New DOJ Guidance for Corporate Compliance Programs: Questions Counsel Should Expect in a Government Investigation

A live 90-minute CLE webinar with interactive Q&A

Thursday, May 18, 2017
1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 10:00am-11:30am PDT

This CLE webinar will provide a detailed analysis of the “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs” report (the report) recently published by DOJ. The panel will prepare corporate counsel to design and implement a compliance program that will withstand DOJ scrutiny and protect its officers and directors from risks and liabilities, including prosecution, in the event of a government investigation.


On February 8, 2017, the Fraud Section of DOJ published pointed and specific guidance on how it assesses—and intends to assess—compliance programs in the report. The report provides insight into the questions corporate counsel should expect from DOJ prosecutors during a criminal investigation and highlights common indicators that DOJ deems a strong corporate culture of compliance.

The report identifies 11 broad topic areas, along with numerous subtopics and questions that prosecutors may ask when evaluating a compliance program. The report reflects DOJ’s continued interest in individual responsibility, as recently articulated in the 2015 Yates Memo, which prioritized individual accountability in corporate investigations. The report further evidences DOJ’s interest in pursuing individuals in cases of corporate wrongdoing.

The report also sets forth a detailed framework of DOJ’s corporate culture expectations. Counsel must lay the groundwork for corporate officers to provide satisfactory answers to DOJ’s questions regarding corporate culture (or explain why they may not apply).

Listen as our authoritative panel provides a detailed analysis of the report and its significance in tying together and expanding upon enforcement guidance previously released by DOJ. The panel will also discuss how the report can be utilized in the design of a robust compliance program which reflects the desired corporate culture and helps protect officers and directors from individual prosecution.


  1. DOJ investigations generally—previous areas of focus
  2. Analysis of the report
    1. Analysis and remediation of underlying conduct
    2. Role of senior and middle management
    3. Autonomy and resources
    4. Policies and procedures
    5. Risk assessment process
    6. Employee training and communications
    7. Confidential reporting and investigation
    8. Incentives and disciplinary measures
    9. Continuous improvement, periodic testing and review
    10. Third-party management
    11. Integration of program into mergers and acquisitions
  3. Designing a robust compliance program in light of the report
    1. Individual accountability
    2. Corporate culture


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What is the significance of the new DOJ report relative to previous guidance?
  • What does the new report reveal about DOJ’s investigation priorities going forward?
  • How should compliance programs be designed to reflect an acceptable compliance culture?
  • What compliance actions can be taken to protect officers and directors from personal liability?


Phil Bezanson, Managing Partner
Bracewell, Seattle

Mr. Bezanson represents corporate clients, senior management and boards of directors as well as individual clients in internal investigations, securities enforcement, criminal defense and regulatory matters. He regularly conducts internal investigation and defends corporations and executives facing allegations of securities fraud, antitrust violations, environmental crimes, bribery, mail/wire fraud, tax offenses and other business crimes or regulatory violations. He also assists national and international corporate clients with a wide variety of compliance matters. 

Glen A. Kopp, Partner
Bracewell, New York

Mr. Kopp, former Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, focuses his practice on white collar, internal investigations and regulatory enforcement in New York. Prior to joining the firm, he served for five years in the U.S. Department of Justice, handling all phases of the federal criminal process. In private practice and at DOJ, he has handled regulatory enforcement matters, criminal proceedings, litigation and internal investigations relating to financial institutions; corporate, accounting, wire and bank fraud; insider trading; money laundering; options back-dating; securities; export control; and other matters. 

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Corporate Law Advisory Board

Stuart M. Altman

Director, Corporate Legal Investigations


Mark H. Hain

General Counsel

Assurance America

Michael Hermsen


Mayer Brown

Matthew A. Karlyn


Foley & Lardner

Michael J. Missal


K&L Gates

G. Thomas Stromberg


Jenner & Block

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