For anyone who is caught up in a white collar investigation, the experience can be life-altering. The consequences of a conviction are very serious for individuals and business entities alike. But even if a client is able to prevail at trial, or if no charges are ever brought, there are often enormous costs. Simply being subjected to an investigation can be an ordeal—investigations tend to be expensive, protracted and stressful. Government investigators delve deep into otherwise private communications and business decisions, and normal business activity can be sidelined or even ruined. Even if a client did nothing wrong, investigations can be disruptive and distracting, and things can go “off the rails” if the government believes that the client is being uncooperative or not forthcoming.
At Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, we are experienced and adept at helping clients navigate these challenges. We have been at the forefront of white collar defense for more than 30 years. Our team includes a distinguished roster of former prosecutors who served at the highest levels of the Department of Justice and at leading United States Attorneys’ Offices, including the Southern District of New York, Eastern District of New York, Central District of California, Eastern District of Virginia, and Eastern District of Texas and lawyers who served in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s Enforcement Division. We have successfully represented corporations, executives, individuals and public officials in a wide range of federal and state prosecutions and investigations and have conducted internal investigations for corporations throughout the world. The deep experience and sound judgment of our white-collar defense lawyers results in industry-leading credibility and effectiveness in dealing with the government.
White collar matters are also commonly driven by major market regulators such as the SEC, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen) or by leading state prosecutors such as the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office or prominent state attorneys general. Financial and securities violations, money Laundering and health care fraud have been major enforcement priorities for the U.S. Government in recent years. As we have a wealth of experience with each of these substantive areas and with the agencies that investigate and enforce them, we know the issues and the government’s approach to investigations. Consequently, we have achieved great successes for our clients.
Over the past decade, one of the major trends in white collar enforcement has been its increasingly global scope. Because of the broad jurisdictional provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act (FCPA), and the use of U.S. financial markets and data systems by companies and individuals throughout the world, individuals and companies may fall under the U.S. government’s microscope even if they have only minor or attenuated connections to the United States. But the global enforcement effort extends well beyond anticorruption cases; the “long arm” of U.S. law enforcement is reaching overseas in a host of areas, including securities, banking and antitrust enforcement. Increasingly, foreign enforcement agencies—especially in the United Kingdom—are adopting the same strategy by pursuing targets located in the United States, and the enactment of the U.K. Bribery Act of 2010 provides a new framework.
At Akin Gump, we have ample, meaningful experience in these international matters. Our lawyers represent clients world-wide, including many non-U.S. persons and foreign business entities. We have the experience and resources to provide a seamless, integrated approach to international, cross-border investigations.
We are proud of the fact that our client base reflects a balanced mix of institutional and individual clients. As the focus of investigations is directed increasingly at individuals, we regularly represent senior executives, Wall Street traders, current or former government officials and a variety of other individuals who are caught up in white collar matters. Our extensive experience representing individuals allows us to serve as strong advocates for our clients. Balanced against this aspect of our practice, we routinely represent public companies, board audit committees and other business enterprises and we have deep experience in handling enforcement matters from a corporate perspective.