Practice/Industry Group Overview
Today's business environment presents employers with complex legal, regulatory and corporate compliance challenges at all levels of management. As a result of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and regulatory responses to the executive compensation abuses and stock option backdating scandals over the past few years, both public and private organizations must operate under an unprecedented level of scrutiny. Whereas in the past, employers might take for granted practices and policies inherited from prior management regimes, they must now examine these policies closely to ensure compliance.
Effective corporate governance today requires an inquisitive, proactive and comprehensive approach across a continuum of issues including: establishing an appropriate board of directors and management composition; implementing a code of ethics and conduct that leads to a culture of compliance; developing policies and practices, coupled with state of the art training, that reinforce these values; and developing enforcement mechanisms that allow for auditing, investigation and reporting processes. Litigation is also a by-product of today's corporate environment as employees, characterized by both legitimate as well as opportunistic litigants, claim whistleblower status and assert claims of retaliation.
The Jackson Lewis LLP Corporate Governance and Internal Investigations Practice Group has a team of experienced attorneys with a proven track record of leadership. Our practice group includes former senior in-house corporate counsel, distinguished trial attorneys and former government attorneys who take a multi-disciplinary approach to solving corporate governance issues by leveraging Jackson Lewis' undisputed expertise gained from nearly 50 years of experience serving its clients in labor and employment law. The skills Jackson Lewis clients have relied on for nearly half a century in areas such as investigation, training and preventative strategies are now benefiting clients in this new era of corporate governance.
Jackson Lewis attorneys proactively assist employers in managing the myriad of corporate compliance challenges by working with our clients to develop responsible business practices that minimize risk, by training employees to promote a culture of compliance, and by responding effectively and efficiently to audits, investigations and lawsuits. Our attorneys assist clients in:
- Developing, reviewing and auditing company communications, policies, executive compensation plans and practices.
- Developing compliance and ethics programs as recommended under the Federal Criminal Sentencing Guidelines and as required by Sarbanes-Oxley, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ, or by entities with which the company conducts business, such as lending institutions and business partners.
- Conducting training mandated by the Federal Criminal Sentencing Guidelines for an effective Compliance and Ethics Program.
- Managing, assisting or supporting internal employee investigations involving alleged improper conduct, stock option backdating, conflicts of interest, and related breaches of the company's code of conduct.
- Counseling on NASD Form U-4 and U-5 defamation claims and whistleblower retaliation claims under Sarbanes-Oxley and other retaliation statutes.
- Representing employers in whistleblower litigation under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act before OSHA, the Office of Administrative Law Judges, the Administrative Review Board and in the federal courts.
- Drafting and providing counsel on employment agreements for senior (C-Level) executives as well as counsel on the termination and separation agreements for these high level employees.
Jackson Lewis attorneys can assist and provide counsel to senior management as well as boards of directors, audit committees and special committees in identifying legal needs, conducting internal investigations, building a solid defense, meeting compliance requirements, and developing best practices. For more information, please contact our Co-Chairs of the Corporate Governance and Internal Investigations Practice Group: Richard J. Cino or David Jimenez.