Ethics Compliance, Investigations and Whistleblower Response

Ogletree Deakins provides clients with innovative and business-oriented solutions to compliance issues across every facet of labor and employment law. Our lawyers work with clients to design effective compliance measures, assist in audits and investigations, and defend clients in relation to compliance as well as retaliation claims.

The rapid expansion of additional legislation and regulation related to employee anti-retaliation protections, especially for whistleblowing activities across a number of industries, requires that clients be able to access immediately lawyers with very specific and sophisticated knowledge and experience in counseling, investigating, and litigating under these laws.

Ogletree Deakins’ Ethics Compliance, Investigations and Whistleblower Response Practice Group works with clients in handling compliance issues, investigations, and other matters arising under the panoply of laws related to whistleblower activities, including the following: False Claims Act; Sarbanes-Oxley Act; Consumer Financial Protection Improvement Act; Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act; Energy Reorganization Act; Occupational Safety and Health Act; Mine Safety and Health Act; Wendell H. Ford Aviation and Reform Act for the 21st Century; Pipeline Safety Improvement Act; Surface Transportation Assistance Act; Toxic Substances Control Act; Solid Waste Disposal Act; Federal Water Pollution Control Act; and Clean Air Act.

Experience and Proactive Assistance

Our lawyers have deep experience representing clients in whistleblower matters. This includes the representation of clients in False Claims Act whistleblower retaliation and qui tam cases; Sarbanes-Oxley investigations and litigation; Dodd-Frank investigations; Occupational Safety and Health Act retaliation investigations and litigation; and investigations and litigation under other industry-specific anti-retaliation laws.

We are able to assist clients in connection with:

  • Training
  • Counseling
  • Audits
  • Policy design and review
  • Procedure design and review
  • Document retention design and review
  • Internal investigations
  • Agency representation
  • Litigation and appeals

Effective Handling of Sensitive Matters

Our lawyers work with our clients directly, as well as with corporate compliance counsel and appropriate subject matter experts, to ensure compliance, thorough and responsible investigations, and vigorous and effective defense of claims related to these laws. We work with clients to solve highly-sensitive situations involving key executives and assist clients in managing comprehensive workplace crises. Our excellent working relationships and track record of credibility with investigative and enforcement agencies work to our clients’ benefit in these sensitive and high-profile matters of central concern to their businesses.

In addition, our lawyers are mindful that every whistleblower complaint carries the risk of a subsequent retaliation claim. Accordingly, our practice group lawyers can assist our clients in developing best practices for responding to the challenges of managing a whistleblowing investigation to manage that risk successfully and assist our clients in following those practices in real time.

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Ogletree Deakins has a long tradition of premier client service. It was founded on principles that remain core values of the firm today: premier client service; teamwork and collaboration; treating each other with respect; hard work; and open governance. As Kim Ebert, Ogletree Deakins' Managing Shareholder, recently said: “These core values permeate the firm’s culture and are the bedrock upon which we build our diversity and inclusion initiatives.”

Ogletree Deakins solicits, values, and incorporates myriad viewpoints as part of its philosophy and practice of inclusion.  This ensures ongoing creativity, innovation and efficiency in responding to changing global needs.

Ogletree Deakins is proud to be a member of the following nationally recognized organizations that promote diversity and inclusion in the legal industry.

FAN, the Law Firm Affiliate Network of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA). To be a FAN member, MCCA requires an express commitment to 10 Basic Principles, which MCCA research has determined to be hallmarks to advancing diversity.

The Center for Legal Inclusiveness is dedicated to advancing diversity in the legal profession by actively educating and supporting private and public sector legal organizations in their own individual campaigns to create cultures of inclusion. Its focused work in Colorado is on-going and forms the basis for all of its innovative programs and initiatives, many of which have become national models.

Ogletree Deakins is also a member of VAULT, whose stated mission is to “be the indispensable provider of information and solutions for professionals and students who are pursuing and managing high-potential careers.”

Membership in the Project for Attorney Retention (PAR), now Diversity & Flexibility Alliance (DFA), demonstrates Ogletree Deakins’ support for retaining and advancing women in law and for work/life balance for all attorneys, which is key to retaining top talent. 

Ogletree Deakins also encourages and supports membership and participation in local, state, national, and international professional associations. In the United States and Europe, our lawyers are active in organizations such as the following:

• National Bar Association (NBA)   
• National Asian-Pacific Bar Association (NASABA) 
• European Employment Lawyers Association (EELA) 
• International Bar Association (IBA)  
• The Law Society of England and Wales  
• The City of London Law Society   
• The American Bar Association  
• The National Lesbian and Gay Law Association
• The Cuban American Bar Association
• Association Internationale des Jeunes Avocats (AIJA)
• Lambda Legal
• The National LGBT  Bar Association
• The Hispanic Bar Association

Furthermore, Ogletree Deakins lawyers have held the following positions among others:

 • The former Chair of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the NBA
 • The former Chair of the Black Solicitors Network
 • Member of the Management Board of The Law Society
 • An Officer and Board member of the Korean American Bar Association of Southern California

Ogletree Deakins’ lawyers regularly participate in firm-sponsored conferences and seminars hosted by the National Employment Law Council (NELC), the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA), the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL), the Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals (ALFDP), and Corporate Counsel Women of Color (CCWC).

An Ogletree Deakins lawyer also serves as the editor of the Diversity Table, an award-winning survey analyzing the demographics of top firms in the United Kingdom.

In addition, Ogletree Deakins partners with its clients in the area of diversity and inclusion by inviting clients to attend events hosted by many of the above mentioned organizations. The firm also provides counseling and offers on-site and remote training to create and support in-house diversity and inclusion efforts. 

Throughout the firm, lawyers of diverse backgrounds, gender, sexual orientation, race, and physical ability have positions of responsibility.  This includes lawyers who hold positions as Managing Shareholders in our offices and 20% of our Board of Directors are diverse.

Ogletree Deakins’ commitment to diversity and inclusion has won broad recognition. In 2012 MultiCultural Law Magazine ranked Ogletree Deakins as follows:

 • #53 in the Top 100 Law Firms for Diversity and Inclusion
 • #39 in the Top 50 Law Firms for Partners
 • #4 in the Top 100 Law Firms for Women
 • #2 in the Top 25 Law Firms for African-Americans

The firm also has a five-member dedicated Professional Development and Inclusion Department (PD&I), whose primary focus is to establish and monitor programming and initiatives that will sustain productive and all-inclusive work-environment in every office location. This team is led by the by a Director of Professional Development and Inclusion, who is part of the senior management team and reports directly to the Managing Shareholder and the Board of Directors.

There is also a twelve-member Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee that guides the firm in creating programming and initiatives to recruit, hire, retain, promote and advance lawyers within the firm.

To conclude, Ogletree Deakins believes that diversity and inclusion are integral to the firm’s outstanding performance and premier client service. The firm’s top-talented, vibrant workforce reflects the growing diversity of our communities and clients and contributes unique perspectives and creative approaches. This, in turn, generates the highest quality of service, propels outstanding business results, and serves the needs of our clients and the communities in which we live and work.

Diversity Statistics

Minority Males
Minority Females
(4 of 13)
(11 of 67)
(1 of 4)
(0 of 0)
(16 of 80)
(29 of 121)
Marketing Professionals
(3 of 9)
(2 of 11)
Of Counsel
(7 of 41)
(11 of 49)
Technology Professionals
(6 of 28)
(2 of 11)
(19 of 229)
(9 of 77)
Administrative Professionals
(10 of 21)
(74 of 303)
Finance Professionals
(0 of 0)
(1 of 17)
Human Resources Professionals
(0 of 0)
(0 of 0)