what we do

Practice Areas

Ashcroft is world-renowned for its role and capabilities in handling delicate, high-profile investigations and for the caliber of its Government Investigations, Prosecutions and Enforcement Actions practice. When our clients are faced with enforcement actions, government investigations, or potential prosecution, Ashcroft reacts with speed and precision. We help our clients navigate crisis situations while embedding a code of ethics and integrity throughout their organizations.

Our record of principled leadership and action has led the Firm to be selected to serve in the following compliance and investigation-related capacities:

  • United Nations Independent Professional Ethics and Internal Compliance Expert;
  • World Bank Group Integrity Office Compliance Advisor / Monitor;
  • United States Department of Justice Third Party Monitor;
  • United States Department of Justice Independent Review Organization;
  • Office of Thrift Supervision Independent Review Consultant;
  • Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Independent Review Consultant; and
  • U.S. Trustee selected Corporate Governance, Special Investigations, and International Regulatory Consultant.

We represent boards of directors, CEOs, management, corporations and individuals both domestically and abroad in connection with a broad range of enforcement actions, as well as internal and external investigations. Our role in this capacity is both reactive and anticipatory—we work to resolve immediate problems while simultaneously thinking about long-term remediation efforts and success. Our comprehensive solutions are designed to develop sustainable corporate cultures of compliance to avoid further government action. In cases of bankruptcy, we are qualified to become court-appointed trustees and receivers for our clients; we are also fully equipped to be third party examiners. In the course of government investigations, we have successfully led clients through complex deferred prosecution agreements as independent monitors. In civil cases, we assist clients in the capacity of a Civil Investigative Demand Response Team.

The global economy depends on moving—and tracking—capital through a complex web of financial transactions. Ashcroft’s credibility and estimable reputation with Federal enforcement authorities attracts Clients requiring assistance with complex, challenging Federal regulatory and enforcement matters. For example, in the arena of Anti-Money Laundering compliance, the Firm can design, review, enhance, implement and/or monitor anti-money laundering detection and compliance programs for its clients. Our work includes assessing the actual anti-money laundering risk; drafting and enhancing compliance policies and procedures; developing and providing compliance training; conducting compliance and internal controls assessments; selecting and implementing technology solutions; and developing internal investigative protocols and procedures. Furthermore, we have extensive experience in conducting expedient, yet comprehensive, internal investigations concerning matters such as allegations of bribery and corruption, violations of international sanctions laws, internal fraud, theft and illegal kickbacks. The Firm’s deep prosecutorial and policymaking experience, allows it to be uniquely qualified in detecting emerging trends in policy and enforcement actions, allowing companies to prepare for new compliance mandates and adjust their systems in a timely manner.

Ethics, integrity and responsibility are among the founding principles at the heart of Ashcroft. It follows, therefore, that business ethics and compliance matters are a centerpiece of the firm’s practice. Ashcroft advises companies in countries all over the world on compliance matters. Its leadership team is comprised of individuals who have each served in the highest ranks within the U.S. Department of Justice. With a higher concentration of more former U.S. Attorneys than any other law firm in the world, Ashcroft is the one to trust where compliance is concerned.

Today, businesses must proactively establish and maintain robust, comprehensive corporate governance policies, necessary training mechanisms and rigorous and adaptive compliance programs so as to detect, deter and resolve non-compliance matters. Not only are high ethics standards ‘good business’, but a rapidly escalating attention to corporate practices by the US and other world governments demands that companies be aware of potential civil, criminal, administrative and legislative investigations that could ensnare companies suspected of non-compliance.

Ashcroft offers a comprehensive approach to developing and ensuring compliance as well as aggressively defending against investigations or charges by the government in cases of alleged non-compliance. Areas of particular experience include:

  • Anti-Corruption and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Investigations
  • Whistleblower Claims
  • Public Disclosure
  • Fiduciary Responsibility
  • Internal Investigations and Controls
  • SEC Enforcement
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act
  • Securities Litigation
  • White-Collar Defense
  • Audit Committee Oversight and Duties

A strong corporate governance and compliance program protects the company and its executives from potential criminal and civil liability as well as time- and resource-consuming investigations. Such a program also sends a message of proactive dedication to ethical best practices and diligent compliance that may help mitigate compliance violations – and attendant charges – arising in the future, regardless of best efforts.

The Ashcroft team will meet you where you are and see that the greatest risks are immediately addressed while simultaneously crafting a broader comprehensive plan to monitor other critical compliance areas. Ashcroft intimately understands both the benefits and costs associated with the necessary compliance measures and takes great care to account for the company’s valuable time and resources both in program development and during its ongoing operation.

Recent headline-making cases involving U.S. export laws reconfirm today’s increasingly aggressive enforcement climate. Ashcroft has substantial experience in a variety of domestic and international trade-related practice areas including, but not limited to, export controls, economic sanctions and International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) compliance. Ashcroft attorneys have a history of representing clients before federal agencies involved in control of exports, including the Departments of State, Defense, Commerce, Treasury, Energy and Justice, as well as numerous independent agencies and the various agencies of the intelligence community.

/ Export Controls

In our post-9/11 world, government scrutiny of transactions involving controlled products, software, technology and services is at an all-time high. Ashcroft advises companies—both foreign and domestic, public and private—in navigating the complex and ever-changing patchwork of export control laws governing the trade, possession, and export of controlled assets. Export controls are far-reaching and go beyond what one might intuitively expect. For instance, companies involved in transfers of software or technology need not even operate or trade outside the United States to be affected. We comprehensively guide clients in observing these laws as they pertain to shipping, exports and other business transactions and design compliance programs to ensure continued government compliance. In the event of suspected non-compliance, Ashcroft is highly experienced in conducting internal compliance audit and defending in criminal or civil actions.

/ Economic Sanctions

The growing complexity and seriousness of penalties has increased the need for multinational companies to assess whether their entities are taking measures to avoid prohibited transactions, and thereby economic sanctions, as administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Over the past decade, maximum civil penalties have dramatically increased to the greater of $250,000 or twice the amount of the violating transaction. Ashcroft has broad experience in both assisting multinational companies with avoiding economic sanctions and maneuvering beyond already-levied sanctions.

/ International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)

In a climate of heightened security concerns, export compliance remains a significant consideration for the U.S. government and the entities it contracts with. Companies providing contract services to defense and military clients must take great care to ensure their employees and business practices are safeguarding contract-related information. Generally, ITAR prohibits access to controlled information by non-US citizens or permanent residents and may require certain export control licenses for a contracting company’s foreign national employees. Ashcroft is experienced in devising guidelines and controls for preventing unauthorized access under this regulatory regime and in conducting self-audits and tackling issues that arise due to a lack of vigilance in this compliance area.

Violations falling under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) have expanded tremendously over the past few years while associated civil and criminal fines and penalties have simultaneously increased exponentially. As a result, companies that violate the FCPA are frequently required to pay out hundreds of millions of dollars—often crippling their operations and decimating their entire business model. With the combined factors of tough global financial conditions, the enactment of increased whistleblower rewards, and a public appetite for corporate fraud prosecutions, there is nothing to indicate a decline in this trend anytime soon. At Ashcroft, the vast majority of our Partners were presidential appointees to the U.S. Department of Justice. Our extensive prior experience inside the DOJ uniquely equips us to handle and to anticipate current enforcement processes. Our Firm favors a strategy of “anticipatory compliance”—legal advice that prevents challenges from occurring rather than simply reacting to them. We help clients design, build, and implement FCPA compliance and audit programs. Working in tandem with general counsels and compliance officers already in place, we customize policies and processes that enhance a company’s risk management efforts while minimizing disruption of day-to-day operations. We embed thorough compliance programs that positively affect corporate culture shifts. Ashcroft is both highly experienced and qualified in providing services to some of the most at-risk global industries:

  • Oil/oil services;
  • Telecommunications;
  • Tobacco;
  • Defense;
  • Financial services;
  • Pharmaceutical/medical devices; and others.

Going on the offensive for our client makes our compliance controls unassailable; we work to prevent the worst from happening and react with alacrity if it does. Let our FCPA expertise guide your operations safely and successfully within the parameters of this rapidly evolving law.

The global economy depends on moving—and tracking—capital through a complex web of financial transactions. Ashcroft’s credibility and estimable reputation with Federal enforcement authorities attracts Clients requiring assistance with complex, challenging Federal regulatory and enforcement matters. For example, in the arena of Anti-Money Laundering compliance, the Firm can design, review, enhance, implement and/or monitor anti-money laundering detection and compliance programs for its clients. Our work includes assessing the actual anti-money laundering risk; drafting and enhancing compliance policies and procedures; developing and providing compliance training; conducting compliance and internal controls assessments; selecting and implementing technology solutions; and developing internal investigative protocols and procedures. Furthermore, we have extensive experience in conducting expedient, yet comprehensive, internal investigations concerning matters such as allegations of bribery and corruption, violations of international sanctions laws, internal fraud, theft and illegal kickbacks. The Firm’s deep prosecutorial and policymaking experience, allows it to be uniquely qualified in detecting emerging trends in policy and enforcement actions, allowing companies to prepare for new compliance mandates and adjust their systems in a timely manner.

Today’s health care industry is one marked by complex legal and regulatory issues. This era of increasing government regulation, audit and enforcement has been especially challenging for the healthcare industry. Rising health care costs and government funding have resulted in new statutes and regulations, increased investigations, oversight and prosecutions and a heightened expectation of compliance. These challenges can be overwhelming for companies in this highly regulated industry. Our Firm offers innovative services to the healthcare industry including medical device and pharmaceutical companies. We provide and/or assist in internal investigations, compliance reviews, and ongoing l monitoring. Our experiences allows us to assist clients facing government investigations by the FBI, FDA, HHSOIG, Department of Justice and other related federal and state enforcement and regulatory agencies. We also have experiences that assist clients in addressing HIPAA audits and alleged violations and data breach responses and incident reporting and compliance.

Ashcroft approaches internal investigations with sensitivity to business operations. While we seek to address immediately the greatest risks and craft a broader plan to remedy the situation, we also work to mitigate the risk of further costly investigations, fines, or prosecution. Our efforts are structured in such a way as to minimize as much as possible the impact on the ongoing daily operations of the company. We have a record of delivering expeditious and meaningful resolution to corporate issues that have, or may, come under the intense microscope of law enforcement and regulatory agencies. We assist companies to come into full compliance with applicable laws and regulations and, in so doing, help companies infuse integrity, responsibility and ethics into their culture and operations.The Firm’s professionals have decades of experience directing enforcement and regulatory actions from the Department of Justice, working in coordination with hundreds of other international, federal, state and local enforcement and regulatory agencies. We are equally comfortable handling discrete investigations, leading broad-based efforts, or operating on a multi-disciplinary team as a trusted advisor to our client in response to a serious enforcement or regulatory action. Our team includes former United States Attorneys, former FBI agents, former Assistant United States Attorneys, and former members of the Federal Inspector General community. Our team of professionals has regularly lead multi-disciplinary efforts to respond to potential enforcement actions involving our clients. Such clients have included Fortune 500 companies, world-leading multi-national corporations, and international financial institutions.

The Firm’s reputation for operating with integrity and producing exceptional results has led to successful resolutions on behalf of our clients and being approved to serve as an independent monitor for the DOJ; liaison with the US Department of Treasury as an Independent Review Consultant for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Office of Thrift Supervision; and an Independent Ethics Review Consultant for other U.S. and multi-lateral international organizations, to name a few.

When a crisis strikes and everything is on the line, you need a supremely qualified team with a vault of crisis-related experience and tools that can be immediately deployed on your behalf. Ashcroft has deep, hands-on experience in managing a situation in crisis mode. The most direct and notable example would be the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Under the leadership of U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, our team led the Department of Justice in restructuring that 120,000-person organization during one of the most unprecedented moments in U.S. history. We have a true understanding of how to lead, with a particular focus on the most difficult and unexpected times of turmoil and disarray.

Whether it be natural disasters, security breaches, hostile takeovers, compromised data, government investigations or indictments, product defects, bankruptcy, global unrest, acts of terrorism or similar crises, Ashcroft is prepared to immediately assess the crisis situation and work with executives and management through a systematic, customized approach. Frequently, issues of corporate governance or compliance are at the heart, if not the root, of a corporate crisis. Ashcroft is widely experienced in the field of corporate governance and compliance, and is tremendously ahead of the game when it comes to tackling issues common to that area. Even after the crisis has been weathered and managed, the Ashcroft team works with affected parties to devise plans for averting repeat or similar crises as well as monitoring ongoing damage mitigation. Our door always remains open—not just when in crisis-mode. Immediate and on-going assistance includes:

  • Crisis Communications
  • Internal Investigations
  • Special Committee Fraud Investigations
  • Stakeholder Communications
  • Risk Assessments
  • Audit Committee Strategic Advice and Support
  • Auditing
  • Monitoring

Crises, when assessed through the proper broad lens, can be seen as windows of opportunity to overcome challenges and demonstrate resilience. Organizations employing a team of leaders with proven experience in seeing and seizing that narrow glimmer of opportunity are able to come out the other side stronger, tested, and more adaptable to change than ever before. It is paramount to use your moment in the spotlight—however unanticipated or undesirable—to send a carefully-constructed message of fortitude by way of calm and collected resolve and an unyielding ability to overcome the most unexpected obstacles. The leadership at Ashcroft is not merely your guide to surviving the fire of crisis, but your lens to the opportunities buried beneath it.

Ashcroft’s wealth of experience in the Justice Department gives us powerful insight into the regulatory processes governing large-scale mergers and acquisitions. We represent major global corporations in highly visible transactions. Proper due diligence regarding the legal and compliance related risks and liabilities of an acquisition can be the difference between a profitable, strategic transaction and a maelstrom of regulatory, civil, and criminal infractions. Thus, careful attention to the underlying details and the applicable laws and regulations is paramount. Our organization has led clients through successful and lucrative high-profile mergers after a detailed inquiry into the potential for risk exposure. Expertise in compliance matters coupled with a solid background antitrust laws provides a foundation for the premium quality due diligence and advice we offer our clients. The seamless communication and interaction between our business and legal divisions has also afforded many of our clients the ability to champion what may otherwise be controversy-fraught mergers.

With a team led by former U.S. Attorneys and comprised of seasoned litigators, Ashcroft has gained its expertise through navigating thousands of white-collar prosecutions. This experience provides deep insight into the way in which the government and regulatory agencies like the SEC handles its investigations and enforcement actions helping anticipate the tools and methodology employed. This expertise affords us the capability to represent our clients effectively in the following areas:

  • Civil and criminal fraud;
  • Accounting irregularities;
  • Intellectual property theft;
  • Foreign corrupt practices;
  • Embezzlement;
  • Information leaks; and
  • Kickbacks, and other areas of white‐collar misconduct.

We engineer informed defenses for our clients in these cases as needed, but our in-depth experience gives us a competitive edge when negotiating settlements structured as favorably— and as quickly—as possible. Our chief strength is our commitment to accelerating legal resolutions. We anticipate the processes involved, and we ensure that our clients’ time and resources are used judiciously and effectively. The seamless integration with The Ashcroft Group brings our clients valuable tools in dealing with the public relations and business ramifications of such investigations and prosecutions, as well as affecting a shift in corporate culture in order to prevent repeated government actions for similar matters.

The global economy depends on moving—and tracking—capital through a complex web of financial transactions. Ashcroft’s credibility and estimable reputation with Federal enforcement authorities attracts Clients requiring assistance with complex, challenging Federal regulatory and enforcement matters. For example, in the arena of Anti-Money Laundering compliance, the Firm can design, review, enhance, implement and/or monitor anti-money laundering detection and compliance programs for its clients. Our work includes assessing the actual anti-money laundering risk; drafting and enhancing compliance policies and procedures; developing and providing compliance training; conducting compliance and internal controls assessments; selecting and implementing technology solutions; and developing internal investigative protocols and procedures. Furthermore, we have extensive experience in conducting expedient, yet comprehensive, internal investigations concerning matters such as allegations of bribery and corruption, violations of international sanctions laws, internal fraud, theft and illegal kickbacks. The Firm’s deep prosecutorial and policymaking experience, allows it to be uniquely qualified in detecting emerging trends in policy and enforcement actions, allowing companies to prepare for new compliance mandates and adjust their systems in a timely manner.

When the unexpected happens, you need a team of highly-experienced attorneys ready to hit the ground running with an existing network of expert investigators and former law enforcement officers who can be immediately put to action in your aggressive defense. The Ashcroft team is widely experienced in all phases of a white collar defense—from investigations and government fact-gathering to trials and enforcement proceedings. Ashcroft is led by a team of the most experienced Federal prosecutors and former top officials at the Department of Justice. In fact, the Ashcroft team has a higher concentration of former U.S. Attorneys than any other law firm. With unparalleled experience in complex white collar criminal cases—both as prosecutors and defense attorneys—Ashcroft is undoubtedly the one to turn to when your future is in jeopardy.With a proactive approach, Ashcroft also works with clients around the world on comprehensive compliance programs and internal audits to minimize the likelihood of noncompliance that could lead to costly investigations, fines or prosecution. Such preventative internal measures and programs also strategically aim to soften potential penalties, should they arise.