8 April 2015
Mayer Brown announced that Litigation & Dispute Resolution partners Lori E. Lightfoot (Chicago) and Audrey L. Harris (Washington DC) are featured in Global Investigations Review’s (GIR) special report, “Women in Investigations 2015.” The inaugural issue profiles 100 women who are “achieving great things” in internal and regulatory investigations—“a notoriously tough area of law”—and who can “serve as inspirations to current and future generations of investigations professionals.”
Lori E. Lightfoot: “I became an investigator because it suited my personality … I have a real passion for fact development,” Ms. Lightfoot told GIR. She said that the challenges of the investigator’s role “are going to be dictated by the circumstances of a particular matter.” With respect to serving as outside counsel on a government investigation, for example, she said, “Trying to convince the government [which likely already has a point of view] that the facts are more nuanced than they think or that they have the facts totally wrong is always a challenge, but is part of what makes this work so interesting.” Ms. Lightfoot would advise other women to “understand that unfortunately you will be evaluated by different standards, but always work hard, do your very best on every assignment and view other women as colleagues and not competitors.”
A trial attorney, investigator and risk manager, Ms. Lightfoot is a member of Mayer Brown’s White Collar Defense & Compliance practice and a co-leader of the firm’s Commercial Litigation group. She regularly advises clients on a range of complex criminal law issues stemming from federal, state or local grand jury investigations or investigations by federal, state or local inspectors general. These client engagements have included internal investigations, preparation of and defending witnesses in interviews with the investigative bodies, compliance with document subpoenas and litigation. She also has extensive experience in every facet of complex commercial litigation. Ms. Lightfoot also serves as co-leader of Mayer Brown’s Committee on Diversity & Inclusion.
Audrey L. Harris: Ms. Harris told GIR, “At its core, the [investigator’s] job is not only investigator and counsel, but also professional problem-solver.” Currently, she focuses her problem solving skills on Foreign Corruption Practices Act (FCPA) investigations, which she calls “the biggest talking point in my practice today” because that is “where the [US Department of Justice] and [Securities & Exchange Commission] are putting their enforcement resources.” Ms. Harris said she would advise young attorneys just starting out their careers in investigations to “become indispensible … learn all aspects of an investigation—from the logistics of document collection and e-discovery, to the legal arguments and strategy of presenting before enforcement authorities.”
Ms. Harris is a member of Mayer Brown's White Collar Defense & Compliance practice. She is a veteran FCPA lawyer with over a decade of experience running multi-year, multinational investigations, with a comprehensive investigations, counseling and defense capability. Ms. Harris regularly appears before enforcement authorities and has extensive experience in designing, executing and presenting internal investigations before multinational corporations and government agencies. Her experience runs the gamut of white collar representations including false claims act, healthcare fraud, management of earnings, money laundering defense and even anti-terrorism matters.
The women in “Women in Investigations 2015” were selected by GIR’s editorial team. GIR is a news service providing global coverage of government enforcement and regulation.