December 1, 2016

The Government’s Enforcement Focus Takes a Hard Turn Toward Corporate Management

Association of Corporate Counsel, Greater Philadelphia Ethics & Compliance CLE Institute


Partners Charles S. Leeper and Mary P. Hansen, and associate Mira E. Baylson presented “The Government’s Enforcement Focus Takes a Hard Turn Toward Corporate Management” as part of the Association of Corporate Counsel, Greater Philadelphia Chapter’s Ethics & Compliance CLE Institute on December 1, 2016. HP Enterprises investigations counsel Kay B. Lee will also be a panelist.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in highly publicized enforcement initiatives and policy directives, have unveiled aggressive strategies to encourage whistle-blowing by employees, induce their corporate employers to seek leniency through cooperation, and thereby to make criminal and civil fraud cases against corporate executives.

Corporate managers have become the investigative and prosecution targets of choice for related investigations. This panel discussed:

  • The SEC’s targeting of confidentiality provisions in employment or severance agreements, and other “impediments” to whistleblowers;
  • The DOJ’s all-or-nothing perspective on corporate cooperation, and the potential consequences for responsible management employees; and
  • The threat to the corporate attorney-client privilege posed by these enforcement strategies.
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