White Collar Defense, Regulatory Investigations and Litigation
Many law firms continue to apply conventional and predictable strategies to investigations and litigation. But because Chadbourne lawyers have handled more matters that have actually gone to trial or other adversarial resolution, and because we understand and address the business, policy, political and media implications of disputes, we have the ability to better design our representation to fit the unique requirements of each case. Our clients and our clients’ opponents know our track record — this gives our clients a decided advantage over the market. We avoid litigation when possible, minimize the costs and time when litigation does arise, and consistently win the cases that cannot be resolved. We help our clients achieve success through our knowledge and experience in three key areas:
1. Seeking Counsel To Avoid Legal Issues
Businesses often have their attorneys involved in major decisions to ensure a deal is economically sound, financial contingencies are considered, or commercial remedies are protected. However, when the business goes awry, we are positioned to review these transactions with a different eye — one that looks to see how regulators, law enforcement, the marketplace and the media will view them. This “ounce of prevention v. pound of cure” approach is even more important today, where there is more scrutiny by more levels of government as to anything businesses may undertake. For example, our attorneys have:
- Conducted pre- and post-acquisition anti-corruption due diligence for a global investment and advisory firm.
- Provided day-to-day advice during a company’s acquisition of a competitor in order to avoid antitrust concerns.
- Led FCPA due diligence associated with an acquisition of a target company in the Middle East by a multinational Fortune 500 energy corporation.
- Reviewed various business plans of a client company identifying how media and regulators would report and react.
- Advised clients entering new markets to know their customers, joint venturers, and others who might trigger Foreign Corrupt Practice Act (FCPA) concerns.
- Assessed the global risk profile and the application of various international laws for one of the largest and most profitable companies in the world.
- Performed an anti-corruption and compliance review for a major Russian telecommunications corporation as part of acquisition-related due diligence.
- Reviewed potential contacts with U.S. government officials to insure that Foreign Agent Registration Act and Lobbying Act requirements were not triggered.
- Conducted anti-corruption training sessions for multiple clients’ employees and higher risk third parties around the globe and in multiple languages.
- Analyzed commercial transactions to determine if Office of Foreign Asset Control and other trans-border money regulations were implicated.
2. Finding The Problem Before Others Do
No matter how well intended, businesses and those who run them sometimes make mistakes or take actions that others criticize as mistakes. A news article may uncover allegations in the industry; a whistleblower might write a complaint; a similar company may get sued or investigated. There are a number of ways a company should decide that it needs to take an internal look to uncover potential wrongdoing before an outside entity does so. With regulators providing companies second chances and benefits for voluntary programs and disclosure of problems, it is especially important for clients and their counsel to take advantage of these opportunities when appropriate. Our attorneys have designed, implemented and monitored compliance programs and internal investigations involving a wide range of laws and rules currently in play with the U.S. and foreign countries. For example, Chadbourne attorneys have:
- Advised a Fortune 500 company with respect to FCPA follow-up investigations, including due diligence and vetting of certain business partners and third party vendors.
- Represented companies that received internal whistleblower complaints to provide advice and to conduct sensitive internal investigations.
- Assisted with due diligence reviews of anti-bribery allegations arising from annual audits.
- Represented a foreign bank in connection with issues relating to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
- Advised a major Russian mining conglomerate regarding the application of the UK Bribery Act to its global corporate footprint and recommended “adequate procedures” it should implement with respect to various internal controls and third party due diligence.
- Used the occasion of an investigation of a similar company to initiate an internal review of operations.
- Advised a U.S. company in connection with an internal risk assessment relating to FCPA and other anti-corruption policies in the Russian Federation and Ukraine to identify areas of highest corruption risks.
- Assisted foreign private issuers in all aspects of Sarbanes-Oxley Act and New York Stock Exchange corporate governance compliance.
- Conducted an internal investigation for an international infrastructure company concerning possible fraud in application to an international monetary fund.
- Supervised and conducted internal review of employment practices of high corporate officials when complaint rumors were made.
3. Responding To Problems Effectively and Efficiently
With more regulations and regulators, more federal investigations, more state attorneys general, whistleblowers and their counsel motivated to make claims, more congressional investigations and more investigative journalism, the odds are significant that any business will find itself in an investigation, an administrative proceeding, hearing or a lawsuit. When that happens, our attorneys have an international track record of success — containing a legal issue, avoiding more congressional proceedings, resolving it faster, avoiding unnecessary publicity, winning at the investigation stage, pre-trial motions, actual trials and arbitrations, and reversals of adverse decision on appeal. In addition, when legal issues also involve marketplace or general media attention and piling on of multiple or parallel proceedings, we have navigated these various arenas in dozens of successful cases. Recent representative examples include:
- Representing a telecommunications company in connection with a federal complaint and TRO request against a government telecom regulatory board.
- Represented financial products executives of a major insurance and investment company in a parallel SEC and DOJ investigation.
- Represented a major accounting firm and one of its partners in an SEC investigation of the audit of a client’s financial statements.
- Defended former Senator and Presidential candidate John Edwards on criminal charges that he violated the Federal Elections Campaign Act. Our client was acquitted and charges were dropped.
- Representing a beverage manufacturer in the defense of multiple putative statewide and nationwide consumer-fraud class actions filed in federal courts across the United States.
- Successfully obtained trial verdicts for a businessman and his companies against the local government in a civil rights based action.
- Represented a major American manufacturing conglomerate in connection with a Federal Circuit appeal from the Department of Energy Board of Contract Appeals Decision, which resulted in an affirmance in favor of our client.
- Represented individual defendants in criminal cases in federal appellate courts resulting in reversals and new sentences.
- Prepared and advised individuals of energy companies in their dealings with U.S. Congress and its committees, including recent House Oversight Hearings of energy and securities transactions.
- Represented DC attorneys and lobbyists in the Senate and House oversight of Department of the Interior.
- Represented the directors and officers of a financial product entity in hearings about securities and accounting law.
- Represented financial institutions in an oversight hearing of bank regulatory hearings.
- Represented an American and foreign real estate development company in hearings concerning off-shore tax evasion.
Representation of the former head of a major car manufacturer's Overseas Division in investigations concerning violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Antitrust Litigation Related to Price-Fixing
Cascades Industries, Inc.
Defense of a manufacturer of sanitary tissues in antitrust class-action lawsuits alleging a scheme to fix prices on products sold to state-funded institutions.
Action Against Voter Education Organization
Defense of a voter education organization, leading to the dismissal of an action filed against it before the Federal Election Commission by a party challenging certain actions taken by the organization.
Shareholder Derivative Action
American Leisure Group, Limited
Defense of former CFO and former member of audit committee in a shareholder derivative action brought in Florida.
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