Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced a new Department of Justice policy on May 9, 2018 that seeks to minimize “piling on” by encouraging cooperation among Department components and other enforcement agencies. The policy instructs DOJ components to coordinate with one another and with other domestic and foreign regulators when imposing penalties on a company. This could be a welcome relief for global companies, which have previously faced sometimes overlapping and duplicative penalties for the same underlying conduct.
This trend of increasing coordination globally and within the federal government means that it is more important than ever for companies facing government scrutiny to have a global defense strategy. As multinational corporations under investigation know, conduct in one region or business unit often has global implications, leading to investigations across multiple countries and legal systems. It is crucial to coordinate fact-finding, devise parallel and harmonious defenses in multiple jurisdictions, and align efforts to resolve the matter. A global defense strategy should take into account differences in local laws, including those relating to data privacy, privilege, and employment arrangements, as well as potential exposure to civil law suits. Such a strategy should seek to align interactions with regulators and, now, sequence resolutions in a way that enables companies facing regulatory scrutiny to benefit from the DOJ’s new policy. See here for our full client alert on the details of the new policy: DOJ Announces New Policy on Coordination of Corporate Enforcement to Avoid “Piling On”