With the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Protection Act, government oversight of public companies continues to increase; formal SEC investigations are up 160 percent since 2008. Privately held companies of all sizes also are under increased scrutiny by industry-specific regulators, as well as federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
With all of this increased oversight comes increased legal fees. Government investigations appear out of the blue and have a tendency to shoot holes through carefully calculated legal department budgets. Certain well-known examples of investigatory costs (such as Avon Products’ $240 million legal spend on its Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation and News Corp.’s payment of more than $100 million in legal fees on its internal investigation of telephone hacking) are eye-popping.
4. Utilize technology to drive efficiency
Consider using predictive coding technologies and other document review applications to cull down the universe of documents to be reviewed and to drive down costs. In addition, while video conference capabilities are not optimal for use in witness interviews, they can be extremely helpful in coordinating in-house representatives around the country or the globe to marshal resources quickly and efficiently.