Since the disbanding of Arthur Anderson LLP in March 2002 following its indictment and later conviction surrounding the Enron incident, the DOJ has been understandably hesitant to criminally indict large corporations. Such indictments can often lead to immediate damage like the loss of thousands of US jobs. This hesitation has led to an increased focus on individuals during investigations, primarily the officers and directors of the company under investigation.
With this change in focus, it is beneficial for individuals to keep their own records and files of their business interactions. While compliance often begins at the top and many companies have formal policies in place, these policies mean little if they aren’t followed properly. Similarly, companies often have resources available to them to attest to their compliance. While you may not have access to these advanced resources, you do have the tools needed to preserve records at an individual level. If recorded properly, these records can help provide a full overview of your compliance.
In The Lawyer this month, FRA Director Mike Trahar, and K&L Gates Partner Neil Smith, discuss practical steps that can be taken to ensure individuals are prepared to defend themselves from accusations of misconduct.