DOJ's Compensation Reforms Pit Cos. Against Their Execs
According to recent policy announcements, the U.S. Department of Justice is increasing incentives for corporate cooperation to further its goal of prosecuting individuals rather than the corporations where they work.
While the DOJ has long pursued this goal, the recent changes create firm new incentives for corporations to report wrongdoing by their officers and employees.
The trend to shift focus from huge fines that harm innocent investors in favor of more surgical punishment of individual bad actors has a compelling moral ring. However, corporate executives and counsel alike should be aware of the unintended consequences, including potential ethical conflicts in the representation of individuals and corporations facing DOJ investigations.
Because the new policy pits corporations against their executives and employees in new ways, those individuals have an increasingly urgent need to protect themselves early on in the course of internal investigations.
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