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Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Corporate Compliance Monitor v. the Internal Investigation

In my last post I explained why corporate compliance monitors appear to provide a different function than that of probation officers.  Today, I am going to briefly compare the function of the corporate compliance monitor to that of the attorney retained to conduct an internal investigation.

It is relatively common for a corporation to run its own internal investigation when it finds that wrongdoing may have occurred.  Such investigations are often led by a team of in-house and outside counsel and increasingly involve compliance personnel.  A primary purpose is to advise the corporation on how to handle the legal or regulatory failure, which places the investigation within the bounds of the attorney-client privilege.    

In contrast, a corporate compliance monitor most often arrives after an internal investigation has occurred; after the scope of improper conduct has been investigated and confirmed as part of the process necessary to obtain an agreement between the government and the corporation.  A monitor is not charged with providing legal advice regarding the prior violation and how best to deal with it.  Instead, a monitor counsels the corporation and the government on how to ensure that the corporation’s future business conduct complies with legal and regulatory requirements.  Unlike lawyers conducting an internal investigation, a monitor provides advice that is both outside the bounds of the traditional attorney-client relationship and under the auspices of government mandate and control.

Posted by Veronica Root on August 22, 2013 at 08:24 AM | Permalink

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