News & Insights


January 24, 2024

General Counsel’s Decision Tree for Internal Investigations for the Energy Industry

Energy companies regularly encounter situations for which an internal investigation may be required to determine how the organization should respond. These range from industry-specific concerns, such as those related to potential noncompliance with regulatory requirements, to more general concerns applicable to corporations and partnerships generally, including Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) compliance, data breaches, whistleblower complaints, risks introduced by the use of third parties and human resources issues. While having a robust compliance program can help avoid many issues, not all issues can be foreseen or avoided. This internal investigations playbook has been designed to facilitate the identification and remediation of issues effectively and consistently and is an important complement to a well-designed and functioning compliance program. It also will facilitate the in-house team’s communications with outside counsel, who help them spot and defuse these precarious situations. In addition, adherence to a well-crafted playbook helps companies meet the expectations of enforcement authorities, such as the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and state attorneys general (as well as others), which can materially mitigate potential enforcement efforts and sanctions.