Internal Investigations and Regulatory Compliance

Client and Industry Challenges

Corporations occasionally encounter situations where outside counsel is needed to conduct or to assist with an internal investigation. These investigations become necessary for numerous reasons: officer, director or shareholder concerns, whistleblower or qui tam complaints, governmental inquiries and compliance issues, or even findings from routine audits.

Our internal investigations and regulatory compliance attorneys understand that our clients need to have investigations handled in a timely, smart, ethical and often confidential manner. Our team also recognizes that they are often retained to operate with independence and objectivity, and with the capacity to assist with any and all governmental reporting or other activities that may result from an investigation.

Our team has extensive experience with state and federal regulatory matters ranging from corporate securities and disclosure issues to tax-specific claims of misconduct. We routinely assist with employment-related investigations, including those involving sexual harassment, disability and age discrimination claims. Our attorneys also provide counseling on compliance training and reporting mechanisms that allow companies to self-regulate.

Clients We Serve

Our clients include corporations, boards of directors, audit committees, special committees and individual officers and directors.

Why Clients Select Us

Time-Tested, Comprehensive Services: Our team’s effectiveness in conducting investigations and handling post-investigation issues is bolstered by our firm’s long track record of developing strong compliance programs for a broad range of corporations. Our ability to move quickly to investigate whistleblower or regulatory complaints is a key strength of our extensive regulatory practice. If criminal counsel becomes necessary, we work seamlessly in conjunction with our white collar crime group.

Experienced and Dedicated: Our internal corporate investigation and regulatory compliance team regularly works with the SEC, DOJ and other federal and state regulators as well as major auditing firms, forensic accountants and other experts often involved in investigation work. Success, however, often comes in avoiding potential crisis scenarios by acting promptly, ethically and thoroughly to assist corporations and those who make them run to self-monitor and resolve issues properly so that third-party intervention is not required.


It is difficult to tout the significant experience Snell & Wilmer has with respect to internal investigations and compliance issues, as the anonymity of the entities and individuals involved is often essential. Thus, the following representative case descriptions are intentionally general with respect to work performed, those represented and the significant results achieved.

  • Represented a multi-national corporation in compliance testing for anti-trust and employment issues in 20+ countries
  • Represented Fortune 500 corporations and audit committees in internal investigations involving stock option backdating allegations
  • Represented a Fortune 500 corporation in matter involving potential restatement of financial disclosures in excess of $50 million arising from possible unclaimed property and escheatment issues
  • Represented a board of directors in whistleblower investigation relating to allegations of executive self-dealing and potential sexual misconduct
  • Represented a Fortune 500 corporation in investigation of affiliate's potential violation of policies related to the purchase and sale of real estate involving related parties
  • Represented a board of outside directors in investigation of officer's alleged regulatory noncompliance
  • Represented a special committee in investigation of executive self-dealing and violations of stock issuance policies
  • Represented multiple Fortune 500 corporations in structuring, monitoring and training related to compliance programs
  • Represented multiple corporations in structuring, monitoring and training related to policies addressing Foreign Corrupt Practice Act issues
  • Represented a corporation in investigation of allegations arising from qui tam complaint related to public-private partnership
  • Represented a Fortune 500 corporation in an investigation of allegations related to qui tam complaint related to mortgage related practices
  • Represented a corporation with respect to False Claims Act allegations and DOJ inquiries