Internal Investigations

Our Internal Investigations practice assists corporations, boards of directors, special committees, and audit committees in connection with internal investigations of all sizes. Our work has ranged from discrete investigations in response to an anonymous employee complaint to wide-ranging investigations conducted against the backdrop of ongoing litigation and/or regulatory and criminal investigations.

Our background in criminal and regulatory matters makes us well-suited to conduct all aspects of the investigation, including interviewing employees at all levels, reviewing complex business and financial documents, and working in conjunction with forensic accountants and other experts. In connection with our work, we provide interim and final investigative reports, which may include formal board presentations and detailed written analysis. Our focus is on delivering comprehensive, reliable investigative results while acting efficiently and remaining mindful of client cost considerations.

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International law firm Cohen & Gresser today announced that Andrew Mitchell QC, a distinguished barrister and Queen’s Counsel, has joined the firm’s White Collar Defense & Regulation practice as Of Counsel. He will work closely with all of the firm’s international offices to support clients worldwide in civil and criminal matters relating to financial wrongdoing.

Andrew’s arrival continues Cohen & Gresser’s international growth and the strategic expansion of its leading White Collar Defense & Regulation practice, following the recent addition of Sir David Green CB QC in London.

International law firm Cohen & Gresser has once again been ranked by Global Investigations Review (GIR) as one of the leading law firms in the world for cross-border investigations. The GIR 100, an independent guide to the world’s best firms for investigations, recognized C&G for its major victories on behalf of high-profile individuals and companies and its strong network of prominent lawyers in key jurisdictions around the globe.

GIR recognized the U.S. team’s deep bench of “former attorneys from New York’s famed prosecution offices,” and its “impressive work for corporates” in recent years. The guide also highlights the firm’s international reach, calling attention to C&G’s “strong practice in France” and the rapid development of its London office, which it describes as having “grown from strength to strength” with the recent addition of Richard Kovalevsky QC.

GIR also shortlisted C&G for the Most Important Court Case of the Year award for the significant victory on behalf of KBR Inc. at the UK Supreme Court. It is the second time in four years that C&G has been named a finalist for this award. The firm was previously recognized in 2018 for securing the dismissal with prejudice of a high-profile FCPA case brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The GIR 100 is based on submissions from law firms and extensive research, and honors the top 100 firms around the world that handle sophisticated government-led, internal, and cross-border investigations.

Loïc Henriot has been recognized by Lettre des Juristes d’Affaires (LJA) and Forbes Magazine as a “Rising Star” in their inaugural listing of the Top 40 lawyers advising CAC 40 public companies.

The CAC 40 is an index made up of the 40 largest public companies listed in France. The final survey is the result of extensive interviews with the primary consumers of legal services within the CAC 40 and spotlights the top lawyers who stand out for their ability to advise Euronext’s CAC 40 companies. (Subscription required).

Tim Harris joins host Nicolas Corry on the Skadi Podcast to discuss internal investigations, looking at why an external party might be brought in to conduct an investigation and the role of individuals in these investigations. In addition, the podcast looks at the implications of the Senior Managers Regime and discusses the recent high-profile criminal cases of Serco and NatWest.

Cohen & Gresser has once again been ranked by Global Investigations Review (GIR) as one of the leading law firms in the world for cross-border investigations. The GIR 100 is an independent guide to the world’s best firms for cross-border investigations. Based on submissions from law firms and extensive research, GIR selects the top 100 firms from around the world able to handle sophisticated government-led internal and cross-border investigations.

International law firm Cohen & Gresser today announced that Richard Kovalevsky QC, a distinguished barrister and Queen’s Counsel, will join the firm’s White Collar Defense & Regulation group as a partner in its London office. As head of Criminal Defense for the London office, Richard’s hire will bolster Cohen & Gresser’s highly-regarded White Collar Defense practice and strengthen the firm’s ability to provide clients with sophisticated and strategic guidance on the most complex government and internal investigations.

Cohen & Gresser has been selected for inclusion in the GIR 100, Global Investigation Review’s annual guide to the world’s leading law firms for investigations. The guide notes that C&G’s “reputation in the investigations space is soaring,” and highlights the firm’s “high-profile hires,” “big cases,” and  “important victories” in the United States, France, and the UK.
Cohen & Gresser announces the expansion of its white collar defense offering with the appointment of Tim Harris as a senior associate in the firm’s London office. Tim brings a long track record as a financial crime lawyer and will focus primarily on white collar matters, including internal and regulatory investigations. He also provides noncontentious advice with respect to tax evasion, antibribery and corruption, and antimoney laundering regulations.
Cohen & Gresser announces the expansion of its London office and White Collar Defense & Regulation group with the appointment of partner John W Gibson. A former UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) senior prosecutor, John will focus his practice on cross-border corporate investigations and white collar defense. He has over 25 years of experience as a barrister, and advises on all matters relating to law enforcement, regulatory and internal investigation of suspected crimes and regulatory breaches, as well as the defense of companies and individuals. In addition, John has expertise in data strategy and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in big data litigation and investigations.

C Evan Stewart recently led a panel discussing attorney-client privilege in the context of internal investigations, which was covered in Boomberg BNA's Corporate Counsel Weekly

Corruption allegations at multinational companies can often lead to several jurisdictions launching investigations that can drag on for years and cause significant damage to a company’s reputation and ability to conduct business. With different factors in each jurisdiction for what grants the authority to charge companies and individuals with criminal offenses, multinational companies need to work with advisers and create a strategy for timely global settlements at the outset of any global corruption allegations.

In this article for Financier Worldwide, John W Gibson identifies several strategic considerations for boards to consider when facing corruption allegations, including finding lawyers that can work in close partnership with forensic accountants, industry experts, data scientists, and corporate intelligence experts to piece together what has happened, an early review of the company’s compliance program and implementation of anti-bribery and corruption best practices, strategic evaluation of the jurisdictions in which to report, and why it’s essential at the beginning of an investigation to commence meaningful, straightforward dialogue with the key lawyers and investigators in each investigating jurisdiction.

This article first appeared in the February 2022 issue of Financier Worldwide Magazine.

John Gibson, Tim Harris, Thomas Shortland, and Tom Orange authored the England & Wales chapter of the International Comparative Legal Guide - Corporate Investigations 2022. In this Q&A-styled publication, the authors answer frequently asked questions about conducting corporate investigations in the UK, including key considerations for deciding whether to conduct an internal investigation, self-reporting and cooperation with enforcement authorities, the investigation process (such as the conduct of witness interviews and data collection), the limits of legal privilege and many other pressing topics.

Muriel Goldberg-Darmon explains the specific regime of navigating whistleblowing within the French financial sector through the internal procedures of financial institutions and external procedures of the French Financial Market Authority (AMF) and the French Banking Authority (ACPR).

Regards croisés entre Muriel Goldberg-Darmon et Angéline Duffour, associées spécialisées respectivement en Compliance et Droit social.

(Muriel Goldberg-Darmon and Angéline Duffour discuss internal investigations and the associated employment law risks.)

Lawyers who represent public companies are faced with a problem about which most are clueless. In a number of states (including New York), lawyers’ confidentiality obligations are at odds with the requirements mandated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Is there a way out of this conundrum? Mr. Stewart attempts to get to the bottom of this matter in his latest article in the New York Law Journal.

C Evan Stewart will host a Lawline webinar, titled “The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly: Ethical Internal Investigations,” which will examine the good reasons to proceed with an internal investigation, as well as the risks to corporate clients and ethical challenges attorneys may face while handling work in this area.

Muriel Goldberg-Darmon, Associée du cabinet Cohen & Gresser à Paris et leader du Chapitre Français du Women’s White Collar Defense Association (WWCDA), a organisé un webinar à la suite de la publication par le CNB du guide « L’avocat Français et les enquêtes internes » au cours duquel Charlotte Gunka (Senior Legal Counsel Litigation & Compliance du Groupe Renault) et Victoire Chatelin (Avocat au Cabinet Bonifassi Avocats), membres du groupe de travail du CNB,  sont intervenues sur le thème de la RGPD et de la loi de blocage.

Partner Muriel Goldberg-Darmon, the leader of the French Chapter of the Women’s White Collar Defense Association (WWCDA), hosted a webinar at Cohen & Gresser’s Paris office relating to the publication of a Conseil national des barreaux’s (CNB) Guide titled “The French Lawyer and Internal Investigations,” during which Charlotte Gunka (Senior Legal Counsel Litigation & Compliance - Groupe Renault) and Victoire Chatelin (Lawyer at Cabinet Bonifassi Avocats), both members of the CNB working group, spoke about RGPD and the blocking statute.

Muriel Goldberg-Darmon, Associée du cabinet Cohen & Gresser à Paris et leader du Chapitre Français du Women’s White Collar Defense Association (WWCDA), a organisé un webinar à la suite de la publication par le CNB du guide « L’avocat Français et les enquêtes internes » au cours duquel Sophie Scemla, Avocat Associée chez Gide membre du groupe de travail du CNB, est intervenue sur le thème de la désignation de l’avocat et du secret professionnel.

Partner Muriel Goldberg-Darmon, the leader of the French Chapter of the Women’s White Collar Defense Association (WWCDA), hosted a breakfast at Cohen & Gresser’s Paris office relating to the publication of the Conseil national des barreaux’s (CNB) Guide “The French Lawyer and Internal Investigations,” during which Sophie Scemla, a partner at Gide and a member of the CNB working group, spoke about appointing a lawyer and legal privilege.

Jonathan S Abernethy spoke on a panel about defending individuals in corporate internal investigations and related prosecutions at this year’s IBA Annual Conference in Seoul.
Partners Muriel Goldberg-Darmon and Angéline Duffour spoke at a roundtable on “Grey areas in privilege” during the Women in Investigations conference in London on June 28, 2018. The panelists were: Jane Shvets, Partner at Debevoise & Plimpton, Polly Sprenger, Partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman, Mona Vaswani, Partner at Allen & Overy, and Muriel Goldberg-Darmon, Partner at Cohen & Gresser. The moderator was Martina de Lind van Wijngaarden, Partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Muriel discussed the French Bar rules regarding privilege and internal investigations as well as cross border investigations (DOJ investigations and AMF/SEC investigations). Angéline spoke about specific issues in France regarding employment law (disciplinary sanctions and protection of employees).

John was the keynote speaker at the 2018 Global Investigations Review Conference.

The webinar features Partner Jonathan S Abernethy and Global Head of Investigations for AIG, Andrew Curtin, for a special webcast focusing on managing legal and cultural risks in cross-border investigations. It covers:
  • Handling multi-jurisdictional approaches to privileged communications in the aftermath of the recent UK decision in Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation Ltd. and The RBS Rights Issue Litigation.
  • Identifying potential cultural challenges and local laws that may impede an effective investigation and prevent a one-size-fits-all approach to designing internal processes and procedures within multinational organizations.
  • Implementing best practices when preparing for and coordinating effective internal investigations across international lines.
The faculty presenting this program will cover all aspects of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration process, including prehearing matters, motion practice, hearings, and awards, and will also provide a detailed guide to FINRA investigations and enforcement actions. Leveraging outcomes from recent cases and investigations, the aim of this presentation is to arm participants with the tools and knowledge needed to effectively litigate for their clients who may find themselves as parties in these types of proceedings. To register, please click here
The panel will address best practices for corporate counsel assisting boards of directors in fulfilling their corporate governance responsibilities, including the various ethical issues that may arise in evaluating an acquisition, conducting an internal investigation or other situations.