Corporate Governance and Internal Investigations
If a company or entity needs to conduct an internal investigation, the acknowledged best practice is to engage counsel not previously associated with that company or entity. Stetler & Rotert, Ltd., provides independent and resourceful investigative procedures to produce results that will be found credible by government regulators or private litigants. In addition, SR lawyers frequently represent corporate employees who require separate counsel during internal investigations, working effectively with corporate and outside counsel to assure that employees’ interests are fully protected.
SR conducted a series of internal investigations at one of the largest financial institutions in the Southwestern United States. When federal banking and securities regulators voiced suspicions about the level of compliance at the institutions, the board of directors needed independent and effective investigators able to produce credible results. SR lawyers conducted interviews, reviewed documents and systems, and produced written reports of their findings on the several topics identified by federal regulators.
The City of Minneapolis engaged SR to conduct an internal investigation into allegations of financial corruption within City government. SR lawyers conducted a prompt and thorough investigation and provided an extensive report of their findings to the Minneapolis City Council.
When one of America’s largest breweries confronted a senior executive with evidence of his self-dealing, the executive threatened to expose allegedly improper business practices within the company. The company engaged Stetler & Rotert, Ltd. Our lawyers promptly met with counsel for the executive, conducted interviews of other company personnel, reviewed and evaluated substantial numbers of documents, and provided a report of their findings to the company’s Audit Committee. SR concluded that the executive’s claims were unfounded, freeing the company to pursue available remedies without fear of collateral harm.
Major law firms are sophisticated consumers of legal services, so it is noteworthy that on a number of occasions the lawyers at Stetler & Rotert, Ltd. have been engaged by prominent Chicago law firms to investigate allegations of unethical practices by firm lawyers. Our investigations have been discreet and attracted no unwanted attention, but have provided clear answers to often complex questions of law and ethics.
SR was engaged by a major Illinois utility to represent employees during parallel civil and criminal investigations into allegations of price-fixing in the purchase and sale of natural gas. None of the employees whom we represented was charged with any offense and none of our clients were found liable for improper conduct.