Guide for managing internal investigation decision-making process
General Counsel’s Decision Tree for Internal Investigations
What’s in this guide from King & Spalding:
Companies large and small, and across virtually all sectors, are facing tougher scrutiny of their operations on several fronts while grappling with fast-evolving work environments and laws — a confluence that signals a likely increase of corporate internal investigations and novel compliance challenges.
Recent moves by oversight agencies include a proposed rule that would expand audit firms’ duty to probe and disclose companies’ noncompliance with laws and regulations (known as NOCLAR), and a DOJ safe-harbor policy, by which companies in mergers can avoid criminal prosecution if they voluntarily disclose misconduct of the acquired company within a year of closing.
The “General Counsel’s Decision Tree for Internal Investigations,” first issued in 2021, has been significantly updated for the second edition. The guide concisely explains best practices for the entire decision-making process of an internal investigation, including:
- Identifying relevant company policy
- Setting the investigation’s scope and purpose
- Preserving data
- Defining key roles and structures
- Gathering facts
- Memorializing findings
In addition, the guide looks at recommended practices for the process of external investigations, such as from local, state, and federal governmental authorities, self-regulatory bodies, independent auditors, and listing exchanges.