Category: Internal Investigations

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U.K. Court Orders Disclosure of Internal Investigation Documents to Criminal Prosecutors

In a controversial ruling, London’s High Court has held that interview notes and other documents created by outside legal counsel and forensic accountants as part of an internal investigation into foreign bribery allegations are not protected by the legal professional privilege.  While the appeals process is already underway, the May 8th decision by the Honourable … Continue Reading

FCPA Pilot Program Extension Not Necessitate “Rush to Disclose”

On March 10, 2017, at the annual ABA White Collar Conference in Miami, Kenneth Blanco, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ’s Criminal Division, announced that the FCPA Pilot Program would stay in place beyond its current April 5, 2017 expiration date so the DOJ could “begin the process of evaluating the utility and the … Continue Reading

Second Circuit: Dodd-Frank “Anti-Retaliation” Applies Even When Whistleblower-Employees Have Not Reported to the SEC

Creating a circuit split that will likely be headed for resolution by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Second Circuit’s recent decision in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LLC expanded the Dodd-Frank Act’s anti-retaliation protections to include employees who were terminated by their companies after internally reporting to their employers concerns about potential violations of the federal securities laws.  The Fifth Circuit … Continue Reading

DOJ Memo to Prosecutors Calls for More Aggressive Pursuit of Corporate Executives

The U.S. Department of Justice—widely criticized for the perceived lack of cases brought against corporate executives—issued a new directive yesterday to all U.S. Attorneys designed to hold more individuals accountable for illegal corporate conduct.   The memorandum, written by Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates, first acknowledges the challenges involved in pursuing individuals for corporate crimes, … Continue Reading

Judge Cautions Plaintiffs’ Counsel to Exercise Proper Diligence in Drafting Securities Class Action Complaints

Late last week, Judge Engelmayer in the Southern District of New York accepted a voluntary dismissal of a securities class action, but the dismissal was anything but routine. Instead, it was accompanied by a twenty-five page opinion & order which serves as an important warning to plaintiffs’ counsel in securities class action cases regarding the … Continue Reading

SEC Action To Protect Whistleblowers May Impact Internal Investigations

On April 1, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced its first enforcement action against a company for using improperly restrictive language in confidentiality agreements allegedly aimed at stifling potential whistleblowers. The SEC charged KBR Inc. with violating whistleblower protection Rule 21F-17 enacted under the Dodd-Frank Act, which prohibits companies from “imped[ing] an individual from … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Vacates Barko Ruling on Scope of Privilege in Internal Investigations

On June 27, 2014, the D.C. Circuit vacated the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia’s hotly-debated opinion in United States ex rel. Barko v. Halliburton Co., making it clear that internal investigation communications are privileged “if one of the significant purposes of the internal investigation was to obtain or provide legal advice.”  The Circuit court noted that … Continue Reading

Cause for Alarm? Protecting Internal Investigations from Disclosure after Barko

Whether documents prepared in connection with an internal investigation are protected from disclosure by the attorney-client privilege or work-product doctrine is a topic of continuing interest and current debate.  On March 6, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia filed a much-publicized opinion in United States ex rel. Barko v. Halliburton Co., … Continue Reading
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