Business Integrity

Experience

  • Governance System Design

    • The OECD in developing practical guidance for member states and multinational enterprises regarding human rights policies and procedures aligned with the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises.
    • A leading oil and gas company in overseeing a privileged assessment of corporate compliance with the Guiding Principles covering four projects across the globe.
    • Training lawyers from several leading oil and gas companies on structuring human rights due diligence to mitigate emerging legal risks under national and international law.
    • A leading oil and gas company on structuring human rights due diligence to ensure legal privilege.
    • A leading oil and gas company on negotiating corporate responsibility clauses in concession agreements for practical enforceability.
    • A US-based insurance company with respect to the design and implementation of a worldwide FCPA compliance program.
    • Ongoing work assessing corruption risks, enhancing compliance programs and providing training for a global asset management firm and the private equity arm of one of the world’s largest financial institutions.
    • Assessment of corruption risks and development of enhanced compliance programs for a premier global energy-focused investment firm and a global private equity investment firm focused on media, communications, education and information investments.
    • Independent counsel to the board of directors of a Europe-based contractor related to transactions in Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.
    • Reviewing and devising compliance manuals, programs and policies to comply with the requirements of the UK Bribery Act for numerous clients, including global asset managers, private equity concerns, energy companies and a leading online retailer.
    • A leading industrial manufacturer in developing human rights training materials for its compliance board and employees.
    • An oil and gas pipeline company with respect to developing environmental and social risk management systems integrating the Guiding Principles and the IFC Performance Standards.
    • The UN Global Compact related to practical identification and prioritization of supply chain human rights risks for multinational companies across sectors.
  • Due Diligence and Investigations

    • Rolls-Royce in an internal investigation and coordinated resolutions with UK, U.S. and Brazil investigating authorities relating to bribery and corruption involving intermediaries in a number of overseas markets.
    • A leading financial institution in investigating issues related to land rights in a Latin American country.
    • Siemens’s Audit Committee in a worldwide investigation into possible corrupt payments to government officials leading to an early settlement with the U.S. and German authorities.
    • A Fortune 100 consumer-products company on integrating human rights into pre-acquisition due diligence.
    • The Supply Chain and Human Rights advisory groups of UN Global Compact on practical prioritization of human rights risks for multinationals with vast global supply chains in line with the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
    • Ongoing advice to a number of the largest private equity firms on issues arising during due diligence for proposed M&A and other transactions, including where Debevoise is not deal counsel.
    • Pre-acquisition compliance due diligence relating to investments in Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkey for a leading international private equity firm specializing in emerging markets.
    • A Fortune 50 oil and gas company in addressing potential anti-corruption compliance issues, including, in 2011, conducting investigations in Vietnam and Nigeria of potential issues in those countries.
    • A leading global energy company in compliance due diligence for a multi-billion dollar acquisition, including on-the-ground diligence interviews and forensic testing in the Americas, Europe and Asia.
    • Multiple responsible investment firms on assessing human rights systems of target companies.
    • A leading global paper manufacturer on due diligence related to indigenous rights as part of a certification challenge under the Forest Stewardship Council procedures.
    • An internal investigation of potential FCPA issues for the private equity arm of one of the world’s largest financial institutions.
    • A member of our team, while serving as a US diplomat, led the drafting of the Russia section of the US Government’s Trafficking in Persons annual report from 2010 to 2013. For this and other trafficking experience, including promoting the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, he received the Franklin Award, “For outstanding performance in advancing US Government anti-trafficking goals and supporting the work of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.”
    • One of the world's largest financial services institutions in pre-acquisition diligence for acquisitions with a total purchase price of approximately $5.0 billion.
    • A leading natural resources group in its criminal investigation by the SFO into allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption relating to the activities of the company or its subsidiaries in Kazakhstan and Africa.
    • Bain Capital, The Carlyle Group and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in their $8.5 billion acquisition of HD Supply from The Home Depot, which Private Equity Analyst named "LBO Deal of the Year."
    • International Paper in its $6 billion acquisition of Weyerhaeuser's packaging business.
    • Ongoing FCPA due diligence for a Fortune 10 company and a Fortune 100 company on transactions where Debevoise is not the deal counsel.
    • A Global Fortune 100 manufacturing company in its acquisition of a global turbine/generation business.
    • Pre-acquisition compliance due diligence for a leading UK-based private equity firm that acquired a Russia-based financial institution.
  • Human Rights Disputes

    • Royal Dutch Shell Plc and The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd in claims brought in London’s Technology and Construction Court concerning alleged oil spills in Ogoniland, an area of Nigeria affected by widespread sabotage to oil pipelines, illegal theft of oil and illegal refining.
    • Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain, 542 U.S. 692 (2004). The European Commission as amicus curiae urging the U.S. Supreme Court to take a rigorous international law approach to the ATS, including considering the jurisdictional basis of the statute under international law. The brief was cited in the opinions of both the Court and Justice Breyer.
    • The Coca-Cola Company in defense of a lawsuit alleging human rights violations against workers at a Turkish bottling plant.
    • Nemariam v. Ethiopia, 315 F.3d 390 (D.C. Cir. 2003). A class of individuals of Eritrean origin, nationality, or descent who were expelled from Ethiopia during the 1998 border war in a case brought under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act against Ethiopia and its state-owned bank seeking recovery for property taken in violation of international law. First obtained reversal of forum non conveniens dismissal, establishing plaintiffs' right to go forward on international law claims in U.S. court; Court of Appeals later affirmed dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction for failure to meet specific FSIA requirement.
    • Mushikiwabo v. Barayagwiza, 1996 WL 164496 (S.D.N.Y. 1996). Obtained a judgment for some U.S. $105 million on behalf of plaintiffs on claims under the Alien Torts Statute and Torture Victim Protection Act for violations of international human rights standards arising from the atrocities in Rwanda.
    • Social and Economic Rights Action Center v. Nigeria, Afr. Comm. H.P.R. Commc’n No. 370/09. Assisting SERAC in its application before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights seeking redress from the Nigerian government for the forcible eviction of 300,000 inhabitants from their homes in 1990. In September 2013, the ACHPR issued a decision declaring the case admissible and Debevoise is now assisting with the substantive Communication to the African Commission on Human People’s Rights.
    • Human Dignity Trust in a joint intervention on behalf of the Human Dignity Trust, International Committee of Jurists and Commonwealth Lawyers Association, which saw a law in Belize that disproportionately affects gay men ruled unconstitutional. London co-managing partner Lord Goldsmith QC also acted as lead advocate before the Supreme Court of Belize in the course of the proceedings.
    • Gary Lim and Kenneth Chee, alongside Singaporean counsel, in their appeal to the final appellate court in Singapore to overturn Section 377A of the Singapore Penal Code, which criminalizes sex between two men.
    • Vo v. France, ECHR Case No. 53924/00 (2004). Amicus curiae Center for Reproductive Rights in a case before the European Court of Human Rights, which cited the amicus brief extensively in its judgment in favor of our client’s position in the case, the first in which the ECHR was asked to grant an unborn foetus the status of a “person” under the European Convention.
    • Herrera Ulloa v. Costa Rica (La Nación Newspaper Case), Inter-Am. Ct. H.R. (ser. C) No. 107 (Jul. 2, 2004). The Committee to Protect Journalists and a coalition of international media companies as amici curiae before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in support of a reporter convicted of criminal defamation in Costa Rica. In accord with amici ’s position, the Court held that the reporter’s conviction violated the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights, and, in a concurring opinion, the President questioned whether international principles of free expression would ever allow such a prosecution.
    • Guy Malary v. Haiti, Case 11.335, Report No. Nº 78/02 (27 December, 2002). The Lawyers Committee for Human Rights in its successful action before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights holding Haiti responsible for failing to investigate or prosecute the assassins of former Haitian Justice Minister and human rights advocate Guy Malary.
    • Fontevecchia & D’Amico v. Argentina, Inter-Am. Ct. H.R. (ser. C) No. 238 (Nov. 29, 2011). Amicus curiae The Committee to Protect Journalists in a landmark case before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the first in which the Court considered whether press reports on matters of public concern can violate the privacy of a public official. In accord with amicus’ position, the Court held that the journalists’ conviction violated the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights, by imposing civil liability for reporting on issues of public interest concerning highest elected official, then-President Carlos Menem.
    • Karadžic v. Kadic, 74 F.3d 377 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 116 S. Ct. 2525 (1996). At the request of Yale Law School Professor (now Dean) Harold Hongju Koh, counsel to plaintiffs, a group of international and constitutional law professors as amici curiae urging the United States Supreme Court to deny a petition for writ of certiorari and thereby allow claims arising from the atrocities in the former Yugoslavia to go forward. The brief was published at 30 Hastings Int’l & Comp. L. Rev. 683 (1997).
  • Grievance Mechanisms

    • An international organization on the design of an alternative dispute resolution process for the assessment and settlement of mass claims.
  • Climate Change

    • A leading natural resources company in an ongoing investigation related to climate change due diligence and effects.
    • International Bar Association, Task Force on Climate Change Justice and Human Rights, providing substantial research, drafting and advisory services leading to the publication of its ‘flagship’ publication Achieving Justice and Human Rights in an Era of Climate Disruption in October 2014.