When Your Corporation Is Under Government Investigation

Our Top 3 Takeaways from ABA’s National Institute of White Collar Crime ethics seminar Thursday, March 1 in San Diego:

  1. Stick with in-house counsel, until the c-suite.

“Internal investigation in-house is the way to go,” said William Jacobson, a partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. It saves time and money and builds a great knowledge base within the company. However, the in-house attorneys have a problem when it comes to investigating the c-suite: “There, they have to worry about their own jobs,” Jacobson said. “If the c-suite is being investigated, then outside counsel should be called in. And this should be a real policy.”

2. Once your internal investigation has its findings, don’t go to the government with “what if” hypothetical situations.

“What I most want is usable facts,” said Acting Chief of the DOJ’s Fraud Section Criminal Division Sandra Moser.

3. Use separate counsel for the executives and the corporation.

The government perceives credibility when separate counsel represents the corporation and the executive under investigation.