White Collar Partner Kevin Feldis speaks with Tony Davis, chief executive officer and chief information officer of Inherent Group, a value-based investment company that uses environmental, social, and governance factors to make investment decisions. Kevin and Tony outline key ESG factors, describe how focusing on these factors can create value for companies, and also discuss the risks involved with failing to do so. Additionally, they offer insights into how the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s creation of a new Climate and ESG Task Force within the Division of Enforcement may affect how companies evaluate and disclose ESG compliance.
Chelsea Curfman and Markus Funk are joined by Professor Mike Koehler, better known as the “FCPA Professor.” In 2009, Koehler launched his “FCPA Professor” blog, described as “the Wall Street Journal concerning all things FCPA-related.” During the conversation he reflects on his professional road to becoming “The FCPA Professor,” tracks the evolution of the blog, shares his critical views on what he terms “FCPA Inc.,” and charts what he sees as future U.S. Department of Justice enforcement under the Biden administration.
Antitrust lawyers Jon Jacobs and Kevin Schock join host Markus Funk to discuss the fundamental legal principles applicable to no-poach and wage-fixing agreements, explore current government enforcement priorities related to these types of agreements, and evaluate examples of recent enforcement activity in the no-poach and wage-fixing space.
This episode’s guest is Cam Simpson. Cam is an award-winning writer and investigative journalist who has focused on supply chain, corruption, and forced labor and trafficking issues. He is the senior international correspondent for Bloomberg Businessweek in London and Bloomberg News. Previously, he worked for The Wall Street Journal, with posts in the Middle East and Washington, and as a foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune.
Cam and Perkins Coie White Collar & Investigations Chair Markus Funk discuss Cam’s diverse career and Cam’s work relating to human trafficking and other forms of forced labor. They also share their thoughts on the growing trend towards sustainable investing (specifically, on “ESG,” or environmental, social, and governance investing), as well as domestic and foreign enforcement activity aimed at stemming corruption, forced labor, and related supply chain and compliance misconduct.
On January 29, 2021, Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson rescinded the Trump administration’s charging and sentencing policy that required federal prosecutors to hold as a “core principle” that they “charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense.” The Wilkinson memo, titled Interim Guidance on Prosecutorial Discretion, Charging, and Sentencing, “supersedes any conflicting Justice Manual provisions.”
Under the May 10, 2017 memo issued by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, prosecutors were required to pursue the most serious charges or penalties. To do otherwise required that they first get permission from their supervisors. The Wilkinson memo reinstates the May 19, 2010 Department Policy on Charging and Sentencing issued by former Attorney General Eric Holder, which emphasized that prosecutors make an “individualized assessment of the extent to which particular charges fit the specific circumstances of the case, are consistent with the purpose of the Federal criminal code, and maximize the impact of Federal resources on crime.”
Acting Attorney General Wilkinson echoed this sentiment in the current policy memo: “The goal of this interim step is to ensure that decisions about charging, plea agreements, and advocacy at sentencing are based on the merits of each case and reflect an individualized assessment of relevant facts while longer-term policy is formulated.” He also noted in support of going back to the prior policy that “the reasoned exercise of prosecutorial discretion is critical to the fairness, effectiveness, and integrity of the criminal justice system.”
In essence, this change in policy will now afford defendants and their legal counsel more opportunities to seek less serious charges or the inclusion of lesser counts in any criminal indictment or information, and negotiate with the government to consider plea agreements and sentencing positions that do not include the de facto stiffest penalty. The current Wilkinson memo comes on the heels of another recent policy shift rescinding the “zero tolerance” border policy for migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally. As the new administration’s appointments continue to be confirmed, it is likely that more guidance on charging and sentencing will be forthcoming.
A copy of the memo is available here: Continue Reading DOJ Rescinds Trump Charging and Sentencing Policy
In this episode, Perkins Coie White Collar & Investigations partners Gina LaMonica and Caryn Trombino discuss the role of artificial intelligence in anti-bribery and anti-corruption (ABAC) compliance programs. Our guest, Megan Zwiebel, from The Anti-Corruption Report (anti-corruption.com), joins us to discuss her research into the use of AI in compliance programs, including trends in AI-based compliance, steps companies can take to utilize AI in their compliance programs, and how regulators view the use of data and AI in compliance programs.
In this episode, Paul Hirose, former president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and co-chair of Perkins Coie’s Supply Chain Compliance and Corporate Social Responsibility practice, speaks with Leyla Seka about her leadership in confronting gender equality and racial equity issues in the tech industry.
Leyla Seka is a partner with Operator Collective, a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley, and co-founder of the Black Venture Institute. She was one of the most senior female executives at Salesforce when she tackled pay equity.
In this episode, Perkins Coie partner and former dean of the University of San Diego School of Law, Stephen Ferruolo, speaks with Pradeep Khosla, chancellor of the University of California San Diego (UCSD), and Kurt Schmoke, president of the University of Baltimore, about how they, and the universities they lead, have confronted the challenges posed by the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism. President Schmoke and Chancellor Khosla speak compellingly about the important role universities can play in combatting both of these pandemics, as well as about their visions for the future of higher education in a post-pandemic world.
What does military policy have to do with the SEC? Tucked into the 1,480 page National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is a provision expanding the SEC’s disgorgement authority. The NDAA, specifying the budget and expenditures for the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2021 (H.R. 6395), was passed on December 11, 2020 by both chambers of Congress. Despite any obvious connection between the national defense and the SEC, the bill would amend the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to give the SEC authority to seek disgorgement in enforcement actions brought in federal court. These amendments would also increase the statute of limitations for disgorgement from five to ten years.
In this episode, we discuss management’s view of compliance and legal functions with Jim Stutelberg, president of primary products at Tate & Lyle, PLC, a U.K.-headquartered, global supplier of food and beverage ingredients. Partners Markus Funk and Gina LaMonica talk to Jim about his experience at Tate & Lyle and discuss how white collar practitioners can collaborate with management to foster a compliance-oriented atmosphere, while helping business units to accomplish their goals.