Internal Investigations

News & Analysis as of

First ‘Trial of the Century’ and the SQM FCPA Enforcement Action – Part II

Today I conclude my two-part series on the recent Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement action involving the Chilean chemicals and mining company Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile (SQM), which agreed to pay a...more

New DOJ Evaluation – Valuable Document for the Compliance Practitioner: Part II

Yesterday I began a two-part series on the Department of Justice (DOJ’s) “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs” (Evaluation) posted on the Fraud Section website late last week. The document is an 11-part list of...more

UK Decision Highlights Potential Privilege Problems in Cross-Border Investigations

7 steps companies can take to maximize privilege protections under US and English law. Key Points: ..In a recent case, an English court stated that privilege did not apply to notes of employee interviews,...more

Revenge of the Whistle-blower: Possible Consequences of Compliance Failures

In a company with a robust compliance culture, potential whistleblowers can express their concerns without fear of retribution. By contrast, the penalty for a culture that silences whistleblowers just got steeper. Companies...more

Reserving Privilege for the Few: The High Court Confirms the Narrow Interpretation of “Client” for the Purposes of Legal Advice...

Following Three Rivers (No 5) [2003] EWCA Civ 474, the High Court has held that notes of interviews of employees, prepared as part of certain internal investigations by a bank’s solicitors, for the purpose of enabling the...more

Research Misconduct – Guilt by Association

At the allegation stage of a research misconduct matter, it may not be known which of several scientists actually committed research misconduct (assuming anyone did), resulting in more than one scientist being named as a...more

Arming Employers Against Internal Hackers, the 11th Circuit Clarifies CFAA’s “Loss” Requirement

The Eleventh Circuit ruled last week in a wrongful discharge turned Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) case, spinning the employee’s case against his employer on its head. The facts of Brown Jordan International, Inc. v....more

Investigations: notes of employee interviews not privileged

Lawyers' notes of interviews with a bank's employees conducted as part of two investigations were not privileged since the employees were not the "client" and the notes were not lawyers' working papers, according to the...more

CFPB and Two States File Suit Against Student Loan Company Navient

The CFPB announced on Wednesday that it had filed a lawsuit against Navient Corporation, formerly part of Sallie Mae, and two of its subsidiaries for alleged “systematic” failures in student loan servicing. The complaint...more

When Employees Leave With Your Secrets

Recently I shared the podium with an FBI agent who was asked what frustrated him the most when trying to help businesses with trade secret theft. His answer was a surprise: they fire the guy too fast! He explained that when...more

What is the Price for Failing to Voluntarily Disclose an FCPA Violation? – A Curious Case Of Successor Liability

On January 6, 2017, the Securities and Enforcement Commission filed an Administrative Action announcing a settlement with two global agribusiness companies. The Order is brief and short on facts. ...more

High Court Rules That Witness Interview Notes Are Not Covered by Legal Advice Privilege

In December 2016, the English High Court ruled that transcripts, notes and other records of witness interviews prepared by in-house and external counsel in the course of an internal investigation were not covered by either...more

General Cable FCPA Enforcement Action – Part II: The Comeback

Yesterday I began an exploration of the General Cable Corporation (General Cable) Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement action. It was settled with the DOJ via a Non-Prosecution Agreement (NPA) and the SEC via a...more

5 Trends in Whistleblower Hotlines and Protections to Be Aware of in 2017

Every year it’s safe to assume that our list of Top 10 trends will include the latest developments pertaining to helplines, whistleblower reporting and retaliation, and this year is no exception. We begin by examining some...more

"Cross-Border Investigations Update - December 2016"

This issue of Skadden’s semiannual Cross-Border Investigations Update looks at Brexit’s impact on corporate crime and investigations, the U.S. DOJ’s increased use of forfeiture actions with international implications, current...more

Hiding Behind the Privilege – A Cloak or a Dagger?

CCOs face many challenges in their jobs. One area that is difficult but usually can be solved with common sense is where to draw the line on attorney-client privilege issues. As a practicing attorney, I can attest to the...more

Top 10 Ethics & Compliance Predictions and Recommendations for 2017

Once again it’s time for our annual review of trends and events that will impact your Ethics and Compliance (E&C) program in the year ahead. This year presents a unique challenge. We are preparing our predictions...more

E-Mail Communications: The Devil is on the Server

It is hard to imagine how prosecutors were able to bring cases before there was email communications. When I was a prosecutor, we looked for evidence in a lot of other sources, internal memos, calendars and other places where...more

Universities Are Prime Targets for False Claims Act Liability

Colleges and universities receive billions of dollars in federal funds, whether through research grants or student financial aid, or even by billing Medicare or Medicaid for services rendered at academic medical centers. As a...more

Steep Fines for Company With Compliance Problems, but Recognition of Remediation Efforts May Provide Model Going Forward

After a series of compliance failures leading to the resignation of company’s CEO, the privately-held health care brokerage company Zenefits was just hit with a $7 million dollar settlement by the California Department of...more

Recent Appellate Court Decision Provides Guidance For Investigating Intermittent FMLA Abuse

Intermittent FMLA leave can be a source of frustration for employers even when it is used appropriately because it complicates staffing and planning and interrupts business operations. But when an employee’s use of...more

GIR Asia Pacific Investigations Review 2017: Australia Chapter - Internal Investigations

It goes without saying that wrongful conduct in a corporate setting can have drastic and irreparable legal, commercial and reputational consequences for the individuals and entities involved. Internal investigations, which...more

Construction One-Minute Read: Carefully Crafting Internal Reports

Contractors often prepare internal investigative reports concerning situations that could lead to future litigation. Like most other internal business records, internal reports are discoverable in litigation. Once disclosed...more

Significant Swiss ruling handed down on privilege in anti-money laundering investigations

In a recent judgment, the Swiss Federal Tribunal has ruled that, where a financial institution delegates its investigation and reporting obligations under the Swiss Anti-Money Laundering Act ("AMLA") to external counsel,...more

When Your Internal Investigator Fails to “Investigate”

A number of recent FCPA enforcement actions have cited common compliance program failures relating to internal investigations. For example, PTC settled FCPA charges with the DOJ and SEC for $28 million. According to the...more

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