Practice/Industry Group Overview
Businesses today face a regulatory environment that is increasingly complex, with scrutiny coming from multiple directions – the government, the media, stockholders, employees, and customers. As a result, even the best-managed companies face a growing risk of legal exposure and potential threats to their performance, profitability, and reputation.
Led by the former Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, William W. “Billy” Wilkins, Nexsen Pruet’s Corporate Compliance/Crisis Management Practice Group works with clients to develop and implement programs that help ensure total compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, minimize risk, and protect corporate reputations. Our capabilities range from reviewing existing policies to designing processes and procedures that not only satisfy the law but also meet, and in some cases exceed, the standards for ethical business operations.
Wilkins’ particular background brings unique benefits and insight to the practice group and our clients. Selected by President Ronald Reagan as the first-ever Chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, he was responsible for establishing the federal sentencing guidelines, policies and practices for the federal criminal justice system - including corporate compliance and white-collar crime.
Our corporate compliance experience covers civil and criminal investigations and related matters. We represent companies and individuals in resolving these problems. Our lawyers customize compliance programs and legal strategies to meet company-specific objectives, goals, and cultures and to resolve problems when and where they develop.
Beyond all of that, the corporate compliance attorneys can also draw upon the experience and knowledge of our numerous other practice groups – such as white-collar crime, litigation, corporate, health care, executive employment, environmental, immigration, intellectual property, and tax – to develop best practices and codes of conduct that can withstand even the most thorough examination.
In addition to helping establish and execute corporate compliance programs, we also provide a range of complementary services that include:
- Conducting internal investigations
- Development of conflict of interest policies for corporations and their boards
- Risk assessment evaluations
- Representation in white-collar criminal defense matters
- Development of monitoring processes
- Corporate ethics programs
- Compliance audits and in-house training
- Records and e-mail retention programs
- Defending whistleblower and related allegations
- Representation in false claims and corporate fraud allegations
- E-discovery and FRCP
- HIPPA compliance
We have an extensive background in matters related to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and have worked with boards of directors, board committees (such as audit and compensation), individual directors, and special committees to implement and refine corporate best practices regarding governance matters. Our team includes attorneys who have not only represented companies on these issues but who have also served on corporate boards and as CEO of various companies.
Tax-exempt organizations also face compliance issues, and we have significant experience helping them meet both federal and state requirements regarding their charitable purposes.
Nexsen Pruet's attorneys can also help manage the legal, public relations, financial, and reputation implications that can accompany unanticipated incidents. We assist in developing fast, focused, decisive strategies to minimize risk and exposure, enabling clients to respond confidently to any crisis.
Our capabilities include:
- Coordinating legal strategies and responses
- Message development
- Responding to the media
- Development of crisis management and crisis communications programs
- Communication to key stakeholders – employees, shareholders, the community, government agencies, regulators, customers, elected officials
- Internal audits
- Identifying third-party experts to support clients’ arguments
- Identifying potential risks and dealing with them before they become crises
If a crisis situation should lead to criminal, regulatory, or administrative proceedings, our attorneys have the experience to represent clients in any venue as well as in the court of public opinion. This ensures a consistent, well-coordinated strategy that can protect reputation, shareholder value, and the bottom line.