Government Investigations

Even the most meticulously managed company may suddenly become the target of a state or local government investigation. What may begin as an innocuous information request can quickly escalate into a subpoena, full-blown probe or possibly an indictment – any of which can seriously threaten the company’s prosperity and reputation.

Wilson Elser helps clients across New York State respond to such government actions quickly and professionally, often diffusing issues before they lead to litigation. We have extensive experience in defending our clients in complex federal and state criminal investigations, internal investigations and a range of civil and regulatory proceedings. If the government takes its case to the next level – bringing enforcement actions, indictments or civil lawsuits – our lawyers are skilled at preparing and mounting an effective defense strategy.

Our practice team helps clients make their best case before New York state and local agencies that possess investigatory and regulatory powers, including the Attorney General's Office, Department of Labor, Department of Tax and Finance, Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Health, and others.

In some cases, significant amounts of money are at stake, such as those involving tax disputes in which a client’s long-held exemptions are suddenly being challenged. In others, the financial risk might be low, but public exposure of an investigation might inflict reputational damage. Our lawyers are adept at scoping the true implications of each situation, advising clients on the best steps to take, whether they involve nuanced negotiations or full-force litigation.

Many clients reach out to us for the first time because they face an emergency that is prompted by a sudden government inquiry. After we have handled that first incident, these clients often take advantage of our ongoing consultative services, through which we develop a disciplined process for responding to such government inquiries, helping to minimize risk and preserve business integrity.

Of course, we recognize that the key to avoiding possible penalties is to conduct business in full compliance with the law.  Towards that end, our attorneys proactively work with clients in adopting the necessary corporate policies and practices designed to help ensure that potential problems are either prevented or detected and cured early.

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 At Wilson Elser, we believe that cultivating an environment that embraces and promotes diversity is a foundational value, critical to the success of our firm and central to the integrity and vitality of the legal field. Bringing together people of different backgrounds and beliefs, people with diverse perspectives, fosters the innovative and creative thinking that enhances our response to the needs of our clients. Wilson Elser’s commitment to diversity informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring and training as well as the organizations to which we belong and the programs we sponsor.

We believe in creating a work environment free of barriers and bias, where individual outlooks and talents are respected and valued. Our firm’s policy is to ensure equal employment opportunity without discrimination or harassment based on race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, disability, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by the law. 

Beyond legal compliance, our firm strives to mirror the rich diversity of the communities in which we practice, to respect the diversity of our clients and their workforce and to employ best practices to identify, select, hire, retain and promote qualified individuals without boundaries or limitations, other than those imposed by their own choices and capabilities. This allows us to better represent our clients in today’s diverse, multicultural society. 

Wilson Elser is also committed to promoting diversity through the selection of vendors. We actively seek certified minority- and women-owned businesses and provide them with the opportunity to partner with us to provide services to our firm and our clients.