Acute Insights. Pragmatic Approach. Global Reach.
The strength of our Investigations + White Collar Defense practice is our depth and diversity of experience. Our team includes former federal and state prosecutors, senior government regulators, White House and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) counsel, national security and privacy specialists, and veteran defense lawyers. This collective experience enables us to anticipate prosecutors’ and regulators’ next steps, plan and execute efficient and thorough investigations, and quickly pinpoint key issues identifying the best path forward from the outset.
We are the go-to outside counsel for some of the world’s leading public and private companies across a broad range of industries in high-risk and challenging markets worldwide. We have broad subject-matter and internal investigation experience across all areas including:
With former high-ranking members of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and Assistant United States Attorneys in our ranks, we understand how prosecutors and regulators think and their internal processes. Our team includes a deep bench of skilled, experienced, and trial-savvy former federal prosecutors who led some of the most significant white collar investigations and trials in recent years, including in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the Northern and Southern Districts of California, the Southern District of Florida, the District of Columbia, and Main Justice. Our team also includes former members of securities fraud units at various United States Attorney’s Offices, as well as lawyers with enforcement expertise at the United States Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and with the New York State Attorney General’s Office. Working closely with the firm’s deep bench of regulatory enforcement attorneys, securities litigators, and corporate counsel, our Investigations + White Collar Defense attorneys provide clients with a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach.
We are the only law firm in the world with two former managers from the DOJ, Criminal Division, Fraud Section’s FCPA Unit, both of whom were instrumental in the development of the modern architecture of FCPA enforcement, overseeing hundreds of cases and billions of dollars in penalties and landmark FCPA trials. Our team also boasts pre-eminent national security lawyers, some who recently left government service but retain active security clearances, including attorneys who served as Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ National Security Division, the DOJ’s highest-ranking national security lawyer; General Counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence; Chief of Staff and Special Counsel to the Director of the FBI; and Special Assistant and Associate Counsel to President Obama and member of the National Security Council staff.
We approach each engagement from the client’s perspective, drawing on our combined knowledge and experience to offer practical advice tailored to each matter. Our team’s experience representing a variety of corporate clients and individuals across industries—from banking to consumer products to technology to health care—gives us unique insights into understanding our clients’ businesses from the inside out.
With experience on both sides of the courtroom, we have the expertise to defend clients against potential charges, navigate government investigations and inquiries, negotiate with prosecutors and regulators, and conduct credible internal investigations. We achieve our clients’ objectives without overshooting the mark and allocate resources in a cost-effective and efficient manner. Our deep bench allows us to constantly adapt resources to address client needs, whether a multinational corporation, privately held company, individual business executive, or board member.
Our global Investigations + White Collar Defense practice spans multiple geographic regions. With experience handling investigations on six continents and in more than 65 countries, our lawyers bring significant cross-border experience to compliance and enforcement matters worldwide.
We leverage our network of resources in the United States, Europe/EMEA, and the Asia-Pacific region to ensure seamless coverage and strategic advice across geographies. Our lawyers are multilingual and familiar with local laws and customs, providing local advice from a global perspective—particularly important in matters spanning multiple jurisdictions. We have played leading roles in some of the most significant corruption cases in Latin America and have lawyers with language capabilities and significant experience throughout the region on our team. Our global footprint allows us to quickly have lawyers on the ground to conduct thorough assessments and investigations, regardless of location.
Time is of the essence when conducting an internal investigation. Early and assertive crisis management can increase a company’s credibility with regulators, prosecutors, and shareholders. From global investigations to more limited reviews, we quickly assemble the right team with the right experience. Whether a small matter or a major cross-border investigation, our team coordinates strategy in multiple jurisdictions simultaneously. We provide advice on the many U.S. and foreign laws regulating international business transactions including the FCPA, the U.K. Bribery Act, Sarbanes-Oxley, federal securities laws, the whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, international trade, export control and sanctions laws, anti-money laundering laws, and the Bank Secrecy Act. Working seamlessly with our colleagues in the firm’s top-ranked Privacy + Data Security and National Security groups—often across offices and geographic regions—we also handle investigations involving voluminous and complex data or national security interests.
Our team understands how to negotiate with and litigate against government agencies around the world. We have successfully represented many clients in obtaining favorable settlements or other resolutions, often ending with the DOJ or other government enforcement bodies closing their investigations with no action taken. In many cases, our close collaboration with our clients and strategic interaction with authorities allow us to resolve the matter at an early stage, with minimal business disruption. Clients also rely on us to handle important collateral matters, such as suspension and debarment issues, related civil litigation, labor and employment disputes, and data privacy concerns.
Risk and Compliance Review
We perform customized risk assessments to determine the areas of potential exposure for our clients: examining existing policies, procedures, and training programs to identify any deficiencies that need to be remedied. Based on our risk assessment, we help companies develop and implement tailored improvements to their compliance programs. Depending on the particular needs of the company, this may include detailed codes of conduct and specific anti-corruption or anti-money laundering policies and procedures covering gifts, travel, entertainment, charitable giving, third parties (including agents, distributors, and suppliers), transactional due diligence, whistleblowers, disciplinary and incentive measures, and compliance auditing. We also benchmark performance against peer companies to identify areas where our clients could face increased scrutiny from regulators. In addition, we ensure that our programs will withstand regulator inquiries by creating plans for testing and monitoring the effectiveness of internal compliance programs.
White Collar Defense
We have the skill, experience, resources, and global presence to meet our primary objective for each client: to obtain the most favorable outcome with the least impact on our client’s business and reputation. Our team represents clients in all stages of federal and state criminal matters, from grand jury to trial through any appeal. In many of these matters, we represent clients in parallel proceedings, often including simultaneous internal investigations, SEC investigations, regulatory enforcement actions both U.S. and foreign, or congressional and state legislative inquiries and related civil litigation, such as securities class actions and derivative suits.
Global Investigations Review 2018 Carrie H. Cohen, Demme Doufekias, and Ruti Smithline were named to Global Investigations Review's "Women in Investigations" 2018 survey which recognizes the top 100 leading female investigations specialists from around the world.
Chambers USA 2018 National: FCPA New York: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations
Chambers USA 2017 National: FCPA New York: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations
Legal 500 US 2018 National: Dispute Resolution: Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense
Legal 500 US 2017 National: Dispute Resolution: Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense “diligent and experienced”
Legal 500 UK 2017 Corporate Crime (including fraud, bribery, and corruption) Fraud: Civil Fraud: White-Collar Crime
Global Investigations ReviewGIR 100 2018: World’s Leading Investigations PracticeGIR 100 2017: World’s Leading Investigations Practice
Ethisphere Institute Six of our attorneys have been named “Attorneys Who Matter,” an honor that recognizes attorneys who have significantly advanced of corporate compliance and ethics.
Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award: The U.S. Attorney General presented this prestigious award, the second-highest honor for employee performance, to Charles Duross for his leading role in prosecuting a member of Congress for violating the FCPA. The Assistant Attorney General also awarded James Koukios this award in recognition of his work as a lead trial attorney in two landmark FCPA-related trials, United States v. Esquenazi and United States v. Duperval.
U.S. Assistant Attorney General’s Exceptional Service Award: Presented to Charles Duross by the U.S. Assistant Attorney General overseeing the Criminal Division, this honor is considered the Criminal Division’s highest award for employee performance. Mr. Duross received this recognition for his leadership during the OECD Phase 3 of the United States’ FCPA enforcement program.
Read our new 2018 Crisis Management Benchmarking Report and learn the #1 way to increase confidence in your company’s crisis response plan
“Popular choice of counsel for US-based and international corporations under investigation by multiple regulators, drawing on strength in areas such as FCPA, insider trading and sanctions violations.” (Chambers USA 2018)
“[The firm] is handling the monitorship of Odebrecht following a high-profile and multi-jurisdictional coordinated action taken by U.S., Brazilian and Swiss regulators. The group also represents high-profile individuals in numerous cross-border criminal matters.” (Legal500 US 2018)
Workplace Misconduct Investigations Task Force
MoFocusVolume 2, Issue 1
Read our “Data privacy and transfer in cross-border investigations” chapter first published in GIR’s The Investigations Review of the Americas 2018.
Spotlight on Risk and Crisis Management
A Primer on SEC Investigations and Enforcement Actions Related to Financial Reporting and Accounting Cases
Download Our "Internal Investigations" White Paper
©1996-2019 Morrison & Foerster LLP. All rights reserved.