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Companies faced with governance issues or possible corporate wrongdoing need to quickly respond by conducting an internal investigation as soon as possible, according to a discussion held at the Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s 6th Annual CLE Expo yesterday in Chicago.
Jenner & Block Partner Kenyanna M. Scott, who served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for over four years before joining the Firm, suggested that performing an internal investigation early on can be a means of “gaining leverage” in future negotiations with the Department of Justice or other agencies.
“Your internal investigation and the information that results from it will frame your discussions with the government,” Ms. Scott advised the corporate counsel in attendance. She added that the facts discovered through such an investigation allow an attorney to determine the “crucial balance” between what information may be disclosed to DOJ Officers to facilitate a positive outcome, and what information should be held privileged, in order to protect the client.
In addition to Ms. Scott, the session included Eumi L. Choi, First Assistant U.S. Attorney, Steve Cochran, Partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Ed K. Prather, Partner at Clarence & Dyer LLP, and Grace C. Yeh, Torrance Refinery Attorney for Exxon Mobil Corporation.