The passage of the Sarbanes Oxley Act marks a new chapter in governmental oversight and regulation of corporate governance. Coupled with revised listing standards and increased enforcement at the federal and state levels, the need for sound governance measures and a well constructed compliance plan has never been greater. If left unprepared, businesses face the potential of damaging civil and potential criminal consequences from governmental investigations.
In this regulatory environment, companies are sometimes required and/or well-advised to conduct their own internal investigations focused on potential wrongdoing. Federal laws and law enforcement agencies increasingly expect that business enterprises will police their own conduct and make any necessary reports to the appropriate agency.
Deciding when and how to conduct a proper internal investigation in a manner that complies with regulatory requirements and yet also protects, to the maximum permissible extent, the sensitive and sometimes privileged nature of the information gathered is the key to a successful outcome. Of further critical importance is the decision as to whether to make voluntary disclosures. The experience and background of our attorneys provides clients with options for solutions to enforcement issues to minimize exposure to civil penalties and other enforcement measures.