White Collar Defense

Sutherland’s former prosecutors and enforcement attorneys guide clients through the Byzantine maze of criminal, civil and regulatory issues.

As a result of today’s increased focus on the need to punish rather than remediate purported misconduct, white collar cases are on the rise and more intense than ever. The outcomes of criminal and civil matters can hinge on understanding exactly how to respond to government scrutiny. Our White Collar Defense team includes former DOJ attorneys, federal and state prosecutors and senior attorneys of the SEC's Division of Enforcement and FINRA. Members of the practice served as lead counsel in scores of jury trials in federal and state courts, as special prosecutors and as counsel in a variety of congressional probes. If we cannot stop the case from proceeding or reach a satisfactory resolution, we have the tools and experience necessary to litigate against the government.

Our attorneys are adept at conducting swift and comprehensive internal investigations, a crucial service in an era when whistleblowers have been incentivized and corporate conduct is increasingly subject to intrusive and expensive inquiries. When issues arise, it is critical that management, audit committees and other corporate constituencies get the facts rapidly to learn what really happened and, if appropriate, take remedial action. In addition, such rapid fact-gathering may be necessary to establish credibility with prosecutors, regulators, and auditors. The quality of the responses may forestall or moderate more intrusive government investigations. Our attorneys' knowledge of our clients and of the regulatory landscape allows companies and individuals to anticipate the investigation's course and focus, resulting in better resolutions of any disputes that arise.

Sutherland also provides proactive advice to minimize the possibility of future criminal or regulatory issues. For example, the group's specialized services help companies and senior executives establish compliance programs that meet the standards of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines (including risk analyses), and assist clients in complying with the Foreign Corrupt Privacy Act (FCPA), USA PATRIOT Act and anti-money laundering programs. We know that prevention is the best defense.

Why Sutherland
Inside experience.
Our White Collar Defense practice includes former DOJ attorneys, federal and state prosecutors, as well as former senior attorneys of the SEC Division of Enforcement and FINRA who worked closely with prosecutors on parallel civil cases. As a result, we understand the prosecutors’ internal priorities and the hot issues that drive investigations.

Reputation. The stature of our practice is reflected in the high-profile clients we’ve served, from Fortune 100 companies to executives implicated in corporate and financial controversies that attract front page news coverage.

Comprehensive service. Sutherland offers legal counsel on all aspects of white-collar defense. We represent companies and their directors and officers, undertake internal investigations and proactively develop practices and procedures designed to minimize the possibility of future criminal regulatory investigations.

Litigation. A core strength of our practice is our ability and willingness to litigate when other solutions with prosecutors or regulators are not possible. Sutherland provides clients a seamless transition from investigation to defense in state and federal courts, whether before a judge or jury. Our capability is understood by the government and effectively acts as a deterrent to ultimate prosecution.

Broad support. Our white-collar team is actively supported by other practices within our firm. The team is complemented by substantive expertise from our financial services, corporate, tax and energy practices, to name but a few. The integration of litigation and investigatory skills with substantive expertise ensures the highest quality representation and advice.

Nuts and Bolts
Sutherland’s nationally recognized practice offers: 

  • Representation and guidance during investigations 
  • Internal investigations 
  • Vigorous defense 
  • Advice and support during compliance and regulatory examinations

Our white collar team has represented corporations and individuals in connection with investigations and enforcement proceedings brought by:

  • Department of Justice
  • SEC 
  • CFTC 
  • FINRA 
  • IRS 
  • FDIC 
  • Department of Agriculture 
  • General Services Administration 
  • State attorneys-general offices

We have worked with clients in areas such as: 

  • Securities issues such as disclosure, insider trading, fiduciary duties, corporate governance, sub-prime mortgages, stock manipulation, options backdating, market timing and late trading
  • Accounting issues such as fair value, revenue recognition, loss reserves
  • Consumer lending
  • Government contracts/procurement
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (including parallel investigations by foreign governments)
  • Money-laundering
  • Commercial bribery/kickbacks
  • EPA criminal investigations
  • Congressional investigations
  • Federal tax investigations and proceedings

Take Action
When individuals or companies find themselves in the government’s crosshairs, they turn to Sutherland’s experienced White Collar Defense team.

Selected Experience

Top executive of public company being investigated for alleged securities fraud and other matters retains Sutherland.

Represented a small business lender in SEC, DOJ and USDA investigations into alleged improper lending practices and financial reporting.

Represented the only Arthur Andersen engagement partner of Enron who was not charged civilly or criminally.


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  • 83% (5)
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§  “Diversity at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP” to “Diversity at Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP”

§  “Diversity” section:

o   The firm’s emphasis on diversity is reflected in numerous ways throughout the firm, such as the manner in which we recruit lawyers and other employees, our work-life policies and our professional service efforts. We have been recognized for our achievements in diversity.  More importantly, we understand the significant role a diverse community plays in the firm's growth and development.

§  “Our Awards and Recognitions” section:

o   Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP continues to be recognized for its efforts to promote diversity in the workplace and in the legal profession. In 2016 we were named a “Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality,” having earned a perfect 100 score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, and we also were ranked a Top 100 Firm for Minority Attorneys by Law360. In addition, the firm was awarded the Gold Standard Certification for the fifth consecutive year by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum.

§  “Our Commitment” section:

o   Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP is committed to promoting diversity within the firm and in the legal profession.  We believe that diverse skills, knowledge and viewpoints make us a stronger, more productive law firm.  We hire and promote qualified lawyers and other professionals regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.  We understand that diversity enhances our value to clients by allowing us to staff our client teams with professionals who possess broad experiences and a spectrum of perspectives.

o   Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP has a cross-office Diversity Committee with responsibility for supporting and enhancing our firm culture.  Our committee has helped coordinate and lead a number of efforts to advance diversity within our firm and the community. Affinity groups at the firm serve as support networks for attorneys of color; women lawyers; and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender attorneys.

o   We are committed to working with our clients as they pursue the common goal of a professional workplace where opportunity is available to all.

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