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Bloomberg Law
July 18, 2019

Wachtell to Clients: Compliance Still Matters Under Trump
By Meghan Tribe

Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz issued a memo late Wednesday to clients warning they should continue to strive for effective white-collar compliance despite a slowdown in white-collar enforcement under President Donald Trump. Clients might expect that a decrease in white-collar prosecutions and in the size of corporate fines and penalties over the past two years would lessen the urgency around effective compliance programs, but the prestigious New York firm said otherwise. “Now is arguably the best time for corporations to continue investing in their compliance programs to ensure they have in place an effective and comprehensive set of compliance policies, procedures and internal controls,” the memo stated. The memo was penned by Wachtell litigation partners John Savarese, Ralph Levene, and David Anders, as well as Marshall Miller, who is of counsel at the firm. The number of federal white-collar matters prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice has hit a 20-year low under Trump, according to government data collected by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. In May 2019 the Justice Department reported 443 new white-collar criminal prosecutions, a 10 percent decline from the month prior and a nearly 35 percent decline from five years ago, according to the TRAC report.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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