Debevoise Launches Business Integrity Group

14 September 2016

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP today announced the launch of the Business Integrity Group – a multidisciplinary practice to help clients manage the risks of 21st century business.

Michael W. Blair, Presiding Partner at Debevoise, comments: “For the modern global business, integrity turns on strategic management of human rights, corruption, disclosure, environmental and money-laundering risks. With the accelerating trend toward intricate and significant legal integrity risks, the time is right for a dedicated practice focused on sophisticated, commercially reasonable integrity advice.”

The Business Integrity Group combines Debevoise’s market-leading expertise in public international law, anti-corruption, corporate investigations, investment management, high-stakes transactions, international disputes, human rights and environmental law to develop integrated solutions to complex corporate responsibility challenges. These challenges are legal, financial and reputational. Managing the array of integrity risks efficiently depends on robust systems of calibrated policies, structured due diligence and targeted remediation.

David W. Rivkin, President of the International Bar Association and a leader of Debevoise’s Business Integrity Group, comments: “We have chosen the name of the group very deliberately. Integrity has a clear ethical content. But business integrity is also about resilience to unforeseen events. Our mission is to make integrity reasonable for our clients, with precise insight on international best practices and analysis that anticipates the shifting legal risk landscape.”

The Business Integrity Group provides structured, risk-sensitive guidance on leading integrity standards, including the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and UK Bribery Act, the UK Modern Slavery Act and federal human trafficking regulations. Each of these standards affects corporate governance systems, M&A due diligence, non-financial disclosure, compliance risk assessments, complex investigations and high-profile disputes.

Lord Goldsmith QC, former UK Attorney General and a leader of the Business Integrity Group, comments: “From the beginning, the Business Integrity Group has been conceived with clients first. We’ve built a collaborative, multidisciplinary team to strive for pragmatic solutions. And we work side by side with sustainability directors, compliance teams, and civil society organizations, so that we never lose sight of the non-legal integrity challenges our clients face.”

Debevoise already has an unparalleled depth and diversity of high-profile integrity experience. The firm has represented multinational businesses, international organizations and civil society organizations in prominent international human rights disputes; managed one of the most complex global corporate investigations in recent memory; developed and implemented global anti-corruption compliance systems for businesses across industries; and analyzed environmental risks in a range of high-stakes international transactions.

Donald Francis Donovan, a leader of the Business Integrity Group and a Board member of Human Rights First, comments: “It is an area we’ve been advising clients on for a long time. We’ve grown complementary practices which combine incredibly powerfully to guide our clients through the emerging world of business integrity obligations. We felt the time was ideal to assemble all of that experience in a single group. By harnessing the experience of a global team of leading lawyers across practices, we can offer clients the comfort of knowing that integrity will be woven into their global operations seamlessly and efficiently.”

Leaders of the Group include Catherine Amirfar, a partner in the International Dispute Resolution Group and until recently, the Counselor on International Law to the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State; Erica Berthou, leader of the firm’s Global Investment Management/Funds Group; Sarah A.W. Fitts, Co-Chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Group; Donald Francis Donovan, Co-Chair of the International Dispute Resolution Group and former President of the American Society of International Law; Lord Goldsmith QC, former UK Attorney General and Chair of European and Asian Litigation; David W. Rivkin, Co-Chair of the International Dispute Resolution Group and President of the International Bar Association; and Bruce Yannett, Deputy Presiding Partner of the firm and Chair of the White Collar & Regulatory Defense Practice Group.

For more details on Debevoise’s new Business Integrity Group, please visit www.debevoise.com/businessintegrity.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a premier law firm with market-leading practices, a global perspective and strong New York roots. We deliver effective solutions to our clients’ most important legal challenges, applying clear commercial judgment and a distinctively collaborative approach.