Manatt’s investigations, compliance and strategic response team has decades of experience counseling industry-leading clients on how best to avoid—and, when necessary, navigate—the turbulent waters of controversy and investigation, whether addressing the Congress of the United States, a prosecutor or a board of directors, as well as how to efficiently and effectively satisfy any government-imposed regulator regimes.
Our team consists of a former counsel to the President of the United States; former federal prosecutors, including a former U.S. attorney; former federal and state regulators; a former counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary and senior advisor to multiple Senate Republicans; federal and state government advocates; and senior partners in Manatt’s Washington, D.C., New York City, Albany, Los Angeles and Sacramento offices.
A multidisciplinary approach
Investigations rarely stand on their own; they frequently involve criminal or civil jeopardy and almost always imply legislative and investigative hearings, regulatory action, or both. We’ve also seen that voluntary cooperation can mean the difference between harsh enforcement and leniency, underscoring the importance of thorough internal investigations. And we have extensive experience working with clients to develop best-in-class compliance programs because we understand the myriad benefits of promoting a corporate culture of good governance.
Our investigations, compliance and strategic response team works seamlessly with our white collar defense litigators to provide world-class legal services at the intersection of Washington law, politics and media. Manatt’s integrated multidisciplinary team offers a distinct combination of skills: first-class legal experience, proven political experience and a deep familiarity with investigations that are often played out from the start in the media. We understand the stakes, and our leadership has lived in the turbulent rapids in which matters of crisis proportions often play out, where media attention, public and political interest, and potential legal jeopardy all must be navigated with exquisite care to achieve a successful resolution.
Get to know our team
Our nationwide team works collaboratively to assemble the right combination of experience for each engagement.
In Washington, our team is led by Jack Quinn. Jack was White House counsel to President Bill Clinton and, prior to that, chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore. In the White House, Jack oversaw the work of scores of attorneys in responding to actual and threatened congressional investigations and managed the executive branch response to several independent counsels. In addition to decades of legal practice in Washington, Jack co-founded, chaired and later sold a successful bipartisan public affairs company and has served as an independent director on a number of boards. He is also a frequent commentator on television on current investigations and serves as a CNN legal analyst.
As former general counsel of U.S. Steel Corporation, a major international Fortune 200 manufacturing company, Suzanne Rich Folsom is a proven member of C-suite executive management teams and a trusted advisor to boards. Suzanne solves complex business problems and is known for her integrity, innovative thinking, crisis management leadership and critical ability to build consensus around challenging decisions. She is an internationally recognized corporate governance leader who has created and implemented award-winning legal, regulatory and compliance programs.
John Libby leads the firm’s nationally recognized investigations and white collar defense practice from our Los Angeles office. John represents businesses and their officers and directors during criminal investigations and prosecutions, as well as in complex civil litigation. A former federal prosecutor, John guides clients in the healthcare, financial services and high-technology industries through complex disputes with both the government and private parties.
Former U.S. Attorney Rick Hartunian is resident in our New York City and Albany offices and travels frequently to work out of our Washington, D.C., office. Rick served as U.S. attorney in the Northern District of New York from 2010 to 2017. A 20-year veteran of the U.S. Department of Justice, Rick has prosecuted both violent and organized crimes and white collar cases, including tax and fraud crimes.
Robert Garretson has extensive compliance and governance experience and works with clients throughout a variety of industry sectors to develop and implement corporate governance and regulatory compliance solutions that align with corporations’ overall business strategies. He has broad, high-level experience in the public and private sectors, including in the United States Navy and at PwC, ACADEMI (the company formerly known as Blackwater) and U.S. Steel Corporation.
Other key members of the investigations, compliance and strategic response team include Gregg Nunziata, who has held senior Republican counsel positions on Capitol Hill and is a former chief nominations counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary; Jacqueline Wolff, a former chief of the Environmental Crimes Unit and assistant U.S. attorney for the Frauds Division in the District of New Jersey; Ron Blum, a former assistant district attorney in New York City and currently legal counsel to the Department of Justice-appointed independent compliance and business ethics monitor of a global investment bank; Andrew Zimmitti, who has two decades of experience representing clients in a wide variety of civil and white collar matters and SEC investigations and proceedings; and Deborah Kelly, a well-known employment litigator experienced in both conducting and guiding clients through the risks associated with internal corporate investigations.
What we do
- Regulatory and compliance solutions
- Strategic response and crisis management
- Corporate governance solutions
- Federal government solutions
- Privacy and data security solutions
Today, outside monitors—often required by government agencies to resolve enforcement actions—are a fact of life. Many government agencies require that monitorships be part of the resolution of enforcement actions and use monitors as a method of ensuring that appropriate corporate compliance programs are established in order to reduce the risk of recurrence of misconduct and compliance missteps. Implemented correctly, monitorships can help mitigate the risk of further compliance lapses, soothe the concerns of key stakeholders, repair an organization’s reputation and be a value driver over the long term.
Manatt’s investigations, compliance and strategic response group knows the litany of issues that companies face when working with a government-imposed monitor. Our team is comprised of regulatory defense attorneys, former government attorneys and prosecutors, dedicated investigative lawyers, former regulators, governance and compliance professionals and, importantly, senior in-house legal and compliance leaders. Each of our team members has decades of experience advising leading multinational corporations on the compliance measures and responses that are right for them. We have advised on numerous complex crisis matters and successful corporate responses to a myriad of government-imposed monitors (e.g., Departments of Justice, Commerce, State and Treasury, as well as state attorneys general offices).
Our team has experience in overseeing and monitoring corporations’ compliance with relevant laws and regulations, as well as with their own internal policies, procedures and ethics programs. We have previously assisted organizations across a wide array of industries to conduct gap analyses related to their corporate governance in order to identify potential high-level compliance risks and recommend measures to strengthen protocols to mitigate potential risks. When overseeing and conducting the implementation of the governance process enhancements necessary to accelerate organizations’ performance improvement plans, our team maintains a strong focus on the board and stakeholders and ensures alignment with regulatory requirements as well as core corporate values. We have led company-wide efforts to review, revise and enhance corporate policies to bring them in line with appropriate laws, regulations and corporate best practices.
Monitorship Service Offerings
Every regulatory challenge or compliance misstep is unique, and the specific requirements of corporate criminal resolutions will vary. We know that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. To meet this challenge, we evaluate, develop, assess and implement specialized compliance programs to respond to monitorships and other regulator-imposed compliance regimes by serving as:
- The government-imposed monitor. Following a settlement with regulators, we ensure that the program meets the specific government-imposed requirements and complies with the U.S. regulatory environment—and work to ensure that it is appropriately tailored to avoid unnecessary burdens to the organization’s operations and finances.
- Supporting counsel/advisors to the monitor. We leverage our years of subject matter knowledge to address the unique risks and compliance challenges that organizations face, including those posed by the environments in which they operate, the nature of their customers, the laws that govern their actions and the applicable industry standards.
- Counsel to corporations under monitorship or other regulatory-imposed compliance regimes. We engage with organizations to help them manage the process of working with a monitor, establish plans to remediate deficiencies, develop metrics for (and to measure against) proposed compliance improvements and meet the standards needed for future compliance. Further, we prepare detailed compliance reports for courts, regulators and government agencies and for use with additional external and internal stakeholders.
Strategic Response and Crisis Management
Organizations competing in the dynamic global economy will undoubtedly encounter incidents of disruptive and unexpected strategic risk or crisis, which threaten to compromise their legal, financial or reputational standing and necessitate action. At Manatt, we appreciate that the right response is expeditious and skillful, simultaneously decelerating conflict while addressing its root causes.
No matter the origin of the threat—whether product recall, significant criminal/civil litigation, government investigation, regulatory enforcement action, or alleged misconduct by senior management—an effective governance program must be in place to avert and mitigate risks and prepare for, respond to and recover from a consequential incident. How an organization responds to and manages an incident may have as great—or greater—of an impact on the organization’s reputation and bottom line as the original challenge.
Strategic risk matters, left unchecked, can become all-consuming, diverting focus from the management of the organization’s day-to-day operations. We provide a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach to immediately address these matters.
Our clarity of vision, resulting from our collective in-house legal and compliance experience, government service, and crisis communications proficiency, enables us to work with internal and external stakeholders to ensure that our client’s response is appropriate and expeditious. We have advised on numerous complex crisis matters and ensured that the organizations prepared for, responded to and successfully emerged from the events.
Strategic Response and Crisis Management Service Offerings
Every organization has a unique enterprise risk profile with varied challenges. Our priority is to help you expeditiously address the challenge, limit your exposure, and protect your financial and reputational interests.
- Strategic response and crisis management. We leverage our years of subject matter knowledge to assist clients with incident investigation, containment, mitigation, and notification to consumers, regulators, law enforcement, business partners and other stakeholders. We coordinate with policy makers, the organization’s board of directors and public relations firms. We provide public policy, legal and compliance assistance to assess and limit regulatory enforcement and litigation risk.
- Risk management and compliance. We work with organizations to identify and assess their risk universe; establish and implement preventive compliance and audit programs to mitigate risk; and proactively engage with federal, state, and local policy makers and regulators. With experience at the highest levels of government, we’re a leading voice in shaping policy, regulation and laws.
- Litigation and regulatory enforcement. We defend investigations, litigation and regulatory proceedings. We offer litigations and regulatory enforcement mitigation and settlement negotiations. We coordinate comprehensive communications strategies to engage with policy makers, courts, regulators, government agencies, the press, and additional external and internal stakeholders.
- Privacy and data security. Working alongside our award-winning privacy and data security team, we offer comprehensive legal and technical solutions focused on helping clients protect their interests, exploit their assets and stay on the right side of the law. We provide proactive incident readiness and response guidance for clients on both the immediate and long-term issues faced by an entity that experiences a suspected cybersecurity incident of any type.
Investigations and Compliance Experience
- Representing a foreign financial institution in connection with a Department of Justice offshore tax compliance investigation
- Conducting an internal investigation into allegations of inadequate anti-money laundering compliance at a subsidiary of a major international financial institution
- Defending a multinational energy resources corporation in a formal investigation brought by the SEC concerning alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act involving the corporation’s Central American operations
- Representing a large, national defense contractor in an internal corporate investigation, a DoD inspector general investigation and a False Claims Act lawsuit alleging accounting and bookkeeping fraud
- Representing a multinational company in an FCPA investigation involving the President of an African country
- Defending a large bank’s Bank Secrecy Act compliance officer in formal enforcement proceedings brought by the OCC concerning alleged BSA violations relating to the adequacy of the institution’s anti-money laundering program
- Designing FCPA and global anti-corruption compliance programs for multinational entities and private equity and venture capital firms doing business in, among other countries, Russia, India, the U.K. and China
Our experience serving as monitors and legal counsel to monitors, as well as board directors, outside counsel, in-house counsel and compliance practitioners working with companies under monitorship, translates into an ability to successfully navigate the agendas of the multiple stakeholders involved in the monitorship process. For decades, we have advised leading multinational corporations on appropriate compliance measures and responses, addressed complex crisis matters and developed successful corporate responses to a number of government-imposed monitors (e.g., Departments of Justice, Commerce, State and Treasury, as well as state attorneys general offices). Further, we have advised on the development and implementation of best-in-class global regulatory frameworks, including programs specifically focused on compliance with AML, FCPA, the UK Bribery Act, and a raft of regional and country-specific anticorruption and other regulations.
We employ these years of experience and subject matter knowledge to strategically respond to compromising events and establish comprehensive programs that affirmatively and systematically address liabilities so that our clients can confidently and securely move forward.
We’ve been involved with monitorships from every vantage point, and our team is comprised of individuals who bring a breadth of experience and incontrovertible track records of success with previous monitorships including:
- Serving as the World Bank anti-corruption leader responsible for creating and instituting the first-ever voluntary disclosure and global monitorship program at the Bank, monitoring multinational corporations subject to the program across its 189 member countries.
- Serving in roles as EVP, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, the Senior Director of Compliance and Corporate Governance and an executive Board member, assisting government contractor ACADEMI, the company formerly known as Blackwater, while under a Department of State-imposed monitorship for export compliance. This team played a key leadership role in its private-equity-led turnaround, overseeing the company’s successful satisfaction of the requirements of the monitorship as well as its response to requirements imposed pursuant to a Consent Decree with the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office.
- Serving as the interlocutor and company representative responsible for working with AIG’s DOJ-imposed corporate monitor and regulators from more than 100 countries where the company operated at the height of the 2008 financial crisis. This included implementation of AIG’s ongoing monitorship-required compliance improvements and overhauling its regulatory and compliance programs.
- Serving as the monitor as the Internal Special Compliance Officer in the successful corporate response to a Department of State-imposed monitorship for export compliance.
- Representing a national mortgage servicer and leading the successful corporate response to a nationally publicized monitorship imposed by the California Department of Business Oversight (DBO) by working closely with the C-level suite, the board, and legal and business operations personnel, as well as negotiating with the DBO, to achieve an early termination of the monitorship and a favorable settlement. Uniquely, the Commissioner of the DBO who worked across from Manatt in this matter is also now part of our team, lending to a very holistic comprehension of the monitorship process.
- Serving as legal counsel to the DOJ-appointed independent compliance and business ethics monitor for a global investment bank.