The Gibbons White Collar & Investigations Group (WC&I) relies on a wealth of both prosecutorial and defense experience in defending companies and individuals, including multinational and domestic corporations, business executives, medical, legal, and accounting professionals, and foreign governments in a wide variety of criminal, quasi-criminal, administrative, and regulatory matters at all levels of the federal and state judicial systems, as well as internationally. The Group is often able to avert criminal proceedings by conducting comprehensive internal audits and investigations or developing corporate compliance programs, and by aggressively advocating for clients before the relevant law enforcement or regulatory agencies. Gibbons attorneys have also had substantial success in investigating and referring for prosecution matters in which clients have been victimized by the wrongful actions of third parties, and in monitoring the ensuing public investigations or prosecutions on those clients’ behalf. When criminal or administrative charges are filed, Gibbons has successfully represented those clients for purposes of grand jury and other subpoena compliance, through pretrial proceedings, at trial, and, when necessary, for sentencing and on appeal.
The Group has investigated and defended clients against allegations of financial, accounting, securities, bank, insurance, tax, healthcare, and government contract fraud and has been involved in many high-profile investigations and prosecutions of alleged political and union corruption, both domestically and abroad. The Group’s core areas of representation include:
- Antitrust/bid rigging
- Arms Export Control Act
- Bank fraud
- Election law and campaign violations
- Federal and state securities laws
- Foreign Agents Registration Act
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
- Healthcare fraud and abuse
- International extradition
- Professional licensing and disciplinary proceedings
- Regulatory issues arising under the jurisdictions of:
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
- Department of Defense (DOD)
- United States Customs and Border Protection (CPB)
- Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Reserve
Areas of Focus
Internal, Regulatory, and Audit Committee Investigations
Comprising experienced defense attorneys and former government attorneys from various investigative agencies – including the United States Attorneys’ offices and state prosecutors’ offices – Gibbons represents companies and individuals in both civil and criminal investigations and enforcement proceedings, brought by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Attorneys General of New Jersey, New York, and other states, and regulatory agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Gibbons has conducted significant investigations on behalf of Fortune 100 companies, pharmaceutical companies, telecommunications and financial services firms, government contractors, universities, and nonprofit organizations. We have extensive experience representing such clients through all critical phases of a regulatory investigation, including: (i) defense of on-the-record testimony; (ii) effective and comprehensive review of electronic and documentary evidence; (iii) the Wells process; (iv) negotiations with regulators; and (v) any criminal proceedings, including grand jury, trial, and post-trial proceedings, including appeal and collateral attack.
Gibbons offers a multidisciplinary and client-oriented approach to internal investigations that seeks to ferret out the truth without unduly burdening the corporate entity or interrupting business operations, ultimately looking to bring to justice those who may have committed corporate wrongdoing, as well as recommending internal reforms aimed at preventing future defalcations or compliance problems. Our approach seeks to remain focused and to avoid broadening any investigation further than necessary. Meanwhile, our vast experience representing senior executives in connection with internal, audit committee, securities regulatory, and government investigations leaves us particularly sensitive to the considerations that will be in the minds of those subject to investigation. We approach each investigation with the goal of minimizing the litigation, regulatory, and criminal risks associated with each matter. Among the types of cases for which we have performed internal investigations are:
- Financial reporting and disclosure obligations
- Accounting improprieties and tax treatment
- Executive compensation/corporate looting
- Misappropriation of funds
- Insider trading of securities and other suspicious market trading
- Adequacy of internal controls and other compliance matters
- Anti-kickback, off-label promotion, and other inappropriate marketing of pharmaceuticals
- Retaliation for whistleblowing
- Foreign and domestic bribery and corruption
- Non-compliance with government procurement regulations
Criminal Litigation and Trials
Many of our WC&I Group members are known for their trial experience, both as prosecutors and defense attorneys. As a result, our Group does not hesitate to aggressively defend and try cases and takes pride in not reflexively acceding to prosecutors’ or regulators’ demands, but at the same time appreciates the inherent value to clients of avoiding the criminal process – and its uncertainties – to the greatest extent possible and obtaining closure as quickly as possible.
The Gibbons WC&I Group is particularly known for its ability in identifying and litigating legal arguments to challenge criminal indictments and important questions of procedure. Thanks to the focus of Gibbons’s associate recruitment on judicial clerks, our attorneys are skilled researchers and brief writers who explore and ultimately make creative legal arguments (in pre-indictment, trial, and especially appellate contexts), often yielding outstanding results.
Post-Conviction and Appellate
Gibbons is often retained to represent the interests of convicted or otherwise sanctioned companies and individuals through all stages of the federal and state post-conviction, sentencing, and appellate processes. The firm has an extremely active practice in many of the federal circuits, especially the Third Circuit, where Gibbons attorneys have prevailed in a number of cutting-edge appeals, and beyond successful challenges to convictions, have addressed such areas as abatement of conviction, expert testimony, numerous issues that arise in capital cases, double jeopardy, sentencing guidelines interpretation, forfeiture, and many others. Many Gibbons attorneys are appellate practitioners with extensive experience in the Supreme Court of New Jersey and Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, where they have argued and won scores of precedent-setting appeals in numerous areas of criminal law and procedure, including searches and seizure, eyewitness identification evidence, admissibility of confessions, rules of evidence, discovery, the scope of numerous statutes, juvenile rights, protection of battered and pregnant women, public office forfeiture, expungement, and the death penalty. In recent years, our Group has also been increasingly involved in U.S. Supreme Court litigation, both as amici curiae in important criminal cases and as counsel of record.