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Congressional Investigations

Practice Overview

Congressional investigations can be directed at any company, at any time, presenting serious risks to individuals and businesses across all industries and government sectors. These investigations are often broad in scope and frequently draw in individuals and related organizations, not just the targeted company or agency.

Buckley represents entities, officers, directors, and public officials in formal and informal congressional investigations scrutinizing business practices in the financial services industry, corporate actions, and performing oversight of government actors, their agencies, and private industry.

Congressional hearings are governed by their own procedures that differ from judicial procedures and can present significant challenges for clients called upon to cooperate or appear. Moreover, these investigations are often conducted simultaneously with other government investigations or civil litigation, and routinely draw media attention.

The firm responds to congressional inquiries and communicates with committee staff to try to minimize the direct and collateral consequences that can flow from these investigations, with an eye toward any companion litigation and reputational risks. We also prepare our clients for public hearings, which are substantially different from depositions or even court testimony. Our team has helped clients navigate congressional investigations involving a broad array of subjects, including anti-money-laundering and Bank Secrecy Act compliance, consumer protection, ethics, corporate governance, political scandals, and securities law issues, as well as assisting government officials in oversight investigations.

Our approach to these investigations is informed by our deep experience in representing clients in administrative proceedings and high-profile criminal investigations, and is enhanced by several of our attorneys’ service as senior counsel to various congressional committees. As a result, we provide our clients with effective and comprehensive approaches, including media strategy, tailored to the unique challenges presented by congressional investigations initiated in tandem with parallel civil and criminal enforcement investigations, actions by federal and state agencies, and or class action and complex civil litigation.

Topic Spotlight: Assistance in responding to government oversight of pandemic relief

The federal government’s financial response to the Covid-19 pandemic is measured in trillions of dollars, and the intensity of oversight related to that response reflects this unprecedented commitment. All involved in the government’s response, particularly financial services providers, should expect increased scrutiny of how those dollars have been and will be spent.

Buckley’s white collar, enforcement, congressional investigations, class actions, complex civil litigation, and False Claims Act & FIRREA teams are prepared to assist with government and congressional inquiries, examinations, investigations, and government and private party litigation that arise from the pandemic response. We work closely with our financial services regulatory practices to combine the firm’s core substantive experience with our deep knowledge of government investigations and litigation of all kinds.

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Topic Spotlight: Inspector general investigations

More than 70 inspectors general throughout federal agencies and other governmental entities have the power to issue subpoenas, coordinate with civil enforcement agencies, make referrals to and work with criminal prosecutors, issue public reports, and liaise with Congress. These investigations and potential enforcement actions can significantly strain resources, impede normal business activity, and cause reputational damage.

Buckley regularly guides clients through these inquiries and investigations, including those triggered by or involving whistleblowers, as well as handles the civil and criminal enforcement actions and congressional inquiries that arise from IG investigations.

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