Government Investigations & Enforcement

PRACTICE AREA CONTACTS: Kevin M. Murphy and Thomas L. McCally

Our attorneys defend corporations and individuals, including directors and officers, in investigations and enforcement actions by federal and state agencies, self regulatory organizations, and professional licensing bodies. Examples include investigations by the Department of Justice, Congress, financial institution regulators, the Department of Labor, PCAOB, and the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as by state attorneys general, other state agencies, and licensing bodies. We also conduct independent internal investigations if possible wrongdoing or legal exposure comes to light in the absence of a government inquiry.

In these matters, we often advise inside counsel, directors, audit committees and special litigation committees, and management. We work to achieve the best outcome, which is persuading the government not to proceed against our client. If that best outcome is not possible, we stand ready to go to trial and beyond, drawing on our extensive experience in trials and appeals.

We manage each matter from the first government contact to its conclusion. We know the importance of early and decisive action, rapid and thorough mastery of the facts and law, and forceful action to explore an early resolution or, if that is not possible, to defend the client. We help clients anticipate and avoid the possible missteps that can cause unnecessary complications in an investigation.

We also advise clients about how to address the multiple factors that can come into play, such as reporting or disclosure requirements, corporate governance considerations, concerns about one’s reputation or other business harms, and the possibility of follow-on civil litigation or other enforcement proceedings. If necessary, we guide clients through parallel tracks of legal activity, such as civil claims by shareholders or private plaintiffs, or actions by other regulators or licensing bodies.

Our attorneys include former federal and state prosecutors, former Judge Advocate General officers, and veterans of other investigative arms of government. Examples of our substantive experience include fraud-related and financial reporting laws; employment matters in various industries (including matters involving senior executives); insurance regulation; corporate governance issues; financial services issues; health-care regulation; and a wide variety of other business problems.

Our attorneys also help clients formulate compliance programs. An effective compliance program reduces the likelihood of regulatory violations and improves a company’s ability to defend itself if the government does come calling. We help formulate compliance policies by understanding the client’s business and the legal framework in which the client operates. We help identify control weaknesses or other business practices that could lead to future government inquiries or enforcement actions. This provides the best approach to government enforcement actions, which is to prevent them altogether.

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