Sep. 15, 2021

Risk Assessments During Pandemic: The Standard Is Still the Standard

Responses to the global COVID-19 pandemic have required compliance departments at global companies across industries to change the way they operate and, as a result, dynamic risk has never been more variable or difficult to assess than in the current pandemic. Yet, risk assessments remain the foundation for a robust compliance program. In a guest article, David Peet and William Semins, partners at K&L Gates, discuss enforcers’ expectations for risk assessments during the pandemic and suggest reasonable risk assessment strategies as the pandemic lingers longer than most expected or like. See our four-part guide to risk assessments: “Types of Assessments” (Jun. 26, 2019); “Techniques and Building a Team” (Aug. 7, 2019); “Where to Look for Risk and Risk Ranking” (Sep. 4, 2019); and “Wrapping Up and Avoiding Pitfalls” (Jan. 22, 2020).

From Forensic Investigator to Chief Compliance Officer: Unique Insights on Investigations From Farzana Mohomed

Compliance is a relatively new field, and many compliance specialists started their careers doing something else. In a recent interview, Farzana Mohomed discussed her journey from an investigator working with an elite crimefighting unit in South Africa to chief compliance officer at A.P. Moller – Maersk. She shared insights on the importance of a strong internal investigations function for all companies and on the ways the pandemic and changing data privacy laws have complicated internal investigations. See “Insights From Jimmy Chatsuthiphan of Uber on Compliance and Culture in APAC” (Sep. 2, 2020).

Using the DOJ’s Compliance Evaluation as an Anti-Fraud Tool

As businesses navigate their way through the new normal after a tumultuous 18 months, it is imperative that they remember to fine-tune the anti-fraud tools already stocked in their corporate arsenal. In this guest article, Nicholas Lynn, a partner at Duane Morris, and Howard Stone, a partner at Stone McGuire & Siegel, explain how anti-fraud and anti-corruption enforcement is increasing, and how to use not only the DOJ’s Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs but also parts of the IRS Manual and the FBI Manuals to enhance the efficacy of a company’s compliance program and to better protect the company (and employees) against a criminal investigation and/or indictment. See “Revisiting Compliance Programs in Light of the DOJ’s Updated ECCP” (Sep. 30, 2020).

How Law Firms Can Prevent, Detect and Respond to Ransomware Attacks

Sophisticated cyberattacks target law firms and courts seeking their troves of valuable information about powerful entities. Researchers have identified files from 17 law firms available on the dark web, and ransom demands for law firms has reached as high as $42 million. Ransomware also has crippled law practice management software and blocked lawyers from accessing case files. In this article from our sister publication the Cybersecurity Law Report, we share insight from panelists at American Bar Association and U.S. Chamber of Commerce presentations, who also spoke separately to the Cybersecurity Law Report, about key ransomware developments of the past year for all enterprises, provided steps to prevent attacks and addressed ransomware’s distinct challenges for attorneys and law firms. See “Companywide Work From Home: Six Cybersecurity Considerations” (Apr. 1, 2020).

NAVEX Study Shows Compliance Programs Overall Continue to Mature, With Room for Improvement

NAVEX Global’s latest comprehensive annual compliance program study looked at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; compliance program maturity; program resources and autonomy; the role of leadership in fostering a culture of compliance; and how organizations collect and use compliance-related data. We highlight the most important findings and the lessons they provide, with insight the authors gave in a recent webinar.  See “NAVEX Benchmarking Report Sheds Light on Features of Successful Compliance Program” (Oct. 30, 2019). 

Former Deputy Chief of the DOJ’s Fraud Section Joins Nelson Mullins in D.C.

Adam Safwat’s practice will focus on FCPA counseling and other issues related to white collar and regulatory enforcement impacting public and private companies, including securities and accounting fraud and anti-money laundering issues. For previous insight from Safwat, see “SBM Offshore Reaches FCPA Settlement After a Reopened DOJ Investigation” (Dec. 13, 2017).

Wilson Sonsini Expands Regulatory and Litigation Practices in D.C. and New York

Jahna Hartwig joins the firm as senior counsel in the regulatory practice based in Washington, D.C., and Jessica Lonergan joins as of counsel, based in New York. For more from Wilson Sonsini, see “Second Circuit Affirms Patrick Ho’s FCPA and Money-Laundering Conviction” (Feb. 3, 2021).

Cozen O’Connor Expands Vancouver Litigation Practice

A former litigation counsel for the British Columbia Securities Commission, member Laesha Smith’s practice focuses on regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings as well as civil and administrative litigation. For more from Cozen O’Connor, see “Lessons on Honoraria and Research Grants From the Alexion Settlement” (Jul. 22, 2020).