Practice/Industry Group Overview
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.
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.
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.