The Yates Memo: What you need to know
01 June 2016
In September 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice released its policy on Individual Accountability for Corporate Wrongdoing—better known as the “Yates Memorandum”—which is “designed to ensure that individual accountability is at the heart of [DOJ’s] corporate enforcement strategy.” To that end, the Yates Memorandum outlines DOJ’s six-step plan for increasing the number of cases it brings against individuals who may be accountable for corporate wrongdoing.
The possible consequences of the Yates Memorandum have been subjects of intense debate, in part, because the policy instructs that “in order for a company to receive any consideration for cooperation [credit]…the company must completely disclose to the [DOJ] all relevant facts about individual misconduct.” This “all or nothing” approach to cooperation credit marks a policy shift that has garnered considerable attention from practitioners and clients alike.
London associate Brandon O’Neil offers A&O’s first take on the Yates Memorandum, including an overview of DOJ’s six-step plan.
Washington, D.C., associate Kurt Wolfe weighs up potential consequences of the Yates Memorandum, including possible impacts to investigation costs, strategic decision-making, and employee relations.
Washington, D.C., associate Claire Rajan examines DOJ’s new pilot program to encourage self-disclosure in FCPA cases, a measure intended to supplement the Yates Memo.
In light of recent remarks by Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, Kurt Wolfe considers strategies for conducting internal investigations and communicating with prosecutors.