Internal Investigations & Independence

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3 Responses

  1. Tzachi Weintraub says:

    When I am called in to conduct an internal investigation, I look at it as a large puzzle but without the complete picture on cover box. You have many pieces to put in place and you have no idea what will be the final picture. This way you can be objective and go where the evidence leads you and not your predeterminedopinion.

     

  2. Jon May says:

    Michael,

    What guidance do you have for the selection of outside counsel other than independence and knowledge of the industry. The default for many GCs is a name Big Law 100 firm, which will always provide cover for the GC if the investigation is screwed up. And many a GC will look to hire someone who resembles themselves (that's just human nature) but such a person will not necessarily be the best lawyer to feret out a crime. Paper credentials are no guarantee either. Not every former AUSA is a Louis Freeh and we both know former US Attorneys who were basically political appointees. With the stakes so high, you would think there would be some kind of criteria or process that could insure that candidates for outside counsel have the right combination of judgment and investigative experience necessary for this kind of task.

    Jon

  3. Thanks for a well-written article. I agree that investigations are a bit of an art form and that it is critical investigators be (and as importantly be perceived to be) independent and objective. I also agree with the general premise that companies do not want to be surprised by the results of an internal investigation. With that said, I think it's important to add the caveat that investigators may at times find themselves in the situation where the facts/information gathered in their indepedent and objective investigation is contrary to what the company leadership had anticipated/hoped would be found. It is in anticipation of this circumstance that well-run companies select not just independent, objective investigators but have those investigators report to leaders inside the company who are not directly involved with the circumstances that are the subject of the investigation and where necessary appoint special committees consisting of independent directors to oversee the investigation.