S&C has extensive experience representing companies and individuals in Congressional investigations, including high-profile investigations of great importance to our clients.
S&C’s ability to aid clients faced with Congressional investigations is unsurpassed because S&C brings together:
- well-honed skill in guiding clients through the process of Congressional investigations, and
- deep understanding of the ramifications that developments in such investigations can have outside the Beltway – in other investigations, in civil litigation, and in interactions with regulators, investors and business partners.
In short, S&C combines a long history of advising clients on their most important Congressional investigations with S&C’s preeminent practice handling transactions, litigation and other investigations. This combination provides clients invaluable insights on how best to navigate the unpredictable course Congressional investigations often take in a way that provides a good result for our clients both on and off the Hill.
S&C’s experience advising on Congressional investigations. S&C lawyers have advised clients on investigations in front of many different Congressional committees and investigative commissions.
- We have long-standing expertise in matters involving the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations – for example, representing three of the four primary private-sector targets of the PSI’s recent high-profile investigation into the causes of the financial crisis.
- We also have represented clients in a wide variety of investigations conducted by other Congressional committees, both House and Senate, including the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
- S&C also represents clients in investigations by ad hoc Congressionally created bodies such as the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.
S&C’s value added. S&C is well-positioned to advise clients on important Congressional investigations because of S&C’s deep understanding of the industries in which its clients operate and S&C’s expertise on the legal and regulatory constraints that govern their conduct.
- S&C advises clients on getting through the unique challenges that Congressional inquiries present both efficiently and effectively – but S&C’s advice regarding Congressional investigations is not limited to the four corners of the investigation.
- Rather, it extends to advice on the broader effects that developments in Congressional investigations – and particular decisions clients make in connection with those investigations – will have on the client’s operations, in other investigations and civil litigation, and in interactions with the client’s regulators.
- Because of S&C’s substantial experience advising clients in transactional matters, in interactions with their regulators, in other investigations and in civil litigation, S&C’s guidance in Congressional investigations takes into account the full panoply of consequences, both on the Hill and off.
- S&C understands that strategic guidance and assistance in a Congressional investigation begins with analysis of consequences in that particular investigation – but it cannot end there, as decisions made in connection with Congressional investigations can have broad, substantial and complex ramifications beyond those investigations.
A recent example. In the 2009-2010 investigation by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations into the causes and consequences of the recent financial crisis, S&C represented three of the four primary private-sector targets.
- The PSI focused on four different groups of institutions and held four all-day televised hearings: on mortgage originators and securitizers, on government regulators, on ratings agencies and on investment banks that dealt in securitized mortgages. For all three parts that focused on private-sector institutions, S&C served as counsel for institutions central to the PSI’s investigation – JPMorgan Chase (as purchaser of the assets of Washington Mutual Bank), Goldman Sachs and Moody’s – and represented those institutions with respect to the respective hearings, including widely covered testimony from one institution’s CEO.
S&C lawyers’ experience. As evidenced by the examples listed, clients have long turned to S&C for representation in high-stakes Congressional investigations. In addition, S&C lawyers have substantial on-the-ground experience handling well-publicized Congressional investigations while serving in the federal government.
S&C lawyers have handled Congressional investigations from both sides of the dais:
- both as Congressional staffers, including as chief counsel for the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and as deputy staff director of the House Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs’ Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, and
- as officials in the Executive Branch, including in the White House and in the leadership of the Justice Department.
S&C lawyers have wide-ranging experience preparing a broad variety of prominent witnesses for Congressional testimony: CEOs and other senior executives from the world’s foremost financial institutions and industrial companies; witnesses central to major national events, such as the collapse of Enron and the recent financial crisis; and, while serving in the federal government, Supreme Court justices and cabinet members in widely watched confirmation, oversight and investigative hearings.
Examples of S&C’s Representations
Additional inquiries by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations:
- S&C represented Barclays and another financial institution in connection with a PSI investigation of speculation in the natural gas markets (2007).
- S&C represented CA in connection with the PSI’s investigation into offshore tax avoidance (2006).
- S&C represented Riggs Bank in a PSI investigation into money laundering and USA PATRIOT Act compliance (2004).
- S&C represented a major financial institution in a PSI investigation into the role of financial institutions in Enron’s collapse (2002).
Other Recent Congressional Investigations:
- S&C has advised several major financial institutions that received Troubled Asset Relief Program (“TARP”) funds and have received inquiries from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform relating to post-TARP compensation practices.
- S&C advised a preeminent American bank in an inquiry by the Senate Finance Committee into allegedly improper contacts with a federal regulatory agency.
- S&C represented UBS in connection with an investigation by the House Energy and Commerce Committee into its awareness of accounting fraud by a major client of the bank.
- S&C represented Microsoft in a high-profile Senate Judiciary Committee inquiry regarding antitrust issues, including advising the company’s CEO in connection with his testimony before the committee (1998).
- S&C represented the Clinton Legal Defense Fund Trustees in investigations conducted by both the Senate Government Affairs Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee relating to alleged campaign finance abuses (1997).
Inquiries by Investigative Commissions:
- S&C has represented three major financial institutions as well as a credit-rating agency in the wide-ranging investigation being conducted by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.