Latin American Investigations
- Holland & Knight's Latin American Investigations Team conducts sensitive internal investigations for multinational companies across the region, including those triggered by outside inquiries and those generated as a result of internal discoveries of potential wrongdoing.
- Our team is made up of experienced former U.S. federal prosecutors and white collar attorneys who can conduct every aspect of an internal investigation in Spanish.
- When your business is faced with a large investigation, working with Holland & Knight means having access to the sophisticated, broad-based legal resources required to manage such cases effectively and efficiently.
Holland & Knight, which has offices in Bogotá, Colombia, and in Mexico City, has a wide-ranging legal practice throughout Latin America that includes handling internal investigations for multinational companies. Our Latin American Investigations Team focuses on:
- investigations triggered when a company has received a grand jury subpoena, Civil Investigative Demand (CID) or search warrant from the U.S. Department of Justice
- investigations triggered when a company has itself uncovered potential compliance, auditing or accounting wrongdoing by employees or management
These investigations often involve three U.S. anti-fraud statutes — the False Claims Act (FCA), the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the Travel Act — as well as the U.K. Bribery Act.
Experienced Spanish-Speaking Investigators
Our Latin American Investigations Team is comprised of highly experienced former U.S. federal prosecutors and white collar attorneys who are frequently called on to provide the incisive counsel imperative to the conduct of thorough, effective internal investigations. Because our team is fluent in Spanish, we communicate as easily with leaders of your Latin American offices as we do with your U.S.-based executives. Being able to conduct witness interviews and document reviews in Spanish also spares your business from having to rely on costly third-party translators and interpreters who often lack the cultural nuances required to uncover improper activities.
Having the Resources of a Global Law Firm on Your Side
In Latin American investigations, Holland & Knight has the deep bench that only a global law firm can provide. We are able to scale up quickly for large cases involving hundreds of thousands of documents and several dozen witnesses. We have trained Spanish-speaking litigation partners and associates across our firm — including in our Miami office — who can be called on to assist in a large investigation. In addition, we have strong relationships with Spanish-speaking contract attorneys who can supplement our team by quickly and economically conducting large-scale document reviews.
Preventing Problems Before They Occur
In addition to helping you assess whether wrongdoing has occurred or respond to a governmental inquiry, we are well positioned to help your company create and implement compliance programs, risk assessments and audits that can help avoid problems before they occur. We draw on Holland & Knight's substantial international experience advising businesses on corporate and white collar compliance issues, tailoring that counsel specifically for the Latin American context and explaining the changing enforcement landscape.
The following are select investigations and related matters handled by our team:
- represented a U.S. company in a U.S. Department of Justice False Claims Act investigation involving the company's business operations in Peru, a case that involved Spanish-language employee interviews, document production and coordination with Peruvian criminal counsel
- represented the principals of a South American company that contracts extensively with the U.S. military, to secure immunity agreements from the U.S. Department of Justice before the individuals testified in a grand jury proceeding involving allegations of public corruption
- conducted Foreign Corrupt Practices Act training in Spanish for the employees of a U.S. multinational company based in the company's offices in Latin America and in Spain
- represented an affiliate of a major South American bank in an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for criminal violations of the Bank Secrecy Act; the matter, which involved the failure to have an adequate anti-money laundering compliance program in place and required Spanish-language interviews and document reviews, resulted in one of the lowest fines imposed for this type of violation
- represented corporations and individuals under investigation for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, including an individual alleged to have bribed government officials to help his company obtain public works projects in Latin America
- served as trial counsel in an estate dispute involving half-siblings from Argentina and the application of Argentine law; deposition of an expert witness required an understanding of the Argentine Codigo Civil as well as Argentine case law
- conducted a post-acquisition internal investigation for a U.S. company that acquired a Latin American subsidiary in the telecommunications industry; we uncovered bribes paid to foreign government officials in exchange for lucrative phone contracts