When facing government enforcement actions, a rapid and strategic response can make the difference.
Our team, comprised of former senior enforcement attorneys and environmental subject matter experts, provides comprehensive criminal and civil enforcement defense, internal investigation management, and proactive compliance counseling to address the immediate and long term impacts of environmental enforcement.
Many businesses first become aware of allegations of violations of environmental, health, and safety (EHS) laws by receiving a subpoena, search warrant, notice of violation, or even armed agents knocking on the door. Answers may be hard to find, or the story may change from moment to moment, but it likely includes large amounts of highly technical data. You need to get a handle on the information and the situation in the moment while protecting your interests for the long term. You need counsel – skilled not only in crisis response and criminal law but also in the underlying subject matter – who can immediately and capably advise your legal, compliance, operations, and senior executive teams. Counsel who can manage interactions with internal and external stakeholders; including customers, community leaders, and the media. The plaintiffs’ bar will be watching.
We counsel clients on high-stakes EHS enforcement and compliance matters, particularly in complex or large-scale white-collar litigation and internal investigations. We conduct internal investigations into alleged or potential EHS-related misconduct, analyze risk of criminal liability, advise on ways to mitigate that risk, respond to the execution of search warrants, navigate grand jury subpoena responses, and negotiate with federal and state criminal agents and counsel to facilitate communication and, when possible, quickly resolve criminal inquiries. View a list of our representative matters.
When responding to an indictment or search warrant, the swift initiation of an internal investigation is critical. We respond immediately—within hours—and dispatch a qualified team. Within 24 hours, we present a well-orchestrated strategy to gather statements from essential witnesses and stay ahead of the government investigators.
Our counsel reduces risks and adds value—while preserving resources and reputations. We know how inspectors think—chronic non-compliance at the civil level is cause for a criminal referral. Our Environmental Crimes/White Collar team includes several former top federal prosecutors. When facing potential criminal repercussions, we help clients improve their compliance programs and demonstrate that escalation is unnecessary, and have extensive experience leading two of the largest environmental criminal court-appointed monitorships and company-wide compliance system overhauls in history - Volkswagen “Dieselgate” and the Duke Energy coal ash remediation.
Barring a declination or settlement agreement in a criminal prosecution, we offer a trial-ready team that is comfortable in the courtroom. Our environmental defense lawyers synthesize complex facts and data to craft straightforward, understandable, and compelling narratives that persuade judges and juries to rule our way.
We represent corporations, executives, board members, in-house counsel, and other individuals in federal and state government investigations and prosecutions involving environmental regulatory crimes and related process crimes. We also have experience defending against allegations concerning securities, financial, and tax crimes; as well as drug conspiracy, antitrust, and other serious white collar charges.
Our deep bench of regulatory lawyers offers scientific, industrial, and operational knowledge and experience to deliver wins for our clients. Our professionals also maintain an invaluable network of technical and forensic experts and consulting firms available to our clients on demand, whether in the U.S. or abroad.
B&D’s focus on environmental issues—including air and climate change, endangered species act (ESA)/wildlife protection, water quality, and waste management—enables us to offer clients the comprehensive expertise necessary to effectively address environmental crimes and white collar claims. Our initial role is to help clients interpret possible outcomes of investigations or alleged violations. Secondly, we look to review compliance programs and oversight to ensure such programs are effective, up-to-date, and align with evolving government priorities. We work with companies of all sizes and industries to document prior investments, structural adequacy, and compliance history; assess systems and risks; and, if necessary, to course correct to mitigate exposure.
If a criminal investigation is opened, we immediately focus on marshaling the facts and developing a strategy to minimize exposure and to persuade the prosecutor not to bring charges. If an investigation leads to an indictment, our focus shifts to pre-trial strategy implementation, to design and build a winnable case.
Whether in a board room, a settlement conference room, or in a courtroom, our compliance counselors, regulatory litigators, and trial-tested lawyers provide calm, clear-eyed perspectives for the demanding defense of business crimes.
Our investigatory and defense services for companies and individuals include but are not limited to:
- Preparing for and responding to search warrants.
- Preparing pretrial motions on regulatory and technical issues.
- Conducting internal investigations.
- Collecting and processing electronic data for criminal cases.
- Responding to grand jury and regulatory subpoenas.
- Representing witnesses before the grand jury.
- Negotiating plea agreements.
- Defending complex indictments at trial.
Our risk mitigation services for regulated companies and individuals include:
- Developing and performing environmental corporate compliance assessments.
- Designing and conducting audits on regulatory issues.
- Preparing voluntary self-disclosures under federal and state statutory schemes.
- Developing training programs for corporate boards, executives, and employees.