Corporate Governance and Compliance

Williams & Connolly LLP's corporate governance and compliance practice grew out of investigations the firm has conducted for a number of corporations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and predecessor laws. The firm regularly conducts investigations to audit compliance with corporate codes of conduct and with applicable statutes and regulatory rules. Williams & Connolly lawyers also counsel boards of directors on creating and monitoring codes of ethical business behavior and on related disclosure issues.

One firm partner has authored a leading treatise, Corporate Counsel Guidelines, that is an invaluable resource for in-house counsel as well as several other reference works.  Williams & Connolly also represents companies and their boards of directors in various criminal, civil, and administrative proceedings that arise (often in tandem) from corporate governance and compliance issues.

Representative Experience

  • Global financial services company in money laundering investigation.
  • Multinational investment bank in an antitrust investigation relating to the sale of municipal derivatives.
  • International accounting firm in a federal grand jury investigation into tax shelter transactions.
  • Major public health care company in a multi-agency criminal investigation into alleged accounting and securities fraud, and related alleged kickback schemes.
  • Fortune 500 media conglomerate in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation.
  • International commodities company in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation.
  • Fortune 300 manufacturing conglomerate in insider trading investigation.
  • Fortune 25 company in SEC investigation regarding accounting matters.
  • International engineering company in public corruption and false claims investigation.
  • Fortune 100 pharmaceutical company in off-label promotion and false claims investigation.
  • Representation of an SRO in federal securities class action litigation arising from a highly-publicized initial public offering.
  • Representation of a national investment bank in litigation brought by the Federal Housing Finance Agency raising claims related to residential mortgage-backed securities.
  • Representation of a pharmaceutical company in federal securities class action litigation related to risks, including contingent liability risks, associated with its drugs.
  • Representation of a private equity fund in a derivative action claiming violation of § 16 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 for short-swing profits.
  • Representation of a media and education company in federal securities class action litigation resulting from a Senate investigation into the proprietary-education sector.
  • Representation of the former CEOs of large financial firms in federal securities class action litigation.
  • Representation of a "Big Four" auditor in federal securities class action litigation stemming from accounting fraud at a national healthcare company.
  • Representation of a national law firm in federal securities class action litigation arising from the collapse of one of the largest energy companies in the country.
  • Representation of investment banks in numerous federal securities class action cases stemming from the banks’ underwritings of securities.
  • Representation of a former director and audit committee member in federal securities class action litigation arising out of the collapse of a national telecommunications company.
  • Representation of a private equity firm in class action litigation related to the management of one of its investment funds.
  • Representation of a national law firm in federal securities class action litigation arising from the collapse of one of the largest commodities brokerage firms in the country.
  • Representation of Chief Executive Officer of a Fortune 25 financial services company at trial in action brought by regulator alleging fraud and gross negligence in management.
  • Representation of a savings institution and its holding companies in an administrative proceeding tried in federal court in the longest trial arising out of the savings-and-loan crisis.
  • Representation of a Fortune 25 financial services company in litigation brought by the Federal Housing Finance Agency raising claims related to residential mortgage-backed securities.
  • Representation of a private equity firm in class action and international litigation resulting from the collapse of one of its investment funds.
  • Representation of a brokerage’s employees in FINRA arbitrations brought by competitor arising from the brokerage’s hiring of the employees.
  • Representation of an international bank in litigation related to a billion-dollar mortgage-backed commercial paper facility and the collapse of one of the country’s largest mortgage lenders.
  • Representation of a cabinet official in testimony before Congress relating to the 2008 financial crisis.
  • Representation of Fortune 25 financial services company in contract litigation with another bank over equity interest.
  • Representation of a private equity fund in a derivative action claiming violation of § 16 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 for short-swing profits.
  • Representation of several investment banks in federal securities litigation arising from underwriting practices.
  • Representation of the former CEO of a mortgage lending company in an enforcement proceeding brought by the SEC in federal district court.
  • Representation of an executive of a media company in an enforcement proceeding brought by the SEC in federal district court.
  • Representation of a senior bank official in a recent administrative enforcement matter arising out of the collapse of the mortgage market and related derivatives.
  • Representation of a “Big Four” accounting firm in investigation arising out of accounting fraud at a national healthcare company.
  • Representation of a company in an investigation following a whistle-blower alleged accounting improprieties.
  • Representation of several law firms in investigations relating to collapses of the law firms’ clients.
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