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Government Enforcement and Investigations

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Baker Donelson's Government Enforcement and Investigations Group defends businesses and executives in a wide range of domestic and international investigations and prosecutions.

Featured Videos

Government Investigations: How to Respond to a Search Warrant - 10 Practical Steps [Ober|Kaler] January 1, 2016
How to Implement a Document Preservation Notice While Under Government Investigation - Ten Practical Steps [Ober|Kaler] August 1, 2014
Responding to a Government Subpoena or Other Document Demand - Six Helpful Hints [Ober|Kaler] December 1, 2013
How to Respond to a Search Warrant - Ten Practical Steps [Ober|Kaler] December 1, 2013

Featured Experience

Represented convenience store chain in civil litigation and criminal investigation of alleged violations of contraband Cigarette Trafficking Act, leading to favorable civil settlement and corporate pretrial diversion agreement.

Represented university research foundation in qui tam action alleging false scientific data in applications for research grants.

Counseled major defense contractor on disclosure to government of billing irregularities and successfully avoided False Claims Act liability.

Practice Overview

Overview

Baker Donelson's Government Enforcement and Investigations Group defends businesses and executives in a wide range of domestic and international investigations and prosecutions.

Our group is composed of more than 30 lawyers, including a former acting associate attorney general, a former general counsel for the Department of Homeland Security, former U.S. attorneys in multiple districts, a former FBI agent, appointed special attorneys general for several states and many former state and federal prosecutors. 

Negotiated resolution. We assist clients in responding to grand jury, administrative or inspector general subpoenas; monitoring grand jury proceedings; and negotiating immunity, plea, settlement and corporate integrity agreements.

Trial practice. Notwithstanding our experience in negotiating favorable resolutions, our team has tried hundreds of civil and criminal matters against governmental authorities. We have also handled appeals, and threats of suspension, debarment and exclusion.

Multiple forum investigations and litigation. In many cases, an individual or company facing a government or grand jury investigation may, at the same time, face litigation for contractual or other civil claims. Our attorneys, with dozens of years of experience, work to limit client exposure in government investigations of employee wrongdoing and defends companies and executives in parallel proceedings involving agency litigation, civil lawsuits and criminal prosecutions. Lawyers on our team work to develop a global resolution of the cases or to respond to civil litigation while working to avoid indictment.

Internal investigations. In some cases, the best defense may be for a client to conduct its own internal investigation – of whistleblower claims or allegations of employee wrongdoing, for example – and self-disclose those findings to government regulators. We have deep experience in conducting such investigations and have done so for small businesses and Fortune 500 companies alike. With our extensive governmental experience and contacts, our team has achieved favorable results for corporate clients in connection with the presentation of investigatory findings to governmental regulators.

Special master. Our group also has experience advising public authorities on investigations that have concluded after litigation. For example, one of our lawyers was recently appointed a special master by a federal judge, charged with monitoring, mediating and assisting compliance by a major metropolitan police department in connection with a settlement agreement relating to allegations of unlawful policing.

Compliance programs – the best defense. The best defense against a government investigation is to have effective compliance policies in place. Our lawyers prepare and review compliance plans, advise on reimbursements under government contracts, plan responses on whistleblower issues and defend against debarment and exclusion from federal programs.

Representative Matters
  • Represented convenience store chain in civil litigation and criminal investigation of alleged violations of contraband Cigarette Trafficking Act, leading to favorable civil settlement and corporate pretrial diversion agreement.

  • Represented university research foundation in qui tam action alleging false scientific data in applications for research grants.

  • Counseled major defense contractor on disclosure to government of billing irregularities and successfully avoided False Claims Act liability.

  • Defended defense contracting business and its principal indicted under the Arms Export Control Act. Judgment of acquittal entered in favor of the defendants; attorney's fees awarded to defendants.

  • Represented bank president in OCC-negotiated resolution and three-week trial of RICO case which resulted in favorable verdict with no recovery.

  • Represented engineer indicted under the Economic Espionage Act based on allegations of trade secret theft; case is pending.

  • Represented minority small business company in Department of Energy and Department of Justice investigations into alleged False Claims Act and Truth in Negotiation Act violations; client cleared of all charges.

  • Represented defense contractor in investigation by Air Force Office of Special Investigations of processes regarding over and above claims for aircraft parts.

  • Represented companies in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations by Department of Justice and SEC in Indonesia, Turkey and other countries. SEC consent order with no DOJ action in one matter. Declination of prosecution by DOJ in another matter. Internal investigation with no reporting in another matter in China.

  • Represented civilian employee of Department of the Navy in investigation of misuse of transportation funds; settled for partial repayment without loss of employee's security clearance or job.

  • Represented defendant in federal perjury investigation; no indictment resulted.

  • Represented Navy officials in Department of Justice investigation of improper communication of bid solicitation information.

  • Represented congressman in House Bank investigation and FEC proceeding and resolved matters without further action.

  • Represented congressman and cabinet secretary in U.S. House of Representatives House Banking investigation, Federal Elections Commission review of records and Independent Counsel investigation of gifts. Won acquittal after trial with Washington co-counsel.

  • Represented KPMG partner in Department of Justice investigation of tax shelters and related civil suits by taxpayers; settled civil cases, investigation is pending.

  • Won summary judgment in civil False Claims Act litigation by Department of Justice alleging materially false certification by HUD contractor of "decent, safe, and sanitary" apartment complex.

  • Conducted internal investigation of government-sponsored corporation regarding violations of lobbying rules and ethical standards; following submission of our report, regulator took no further action against corporation.

  • Represented field warehouse company in suit alleging RICO violations; successful verdict upheld by Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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