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James T. Parkinson quoted in Agenda article, “DOJ: ‘Dire consequences’ for failure to cooperate”


James T. Parkinson

The Agenda article, “DOJ: ‘Dire consequences’ for failure to cooperate,” discusses the announcement of changes made to the agency’s corporate enforcement policy. Under the new guidelines, announced by Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite Jr., companies could avoid being prosecuted criminally under certain conditions, including self-reporting misconduct to regulators and cooperating fully with a subsequent investigation.

Parkinson noted Polite’s emphasis on accountability echoes the Yates Memo of 2015 and said, “At the highest level of corporate governance, this shouldn’t really suggest a change since a director’s duty is to ensure that the company is managed appropriately and in a compliant manner. This policy update might result in refreshed questions to management about how the company is governed and how its compliance program is designed and implemented, but as AAG Polite noted of the difference between full and extraordinary cooperation, this is a difference perhaps more in degree than in kind.” Parkinson also said that directors should be striving “to ensure their companies are appropriately managed with an effective compliance program, and this seems a good trigger to confirm.”

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