Practices/Industries

White Collar Defense

Sutherland has successfully defended individuals and companies in FCPA, sub-prime mortgage, stock manipulation, environmental, market timing and document destruction cases.

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.

Our Story

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is an international law firm helping the Fortune 100, industry leaders, sector innovators and business entrepreneurs solve their biggest challenges and reach their business goals. Dedicated to unfaltering excellence in client service, we are known for our business savvy and industry intelligence, providing creative and custom solutions for each of our clients. Industry and business experience makes the difference for our clients.

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Atlanta, GA
Washington, DC
© 2016 Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP / Sutherland (Europe) LLP
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