Standard Register against claims for alleged breaches of fiduciary duty before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. Won dismissal with prejudice of all claims against our clients.

  • Represent a Special Committee of the Board of Directors of a technology security company in connection with an internal investigation of executive compensation disclosures and related issues.

  • Representing the Demand Evaluation Committee of a leading non-bank mortgage finance company in its internal investigation of alleged breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, and corporate waste.

  • Representing the Special Committee of the Board of Directors in connection with government investigation and internal investigation regarding potential fraudulent transactions and False Claims Act violations.

  • Represented the CEO and President of global communications company after the Audit Committee found certain irregularities and the executive tendered his resignation. Filed a successful motion to dismiss a federal derivative complaint on the grounds that plaintiffs lacked standing to pursue derivative claims, leading to dismissal of the action. With the derivative litigation resolved, engaged in parallel settlement negotiations in SEC litigation and a securities class action, reaching agreements to settle both cases soon after.

  • Represented the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors of a medical device company in an internal investigation into employee self-dealing.

  • Represented an international technology equipment manufacturer in its internal investigation concerning potential FCPA violations in China and Korea, as well as potential revenue recognition and financial reporting issues.

  • Representing leading Asian technology company in bribery investigations in multiple countries in Central Europe.

  • Represented News Corp. senior executive in phone-hacking and police payments investigations and civil litigation.

Chambers USA 2015
National: Securities Litigation
National: FCPA
National: Corporate Crime & Investigations
California: Securities Litigation
California: General Commercial Litigation
New York: General Commercial Litigation
New York: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations

Legal 500 US 2015
National: Securities: Shareholder Litigation
National: White-Collar Criminal Defense

Legal 500 UK 2015
Fraud: Civil and Regulatory Investigations
Fraud: Corporate Crime
Commercial Litigation

U.S. News Best Lawyers® Best Law Firms 2016
Law Firm of the Year: Litigation - Securities
National: Financial Services Regulation Law (Tier 1)
National: Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) (Tier 1)
National: Litigation - Securities (Tier 1)
National: Securities Regulation (Tier 1)
National: Litigation - Mergers & Acquisitions (Tier 3)
Los Angeles: Litigation - Securities (Tier 1)
Los Angeles: Securities Regulation (Tier 1)
New York: Criminal Defense: White-Collar (Tier 1)
New York: Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) (Tier 1)
New York: Litigation – Securities (Tier 1)
San Francisco: Corporate Compliance Law (Tier 1)
San Francisco: Criminal Defense: White-Collar (Tier 1)
San Francisco: Litigation – Securities (Tier 1)

BTI Litigation Outlook 2015
Standout: Securities and Finance Litigation

FT's 2014 U.S. Innovative Lawyers Report
Commended for Securities Litigation

2013 White Collar Practice Group of the Year

Here is what they say about us:

Major player in the securities and commercial litigation spheres with the capacity to take on national and international cases. Adept at handling high-profile disputes for clients in a range of industries, including health care, financial services and pharmaceuticals. Retains strength in securities class action work as well as investigations and derivative actions.  – Chambers USA 2015

Offers a broad range of representation in corporate criminal defense and government investigations. Combines notable trial experience with significant regulatory expertise when handling domestic and international proceedings. – Chambers USA 2015

The firm is excellent. They provide the hard advice, but also manage complex global investigations seamlessly. – Chambers USA 2015

“Offers a broad range of representation in corporate criminal defense and government investigations. Combines notable trial experience with significant regulatory expertise when handling domestic and international proceedings.”
(Chambers USA 2015)

Shareholder Merger Litigation Against Public Companies
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"Internal Investigations" White Paper

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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