Bracewell’s White Collar Defense, Internal Investigations and Regulatory Enforcement Practice lawyers guide business institutions, executives and employees through the challenges associated with investigation and prosecution. Federal and state prosecutors and regulators, armed with new statutes and increased penalties, are placing institutions and individuals under increased scrutiny. As market commentators have noted, Bracewell lawyers have “distinguished themselves in ways unmatched from many other firms.” We conduct internal investigations, defend clients in criminal, civil and regulatory investigations or prosecutions and assist with corporate compliance programs.
Our battle-tested team includes a former federal judge and attorneys who have served in leadership positions in the U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ), including Chief of the Criminal Fraud Section; the U.S. Attorney's Offices for the Southern District of New York and the Northern and Southern Districts of Texas; the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); the New York County District Attorneys' Offices; and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). We handle matters related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, environmental crimes, broker-dealer violations, accounting and financial fraud, government contracts and False Claims Act/qui tam matters, healthcare fraud, tax and antitrust issues.
Cyber preparedness is necessary to mitigate the risk arising from a cyberattack. With the proliferation of e-commerce, electronic record keeping, and improved data collection techniques, the incidence of cyber intrusions have increased such that it is not a question of whether a data breach for any given system will occur, but when. Twenty-first century data breaches involve sophisticated attacks on the network and information systems which underpin modern commercial and corporate activities for companies of all sizes. This malicious activity affects all types of entities including retail companies, financial institutions, investment advisors, energy companies, governmental agencies, and other commercial or business ventures.
At Bracewell, we work with our clients to develop and implement information security plans to minimize risk and to insulate management from the regulatory and shareholder scrutiny that inevitably follows a breach. Preemptive activity can also streamline the time and expense of the response effort in case of a breach by ensuring that a rapid response plan is already in place and available for implementation on short notice. And when data breaches occur, we assist clients in managing all aspects of the incident, including the deployment of effective media and governmental communications to mitigate and minimize repercussions, both financial and reputational. Our team is comprised of a diverse array of lawyers across a range of disciplines that reflect the myriad client needs in the cyber arena, from former prosecutors to seasoned civil litigators and strategic communications experts.
At Bracewell, we counsel our clients, who are increasingly exploring new business opportunities around the globe, about what to expect from Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement and how to navigate these legal challenges within a complex international business environment. We help U.S. and multinational companies at every stage of the compliance and investigation process, reviewing delicate transactions and conducting due diligence on potential foreign business partners or agents, establishing FCPA compliance programs, and working with enforcement officials when sensitive situations arise.
We work with companies in virtually every sector of the global economy, including energy, aerospace, technology, manufacturing and business services. We notably represent companies that do business in high risk regions, where the use of joint ventures, sub-contractors and other third parties is commonplace and where export controls are required. In recent years, our lawyers have assisted clients with FCPA concerns in China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Europe, Dubai, Kuwait, India, and Mexico. Whether a company is seeking compliance advice or is under investigation, we possess the experience and knowledge to help.
In an environment of increased regulatory vigilance and enhanced financial incentives to whistleblowers, corporations must proactively ensure compliance with applicable statutes and regulations. Bracewell’s lawyers routinely conduct internal investigations worldwide for companies in the financial, technology, energy, insurance, and retail industries to contain and resolve issues such as corporate governance practices and procedures, directors' duties and responsibilities, corporate codes of conduct, and compliance with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and financial exchange regulations, as well as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
At Bracewell, we are particularly well-suited to serve as Monitors and Independent Auditors in a wide variety of matters because of our partners’ previous experience at the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Offices and District Attorney’s Offices. Our attorneys’ management of investigators and prosecutors in the public sector, and their knowledge of sophisticated investigatory methods, have enabled them to develop skills critical to performing duties as a Monitor.
Of particular note is Judge Barbara Jones, who presided as a federal judge in the Southern District of New York for 17 years. Judge Jones was a member of the American Bar Association Corporate Monitor Standards Committee and assisted in authoring the ABA-approved standards for monitorships. She also served as the chair of the Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel, created by Congress in 2013. In that position, she was tasked to review and assess the investigation, prosecution, and adjudication of sexual assaults in the U.S. military.