Hinshaw's Internal Investigations Group is highly experienced in conducting complex and sensitive internal investigations. Our clients include publicly traded and private companies, educational institutions and other governmental entities.
Investigations and Enforcement Experience
Our Investigations team includes a former U.S. Attorney and several former Assistant U.S. Attorneys, a former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement attorney, a former state Solicitor General, former Assistant Attorney Generals, and former Assistant State Attorneys. They draw from their government experience to help clients understand what occurred and how to implement appropriate remedial measures, while also appropriately protecting attorney-client and work-product privileges.
Our team's prosecutorial experience gives us insight into U.S. Department of Justice, SEC, and state Attorneys General investigations, and the personnel and inner workings of these agencies. It also helps our team navigate, and assist clients with, parallel governmental investigations or private actions.
We are experienced in internal investigations involving:
- Audit committee inquiries into illegal or improper conduct
- Corporate governance, risk management practices and compliance programs
- Diligence in connection with M&A transactions
- Export Compliance
- The False Claims Act, qui tam actions, and government contract billing
- The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
- Section 10A
- Shareholder and other derivative demands
- Special litigation committees
- Whistleblower and other investigations under Sarbanes-Oxley
Our Investigations Methodology
We have developed effective and efficient strategies that help determine when an investigation is warranted, as well as the scope required to properly assess and control the situation. This includes:
- Investigative planning
- Determining internal stakeholders' roles in the investigation and working with those overseeing the investigation internally
- Identifying and coordinating with other service providers (e.g. forensic accountants, etc.) as necessary
- Gathering and analyzing evidence
- Interviewing witnesses across the United States and abroad
- Determining potential exposures and liabilities
- Interacting with government enforcement agencies and other regulators, auditors and oversight committees
- Assisting with communications—both within the organization and with the marketplace—to limit the effect and scope of any damage
- Creating an accurate record and preserving the attorney-client privilege
- Presenting our findings to the client's team, board, special committees, and any others
Post-Investigation Response Strategies
We help our clients effectively address any identified problems so that its personnel can get back to the organization's core business. Where our investigation turns up evidence of wrongdoing, we present recommended remedial actions and provide advice regarding questions of disclosure to authorities. Our advice focuses on the facts at hand, helps preempt potential future problems, and aids in countering adverse market-related effects of the incident. In instances where we find insufficient evidence of wrongdoing, we often will suggest policies and procedures designed to address other potential problem areas we may have discovered during the course of the investigation.
In addition to our many professional accomplishments, we regularly lecture and serve as program panelists at professional and business association meetings addressing internal investigation and white collar crime issues. Group members have served as faculty for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy at Northwestern University and the U.S. Department of Justice National Advocacy Center; and serve as adjunct faculty at various law schools, including Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law.