Increased government oversight, shareholder activism and an aggressive plaintiffs’ bar: three great reasons to implement an effective, comprehensive corporate compliance program. While minimizing external risks is very important, a fourth, more proactive reason can be added to this list. A strong corporate compliance program can help business leaders gain deeper insights into what is happening in their companies—on the ground and in the executive suite—and take positive steps to improve operational and financial performance.
At McDermott, we deliver tailored compliance programs that can minimize the costs and penalties associated with compliance failures, reduce the likelihood of regulatory and law-enforcement investigations, and protect hard-won personal and corporate reputations. When compliance challenges do arise, we mount an immediate response before regulatory agencies and officials and, if necessary, in court.
Our global team includes former in-house compliance managers and regulatory and enforcement authority officers. All of our lawyers have firsthand experience across a range of industries and jurisdictions, regularly creating and evaluating compliance programs and helping clients address allegations of misconduct.
We develop tailored compliance solutions that include a number of key components such as compliance auditing, clear policies and procedures, ongoing monitoring, and reinforcement through effective communication tools and one-on-one and group training of key personnel. We work closely with boards of directors, general counsel and chief compliance officers to better understand business needs and develop a compliance program appropriate to a company’s profile, timetable and budget. To learn more about McDermott’s Compliance offerings see below.
Effective compliance requires a comprehensive program tailored to the needs of the company and its businesses. Highly customizable, the program can be designed for all areas of risk or applied to specific areas of concern. Either as a new program or an update to an existing one, the first step is a risk assessment resulting in a detailed draft and implementation outline. Our skilled lawyers can lead or assist in-house resources to train, educate, implement and monitor the program for effectiveness.
Compliance Checkups and Audits
For companies with a compliance program, we offer a checkup to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their programs. From the audit, we can determine whether the company’s existing protocols sufficiently minimize risk and promote a culture of compliance. We then go a step further and systematically examine existing compliance-management tools at its facilities to assess the likelihood of non-compliance.
Guideline and Policy Development
The consequences of failing to adopt a compliance program can be dire and range from exorbitant legal fines and damages to personal liability. Preventive compliance programs not only help companies avoid the costs of investigations and legal defenses, but also create a culture of compliance, thereby minimizing instances of non-compliance. To achieve a culture of compliance, McDermott can assist by modifying existing guidelines and policies, or by creating a narrow set of straightforward, accessible compliance programs in the form of guidelines and policies that focus only on those areas identified as critical by the client or by McDermott following a compliance audit.
M&A Compliance/Third-Party Due Diligence
McDermott is skilled at executing effective due diligence to ensure compliance across a variety of issues. For transactional activity, knowing the history, operations and potential risks associated with a target acquisition is a must. Companies also often engage third parties to extend the reach of their businesses. Understanding the integrity and operations of such third parties is likewise critical to ensuring, compliance. In both cases, we perform a thorough due diligence analysis, create a compliance risk map, and report on our finding with recommendations to address identified risks.
Even when companies take every precaution—including creating and implementing the most comprehensive, vigilant compliance programs and training employees thoroughly—the possibility of compliance infractions exists. If and when these violations or warning signals occur, our global team of practitioners—some of whom are former judges, prosecutors, police officers and compliance officers—has deep experience handling internal investigations. We act swiftly and appropriately to minimize any possible damage. We can assist by detecting and proactively addressing compliance violations, counseling on internal investigations, and providing criminal defense in the event of a formal investigation.
Training and Education
With guidelines and policies in place—whether from an existing program or resulting from a McDermott-led audit and program creation—the next step is to create a culture of compliance. We can assist by partnering to create tailored training programs designed to meet your specific needs. The format of these programs is also customized to leverage the company’s training and professional development platforms (e.g., online or in-person academies). Like all McDermott compliance offerings, this training can be delivered in a holistic manner, tiered to address risk concerns, or for single areas of compliance.
Navigating China’s complex legal system can be especially challenging. Our China-qualified attorneys are trained in compliance and offer the full range of compliance products for client’s with operations in country. The team is especially skilled as investigators in administrative and criminal investigations and in alleged commercial bribery cases. The team includes former judges, prosecutors, police officers and compliance officers who are all well versed in obtaining relevant information efficiently.