Government Investigations & White Collar Defense



Even the most meticulously managed company may become the target of a local, state or federal government investigation. What may begin as an innocuous information request can quickly escalate into a subpoena, full-blown probe or even an indictment – any of which can seriously threaten a company’s viability.  If that happens, Wilson Elser’s Government Investigations & White Collar Defense team is prepared to assist.

Wilson Elser helps clients respond to government investigations quickly and professionally, often diffusing issues before they lead to litigation or regulatory action.  

Investigations can be launched against regulated or non-regulated companies that do business with the government or with other private companies that receive government funding, such as health care providers, financial institutions, financial services providers, educational institutions or charities. Whether investigations are generated by regulators or by government agency inspectors general, Wilson Elser effectively responds to federal or state entities, including:

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission
  • The Commodity Futures Trading Commission
  • The Internal Revenue Service
  • U.S. Departments of Justice, Defense, Health, Insurance, Labor, the Environment, the Interior
  • Federal and State Inspectors General
  • State Departments of Justice, Health, Insurance, Labor, Tax and Finance, the Environment
  • State Attorneys General.

Wilson Elser helps clients respond to such government actions quickly and professionally, often diffusing issues before they lead to litigation or regulatory action. However, if the government brings enforcement actions, indictments or civil lawsuits, our team − which includes former prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys from federal, state and local arenas − is skilled at preparing and mounting effective defense strategies.

Many clients reach out to us for the first time when they receive an unexpected government inquiry. In some cases, significant amounts of money are at stake; in others, the risk is reputational damage. Our lawyers are adept at scoping the true implications of each situation and advising clients on the wisest course of action, from nuanced negotiations to full-blown litigation. Clients generally follow up by taking advantage of our ongoing consultative services, through which we develop a disciplined process for avoiding or responding to such government inquiries, helping to reduce risks and preserve business integrity.

We recognize that the key to avoiding possible penalties is to conduct business in full compliance with the law. With that goal in mind, our attorneys proactively work with clients to adopt the necessary corporate compliance policies and practices that can help ensure that problems are either prevented or detected and remediated early.