Practice Areas & Industries: Sullivan & Cromwell LLP


Congressional Investigations Return to Practice Areas & Industries

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Sullivan & Cromwell represents companies and individuals in congressional investigations, including high-profile investigations of great importance.

The Congressional Investigations Group has a long history of guiding clients through their most critical investigations, bringing to bear insights from the Firm’s pre-eminent transactional and litigation practices. This multidisciplinary approach provides clients invaluable insights on how best to navigate often-unpredictable investigations, providing the best results possible—on and off Capitol Hill.

S&C’s advice is not limited to the four corners of the investigation: It extends to the broader effects that it may have on client operations, in litigation and other investigations, and in interactions with regulators.

Investigative bodies
S&C has advised on investigations by many congressional committees and investigative commissions, including:

  • the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations;
  • the Senate Judiciary Committee;
  • the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee;
  • the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform; and
  • investigative bodies, such as the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.

Witness preparation
The Firm has prepared many prominent witnesses for testimony, including:

  • chief executive officers and other executives from the world’s foremost financial institutions and industrial companies;
  • witnesses central to national events, such as the 2008 financial crisis; and
  • Supreme Court justices, other judges and cabinet members in confirmation, oversight and investigative hearings.

S&C lawyers have handled congressional investigations from both sides of the dais:

  • as congressional staffers, including as chief counsel for the Senate Banking Committee; and
  • as officials in the executive branch, including in the White House and in the leadership of the Justice Department.


Recent Sullivan & Cromwell experience before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations includes representations of:

  • JPMorgan Chase (as purchaser of the assets of Washington Mutual Bank), Goldman Sachs and Moody’s, in a televised PSA investigation focused on mortgage originators and securitizers, ratings agencies and investment banks that dealt in securitized mortgages.
  • Barclays and another financial institution, in connection with an investigation of speculation in the natural gas markets in 2007.
  • CA, in connection with an investigation into offshore tax avoidance.
  • Riggs Bank, in an investigation into money laundering and USA PATRIOT Act compliance.
  • a major financial institution, in an investigation into the role of financial institutions in Enron’s collapse.

Recent S&C congressional investigations includes representations of:

  • several major financial institutions that received Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds and had received inquiries from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform relating to post-TARP compensation practices.
  • an American bank, in an inquiry by the Senate Finance Committee into allegedly improper contacts with a federal regulatory agency.
  • UBS, in connection with an investigation by the House Energy and Commerce Committee into its awareness of accounting fraud by a major client of the bank.

Historical S&C congressional investigations include representations of:

  • Microsoft, in a high-profile Senate Judiciary Committee inquiry in 1998 regarding antitrust issues, including advising the company’s chief executive officer in connection with his testimony before the committee.
  • Clinton legal defense fund trustees, in 1997 investigations conducted by the Senate Government Affairs Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee relating to alleged campaign finance abuses.

Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:

U.S. District Court Holds That a Foreign Parent Company Can Be Liable for Pension Liabilities of Its U.S. Subsidiary
, November 12, 2013
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia recently held in Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation v. Asahi Tec Corporation that (i) it had personal jurisdiction over Asahi Tec Corporation (“Asahi”), a Japanese corporation, and (ii) Asahi was liabl e for the underfunded defined...