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The Yates Memo: What you need to know

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Claire Rajan


Washington, D.C.

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Brandon O'Neil



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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.

For more detailed insights into the Yates Memorandum, please click through to the following articles on Allen & Overy’s Investigations Insight blog:

US Department of Justice to pursue more prosecutions of individuals in corporate cases

London associate Brandon O’Neil offers A&O’s first take on the Yates Memorandum, including an overview of DOJ’s six-step plan.

Our View: (Unintended) Consequences of the Yates Memorandum

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.

Self-reporting FCPA misconduct: A one-year pilot from the DOJ

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.

Yates Memo update: Tailoring investigations for maximum co-operation credit

In light of recent remarks by Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, Kurt Wolfe considers strategies for conducting internal investigations and communicating with prosecutors.

Yates’s take on the impact of the so-called ‘Yates Memo’

Claire Rajan examines Deputy AG Yates’s recent remarks regarding the impact the Yates Memorandum has already had on corporate and prosecutorial behavior.