A rapidly shrinking world offers the potential for ever larger rewards to American businesses that venture abroad or expand the scope of their foreign ventures. But myriad international trade treaties, export controls, and increased prosecution of violations of laws such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the U.K. Bribery Act have raised the stakes for businesses. The need for legal assistance to ensure compliance and address allegations of wrongdoing is therefore essential.
Hinshaw's White Collar Practice attorneys help clients ensure regulatory compliance and, where necessary, conduct internal investigations and successfully address governmental investigations. We also counsel clients on proactively managing risk so as to engage in proper business practices, develop and implement appropriate compliance programs, tackle potential trouble spots and preempt governmental investigations. Our legal services in the areas of regulatory investigations and internal compliance have involved activities in countries such as China, India, Mexico and Venezuela.
Our team includes former U.S. Attorneys and Assistant U.S. Attorneys, former state prosecutors, and corporate and transactional lawyers experienced in assisting businesses with risk management. This group, and our approach, is multidisciplinary in nature and designed to tackle challenges and manage risk holistically so as to develop effective solutions.
Regulatory Investigations Representation
We proactively conduct internal investigations and, where necessary, defend entities and individuals in grand jury investigations involving anti-bribery laws, export control laws, money laundering, and other corruption-related laws, including Department of Justice and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requests, inquiries and investigative actions. We also simultaneously address parallel state and local prosecutions and civil actions so as to cover and uniformly defend all allegations. In doing so, we:
- Independently investigate the alleged misconduct and any related collateral issues
- Promptly and efficiently gather the evidence
- Analyze and advise on all legal and financial exposure
- Evaluate the necessity for, and proper scope of, any disclosures to regulators
- Develop remedial actions that address the legal exposure, implicated parties and business interests at issue
Robust programs addressing export control laws, the FCPA, anti-money laundering and other corruption-related laws are not just good business practice, they can also help minimize the consequences of, or even avoid, criminal prosecution. Indeed, U.S. Department of Justice and Securities & Exchange Commission guidance and enforcement actions suggest that having such programs in place may give rise to a de facto defense, or avoidance of prosecution altogether, in FCPA matters.
Hinshaw attorneys help companies develop and implement appropriate and cost-effective compliance programs. We also assist businesses with existing programs by conducting an independent audit and helping such organizations upgrade their plans so as to identify and address existing and new exposures to risk.
In assessing an existing compliance program, we seek to accurately measure the organization's risks—by assessing its customers, geographic scope, industry, operations and practices—while remaining mindful to minimize disruption to the business' day-to-day operations. Once we have identified the risks and exposures, we help our clients understand them; develop practices—including due diligence measures and appropriate internal controls—to address compliance; and implement those plans internally in a way that is practical and tailored to the business' practices and needs. Among other activities, we assist with:
- Program rollout and communication strategies
- Internal training, acknowledgment and certification practices
- Officer and board communication preparation and employee updates
- Drafting forms
- Creating anti-corruption contract language and revising existing agreements
- Developing checklist documents
- Establishing monitoring processes
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