Internal investigations: Their risks and benefits
We live in an era of sophisticated and pervasive scrutiny of companies (and their managers) by the government, the media, plaintiffs’ lawyers and even their own employees. Companies regularly contend with whistleblower allegations, shareholder demands, external and internal audits, subpoenas, media reports, and inquiries by the government or civil litigants. An internal investigation is oftentimes the appropriate way to respond. Because corporate or executive wrongdoing may result in criminal prosecution, large civil fines or restitution, substantial damages and negative publicity, a carefully-planned and well-executed investigation is critical.