Thursday, August 10, 2006

Lawyers Everywhere

The second criminal case coming from the options-timing investigations, against three former Comverse Technology executives, should send every executive at the 80 or so companies that have disclosed being caught up in the various criminal and civil investigations looking for their own counsel.  The prospect of criminal charges naturally has the effect of putting everyone in the vicinity of an investigation on the defensive even more than they already were.  An article in The Recorder (here) discusses how Apple executives are hiring their own lawyers in light of recent disclosures of questionable options grants, including two by its former general counsel, Nancy Heinen.  Among those charged in the Comverse case is the company's former chief legal counsel, which highlights the potential for in-house lawyers to become targets of the investigations and certainly subjects of great interest to the grand jury and the SEC.  With all those companies hiring law firms to conduct internal investigations, along with lawyers to advise the audit committee and counsel for the individuals, the suggestion that the end of the Enron-related prosecutions means white collar practices will recede in significance at private firms looks misguided.  Ladies and gentlemen, start your billing. (ph)

Defense Counsel, Investigations, Securities | Permalink

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