Mayer Brown regularly represents clients in high-profile congressional investigations. These investigations can present significant reputational risks to companies and individuals, produce documents and witness statements that can be used to further civil litigation and even criminal prosecutions, and lead to adverse legislative and regulatory outcomes. Recognizing the unique nature of congressional investigations, our practice is composed of experienced lawyers and other professionals who know how to manage the political, regulatory, and media aspects of a congressional investigation, which can differ substantially from other types of litigation and investigations.
We recognize that successful responses to congressional investigations require advisers who can handle both the “congressional” and the “investigations” aspects. The members of Mayer Brown’s cross-practice and bipartisan Congressional Investigations team are experienced former congressional and administration officials and former prosecutors who have been key players in dozens of investigations and hearings while in government as well as in private practice. We are strategic thinkers who can anticipate how congressional committees will conduct investigations and hearings and help clients manage, and possibly avoid, the risks presented by an investigation. We have deep experience in helping clients navigate the publicity generated by congressional investigations and hearings, recognizing that negative publicity can tarnish a company’s reputation as badly as – or even worse than – an adverse judgment in court.
Our team includes:
- A former chief counsel and deputy staff director for the US Senate Banking Committee who also served as a US National Economic Council (NEC) deputy director
- A former deputy enforcement director at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
- Several former senior counsels on key congressional committees, including the Senate Judiciary and Homeland Security Committees and the House Ways & Means and Energy & Commerce Committees
- A former US Trade Representative and US Secretary of Commerce
- A former chief of the Watergate Special Prosecutor’s Task Force and member of the 9/11 Commission
- Former General Counsel of the US Department of Commerce
- Former Chief Counsels for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- A former manager for the Office of Legislative Affairs at the US Department of the Treasury
- Former federal prosecutors
We have significant experience preparing witnesses for congressional hearings, responding to congressional subpoenas and document requests, and navigating the political and legal complexities arising from any parallel litigation or criminal and regulatory investigations. Our deep experience is why, time and again, clients that are the subjects of these investigations have chosen Mayer Brown to guide them and protect their interests. Indeed, we have acted on some of the highest-profile congressional investigations of their day.
Simply put, Mayer Brown has the experience to help clients when congressional investigators start asking questions.
- Healthcare.gov - Mayer Brown lawyers represented one of the government contractors responsible for the design and creation of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) web site in connection with Congress’s investigation into the web site’s stalled launch. Specifically, Mayer Brown helped craft responses to congressional subpoena and document requests from the House Government Oversight Committee, helping the client plot a course through this politically fraught issue.
- The Washington Navy Yard Shooting - Mayer Brown lawyers represented a security contractor in connection with the federal inquiry into the September 2013 fatal shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington DC. Mayer Brown helped the contractor respond to document requests and parallel investigations by the FBI, the Secretary of the Navy and Congress.
- Major League Baseball Steroids Investigation - Mayer Brown lawyers represented several All-Star baseball players in connection with Congress’s investigation into the use of performance enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball. Among other things, Mayer Brown prepared and represented several players in connection with their hearing testimony before the House Government Reform Committee and successfully persuaded the Committee not to pursue perjury charges related to certain players’ testimony.
- Blackwater – Mayer Brown lawyers represented Blackwater in a series of matters arising from the firefight that arose in Nisur Square in Baghdad in 2007.
- Recalls and Product Safety - Mayer Brown has represented some of the world’s largest manufacturers in their most critical moments, such as when their products are alleged to be defective or unsafe. In this role, Mayer Brown has regularly engaged with a variety of regulatory bodies including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Consumer Product Safety Commission. Understanding that consumer safety issues can spill over into congressional investigations, we have built our team to handle parallel investigations by regulatory agencies and Congress. Over the past decade, our firm has handled some of the most significant consumer safety issues in the automotive, chemical and medical device industries.
- Nuclear Energy Regulation - Mayer Brown represented a large industrial manufacturer of nuclear power facilities in connection with regulatory and congressional inquiries in the wake of issues at the plant in Fukushima, Japan, and the closing of the Vermont Yankee plant in Vernon, Vermont.
- Financial Services Regulation - Mayer Brown has been helping its financial services clients track and comply with the new laws and regulations that have arisen since the onset of the 2008 financial crisis. Our firm has represented several banking clients before congressional committees and subcommittees as well as before Treasury, the FDIC, and the SEC. In conjunction with the firm’s Financial Service Regulatory & Enforcement practice, we advise clients on emerging legal trends, regulatory compliance, potential enforcement proceedings, legislative initiatives and other areas of strategic risk. Our firm has even helped to shape the changing legislative landscape. We were integrally involved in the development and implementation of the Basel Committee capital standards, the USA PATRIOT Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act and sanctions/embargo legislation. More recently, we have also helped shape initiatives targeted to the regulation of private equity and hedge funds, sub-prime mortgage lenders and international transactions such as “cover” payments.
- Food and Beverage Regulation - Mayer Brown has represented several prominent food companies whose products were alleged to have caused food-borne illnesses. We developed a successful litigation strategy, engaged with federal regulators and provided advice on the companies’ public relations strategies. We also identified, and coordinated with, relevant experts to counter and dispute the inaccurate allegations, demonstrating the flawed scientific assumptions underlying the allegations and heading off an industry-wide crisis.