Venable's Investigations and White Collar Defense team has extensive experience representing businesses and individuals at every stage of criminal investigation and related court proceedings in both federal and state venues. Our team has great depth of experience in responding to: grand jury subpoenas and investigation; search warrants; preparing clients for grand jury testimony and interviews; negotiating non-prosecution, deferred prosecution and plea agreements pre-indictment; and handling trials, sentencings and appeals.
The Investigations and White Collar Defense team also regularly represents companies and individuals in civil fraud enforcement proceedings threatened or initiated by the Justice Department, the SEC, the offices of state attorneys general and other government agencies, as well as investigations conducted by Congress. We have represented clients responding to civil investigative demands, civil and administrative subpoenas and other requests for information; we have also prepared clients for interviews and Congressional testimony; persuaded the government to refrain from filing enforcement actions or otherwise negotiating pre-suit settlements; and, where necessary, we have conducted aggressive full-scale litigation through trial and appeal.
The Investigations and White Collar Defense team also helps clients take proactive measures to protect themselves from civil or criminal liability. We assist clients with the creation and implementation of robust front-end compliance programs in order to prevent problems from arising initially. We conduct internal investigations on behalf of public and private companies, both in the U.S. and abroad, to ferret out suspected wrongdoing and advise clients on the appropriate response. And, we regularly advise special board committees, audit committees and individual corporate directors on a full range of fiduciary responsibilities and financial reporting obligations.
The work of the Investigations and White Collar Defense team encompasses the following types of matters:
- Compliance and internal controls
- Congressional investigations
- Federal government agency investigations (DOJ, SEC, Inspectors General)
- Grand jury investigations
- Internal corporate investigations
- State attorney general investigations
- Trials, sentencings and appeals
The cases we handle involve the full panoply of potential violations of federal and state law. Our experience includes the following substantive areas:
- Anti-money laundering
- Antitrust – Criminal
- Consumer fraud
- Environmental crimes
- False Claims Act
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
- Government contracts and procurement fraud
- Healthcare and pharmaceutical enforcement
- Public corruption
- Securities enforcement and compliance
- Tax fraud
The Investigations and White Collar Defense team consists of former senior attorneys in numerous branches of both federal and state government, including the Department of Justice, various U.S. Attorneys' Offices, various state Attorneys General offices, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The team includes attorneys in each of our offices nationwide. We work closely with attorneys in other practice areas to ensure that our clients benefit from the breadth and depth of the firm's substantive experience and knowledge.
The Investigations and White Collar Defense team also overlaps, in many respects, with the Foreign Corrupt Practices / Anti-Corruption team, as vigorous enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) has become a top priority for both the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Recently, both have increased resources dedicated to FCPA enforcement. At the same time, civil and criminal penalties for FCPA violations continue to grow and DOJ has shown an increasing willingness to criminally prosecute individuals for FCPA violations. Many other countries have enacted and/or have begun to seriously enforce anti-corruption legislation of their own. As such, any business operating in the global marketplace must integrate the FCPA and the general anti-corruption enforcement landscape into its business plan. We are firm in our belief that the best legal counsel prevents problems, rather than reacts to them, and we apply our regulatory know-how and years of advisory experience to design FCPA / anti-corruption compliance programs for companies in the United States and abroad. With the nuances of each client's business in mind, we:
- create policies and procedures that address not only the FCPA, but also major non-U.S. anti-corruption legislations, such as the U.K. Bribery Act
- train employees and agents in the FCPA and other anti-corruption legislation
- analyze form documents such as purchase orders and distributorship agreements to decrease the company's FCPA / anti-corruption exposure
- design effective protocols to monitor FCPA / anti-corruption compliance
Our team has conducted FCPA / anti-corruption pre-transaction due diligence to guard against successor liability and follow-on accounting or disclosure issues that could result in diminution in the value of contracts and other assets, and has performed FCPA / anti-corruption audits and transaction reviews to ensure that an organization's anti-corruption controls and policies are effective. We also conduct due diligence and provide background checks on agents, distributors, consultants, licensees, joint venture and other business partners that could lead to FCPA / anti-corruption liability for a corporation. Additionally, Venable has provided anti-corruption advice to companies operating around the globe, including in the most difficult compliance environments.
Venable frequently works with firms in other jurisdictions on global compliance programs, multi-national internal investigations, multi-national agent and pre-transactional due diligence and parallel criminal proceedings.
Venable's White Collar and FCPA practices have been recognized in the U.S. and abroad for their accomplishments. The team was recognized as U.S. News-Best Lawyers "Law Firm of the Year" in Criminal Law: White-Collar Litigation, 2013 and has been ranked in U.S. News-Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms," in Tier 1 Criminal Defense: White-Collar (Baltimore; DC; Los Angeles) for the last several years.
Additionally, the firm's FCPA practice was named one of the nation's top FCPA practices by Main Justice in 2013 and an FCPA Powerhouse by Law 360 that same year.
For more information, please visit www.Venable.com.