Practice/Industry Group Overview
Sheppard Mullin is unique among law firms practicing in the field of white collar and corporate investigations. Our attorneys aggressively defend corporations and their employees in high stakes litigation involving alleged business frauds, securities frauds, government procurement irregularities, public corruption, cyber-crime, customs violations, health care fraud and abuse, and environmental crimes. We conduct internal investigations to detect and remedy problems before they cause more damage. Their combined experience includes over 100 jury trials involving every major investigative agency, including the:
- Securities and Exchange Commission
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Internal Revenue Service
- Federal Trade Commission
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Department of Homeland Security (formerly the "INS" and "Customs")
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
- Defense Criminal Investigation Service
- Drug Enforcement Administration
- National Association of Securities Dealers
- Federal and State Attorneys General
- District Attorneys
- City Attorneys
We understand government bureaucracies, how and with whom to work throughout the investigative process, as well as when to strongly advocate our client's position. Our counsel ranges from internal investigations, regulatory compliance, investigations and grand jury proceedings, all the way through trial and appeal. We represent clients from a broad cross section of industries, such as:
- Financial services and brokerages
- Government contractors and public utilities
- Automobile and petroleum companies
- High technology and e-commerce
- Life science and biotech
- Media and telecommunications
- Retail and Apparel
The laws pertaining to white collar crime and civil fraud are not only complex, but also are in a constant state of evolution and change. Often criminal investigations run parallel to civil lawsuits or administrative investigations. Because decisions in one action can affect the others, it is imperative that these different prongs be headed by an attorney with experience in each of these types of proceedings. Our attorneys have tried matters before criminal, civil and administrative tribunals.
We have a demonstrated expertise in providing objective fact finding throughout the investigation process. Our attorneys approach each matter by establishing whether or not there is an actual basis for the investigation, as well as determine where and how information should be submitted. On many occasions, the government has agreed with the findings of our attorneys. In these situations, advocacy gives way to building a productive working relationship geared toward swift resolution. Our experience in conducting investigations and our credentials as former federal prosecutors are ideally suited to independent internal investigations by Audit Committees or Special Litigation Committees of Boards of Directors.
Because a thorough understanding of the client's business and industry is a critical component in navigating the investigative process, our white collar attorneys are able to harness the firm-wide expertise of Sheppard Mullin by calling upon specific pockets of deep legal expertise in such areas as:
- Finance, insurance and bankruptcy
- Environmental, land use and real estate
- Employment and pensions
- Public Officials
- Intellectual Property
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
- Alien Tort Claims Act
- Municipal Law
If trial is in the best interest of our client, our lawyers strive to consistently achieve the best possible result. We have successfully tried matters ranging from securities fraud, wire and mail fraud, customs fraud, tax fraud, environmental violations, financial services fraud, ERISA and workplace safety infringement.
In addition to investigations and trial, Sheppard Mullin provides compliance counseling and preventative advice geared toward mitigating the variety of changing regulations and associated challenges which many companies face. We regularly advise on the complex rules and regulations pertaining to our clients' business dealings, assist with review of and response to compliance measures and manuals, as well as obtain regulatory approval where appropriate.
We also represent clients who are victims of crime. We guide them through the proper investigative agencies and advocate for restitution where appropriate.
Because of the nature of white collar and civil fraud matters, it is critical that steps be taken to preserve the reputation of our clients in their business dealings with shareholders, regulators, and the press, among other constituencies. A distinct competency of Sheppard Mullin in this area is our ability to minimize potentially negative public relations through swift action and strategy.