King & Spalding has one of the Capital’s most active and respected congressional investigations practices. The oversight and investigative powers of Congress are formidable and differ greatly from the authorities of executive branch agencies. Our lawyers understand the congressional investigative process because they have been on both sides of the table: we have conducted high-profile congressional and government investigations and we have also provided effective representation to clients who are the targets of such investigations. For this reason, we are able to effectively assist our clients with congressional inquiries, based on our intimate knowledge of the distinctive character and rules of congressional investigative committees. Our firsthand experience sets King & Spalding apart from other firms and helps us obtain favorable results for our clients. Chambers USA 2010 has recognized our “impressive congressional investigations practice,” which is led by a team of lawyers with decades of experience:
- Ted Hester has successfully represented clients in high-profile congressional matters for over two decades. His extensive experience includes representing and counseling Fortune50 companies and not-for-profit entities with significant high-profile investigations and hearings before House and Senate Committees.
- Eleanor Hill has spent the majority of her career conducting congressional and government investigations, as Staff Director for the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, as liaison counsel for the Senate Iran-Contra investigation, as Inspector General of the Department of Defense, as a federal prosecutor, and, most recently, as Staff Director of the Joint Congressional Inquiry on the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
- Tom Spulak is an expert on the rules and procedures of congressional committees, having served as Democratic Staff Director and General Counsel of the House Committee on Rules, and as General Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives.
- Dan Donovan spent eight years of his career conducting and managing investigations in the U.S. Senate, most recently on Committee on Finance, where he led several nationally publicized investigations into the pharmaceutical, medical device, and healthcare industries.
Given the vast scope of federal legislative authority, any organization or individual may quickly and unexpectedly be confronted with the intense public scrutiny and potential legal pitfalls of a congressional investigation.
Typically, such scrutiny may include requests for information and documents, interviews with congressional investigators, or their agents at the Government Accountability Office, subpoenas for documents and deposition testimony, immunization and/or contempt orders and notices to appear for testimony at Committee hearings. Adding to these hurdles is the fact that congressional investigations and hearings are governed by rules and other considerations far different, and generally far less protective of a company’s or individual’s interest, than those that prevail in the courtroom. To minimize the challenging legal and public relations risks in this environment, a company or individual needs the advice and advocacy of lawyers whose experience includes a specific focus on congressional investigations as well as familiarity with the criminal and civil enforcement efforts that often parallel or follow those inquiries.
Mr. Hester, Ms. Hill, Mr. Spulak and Mr. Donovan are supported by lawyers from our Special Matters Team who are also recognized leaders within the fields of government enforcement and criminal and civil litigation. Chris Wray, former Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, leads our Special Matters Team. Together, our Government Advocacy & Public Policy and Special Matters Teams have represented clients successfully in numerous complex and highly visible congressional investigations. King & Spalding’s Congressional Investigations Practice provides our clients with the unparalleled capability to effectively manage congressional investigations and minimize the legal and public relations risks they pose to companies and individuals.