White collar defence, regulatory investigations and litigation
One size does not fit all — especially with respect to avoiding litigation when possible, minimising the costs and time when litigation does arise, and winning cases that are brought. Yet so many law firms continue to apply conventional formulas and structures (the pyramid of partners and associates) and the same strategies (massive amounts of discovery), whether or not a particular case requires it.
Not us. Chadbourne’s approach is to tailor the strategy and the work that follows to a client’s unique situation. Whether it is a compliance programme or audit to avoid legal problems; an investigation by law enforcement, an administrative agency or legislative committee; defence of a nuisance suit; or full-out litigation and trial, our clients benefit from a strategy and resources appropriate for their matter — and no more.
Experience is the key to knowing how much is enough. It is because we have handled more matters that have actually gone to trial or other adversarial resolution that we have the confidence to design our representation to fit the needs of a specific case. Our established and well-known record of litigation success means our clients’ opponents know we are fully prepared, when challenged, to go all the way and to take a matter to a successful conclusion.
Our litigation team includes many who have extensive government litigation experience and dozens of trials and appeals in their backgrounds
Compliance programmes and internal investigations
The adage about ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ is more true than ever in the legal world. With an influx of federal and state laws — Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank, various state blue sky laws — clients need to steer clear of problems by making sure their businesses are set up and operate within established rules and guidelines for regulatory oversight. State attorneys general and other agencies are increasingly active in business compliance and enforcement, and the number of lawsuits and proceedings generated by ‘whistleblowers’ grows every year. Additionally, with regulators providing companies second chances and benefits for voluntary programmes and disclosure of problems, it is especially important for clients and their counsel to take advantage of these opportunities when appropriate. Drawing on both their government experience (including sometimes having worked on the legislation or rule-making involved) and cases for other clients, our attorneys have designed, implemented and monitored compliance programmes and internal investigations involving a wide range of laws and rules currently in play, including:
Chadbourne’s strong transactional practice and large litigation group complement each other and assist the firm’s domestic and foreign corporate clients in complying with the full range of securities laws. Our attorneys have experience counseling clients on Securities Exchange Act reports, disclosure matters, insider trading rules, whistleblower provisions, shareholder proposals and conduct of shareholder meetings, as well as on the Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank Acts. Chadbourne litigators have extensive experience defending clients in such matters as shareholder derivative lawsuits and class actions and at co-ordinating and simplifying the multi-jurisdictional complications of such cases. The group represents clients in civil and criminal investigations brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Department of Justice (DOJ), self-regulatory organisations (SROs), and state regulatory agencies, as well as in private securities litigation.
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and other anti-corruption laws
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and UK Bribery Act have taken center stage as areas of concern for many companies. Our attorneys frequently represent clients facing issues arising under FCPA, UK Bribery Act and other anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws. Chadbourne handles every aspect of such matters, including due diligence, auditing sales agents and promulgating policies and training compliance materials; establishing controls for handling interactions with governmental officials; investigating potential violations; and representing clients in investigations and prosecutions by the DOJ and the SEC. The firm has 10 offices outside the U.S., including Latin America, Russia and the CIS, and China, where our clients face special challenges. (See also Chadbourne’s UK Bribery Act website.)
Almost any business or entity is now subject to review from numerous federal law enforcement or regulatory agencies, state and local governments, congress and state legislatures and the ever-competitive investigative staffs of the media. How and when to respond and react are decisions that require experienced counsel. Chadbourne’s attorneys have handled hundreds of these inquiries initiated at every level of federal and state government. These include the DOJ, SEC, Department of Defense (DOD), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Federal Office of Thrift Supervision, Federal Elections Commission and Office of Government Ethics, as well as attorneys general in a dozen states, and investigative and oversight hearings in the US Senate, House of Representatives and state legislatures. We can help with everything from a simple, informal request for information, to a summons or a subpoena, to a Wells submission, to a lawsuit filed for damages, or cease-and-desist orders and injunctions.
Civil litigation and trials
Chadbourne’s litigation department has earned a national reputation for excellence in complex high-stakes, high-profile civil business disputes. Our practice comprises experienced trial lawyers who regularly try and win cases in state and federal courts throughout the US and in foreign courts. We also understand that disputes are often best resolved outside the courtroom. We provide advice and devise action plans and policies that help clients avoid being drawn into costly litigation in the first place. Thus, we make use of tools such as arbitration, mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. Complex litigation problems today sometimes take the form of not just a single proceeding, but numerous related cases going forward simultaneously. Litigators in our US and foreign offices are skilled in managing complex, multi-jurisdictional litigation. We have the resources and knowledge to handle major litigation on a long-term basis and the flexibility to handle smaller cases in a cost-effective manner.
Criminal investigations and trials
Federal and state prosecutors are more aggressive than ever, with more investigations started and more cases filed. Clients need counsel who have experience with all aspects of the criminal process. Chadbourne attorneys have such experience. A rapid response to a client inquiry may forestall a potential problem before any damage occurs; we have helped clients explain their position so as to avoid actions or charges being filed; we have defended criminal cases in front of judges and juries in more than 15 states; and we have won cases before and during trial, as well as through verdicts, many times. Our team has guided clients — both those we represented at trial and those we did not — through settlements, sentencing and appeals.
Congressional investigations and oversight
It seems that every year congress becomes more aggressive in doing investigations of companies, industries and even individuals. Whether in the name of researching new legislation, doing oversight to determine whether a federal agency is being effective, or just to create headlines, congressional ‘invitations’ appear, subpoenas for documents and testimony and proceedings grow. These are uncharted waters for most individuals and companies because there are very few rules that apply when a congressional committee involves itself in an issue. When a client gets close to such a proceeding, they need special help. Whether on the Senate or House side, our lawyers have been staff counsel to the very committees which conduct these inquiries. Some have been specially appointed to handle significant matters in congress (ethics investigations and the impeachment of President Clinton); and many have guided dozens of clients through the minefields on this treacherous forum.
Sometimes a fight has to be won on appeal. Both for the clients we have stood by from the beginning of a case to those who ask our help in the second round, we have held on to victories that were hard won in trial courts and turned things around in initially unsuccessful cases. Whether before the highest state courts, the federal appellate courts and even the US Supreme Court, our attorneys have represented the interests of clients in civil and criminal cases and have an impressive record of success.
For more information on white collar, regulatory investigations and litigation click here.
News from Chadbourne & Parke
Briefings from Chadbourne & Parke
This presentation by Chadbourne & Parke focuses on real-estate investment trusts (REITs) and renewable energy.
The ABA Tax Section’s May meeting hosted a panel discussion concerning the IRS’s start of construction guidance (Notice 2013-29).