Shark-Infested Waters: The New (And Much More Aggressive) Role of Regulatory Oversight and What You Can Do to Keep Your Company Clean

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Shark-Infested Waters: The New (And Much More Aggressive) Role of Regulatory Oversight and What You Can Do to Keep Your Company Clean

James René, Deputy General Counsel, Alcatel-Lucent, USA

Whether you work in a small legal department with a handful of lawyers or a large department spanning multiple continents, the importance of managing the behavior of your business clients in this increasingly regulated environment is paramount. The aggressiveness of civil and criminal law enforcers has never been higher. Recent cases involving financial statement fraud, bribery, misleading disclosure, and improper marketing practices (to name a few) have resulted in multi-billion dollar fines, jail sentences, job losses, debarment from government contracts, huge legal bills and other penalties which are unprecedented in modern times. Corporate legal departments should be dedicating significant time to counseling, training and, perhaps most importantly, maintaining a high degree of visibility in their clients’ activities to ensure their companies do not appear on the radar screens of the regulators and suffer years-long investigations with uncertain and potentially catastrophic outcomes. This paper examines the most common pitfalls companies experience and suggests some simple, easy steps lawyers and compliance staff can take to avoid this fate.

James M. René serves as Deputy General Counsel for Alcatel-Lucent. In this capacity, Mr. Rene oversees the business and compliance activities of the Enterprise and Verticals, and Solutions and Marketing business groups of Alcatel-Lucent. Prior to joining Alcatel-Lucent, Mr. René was a partner with Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton in Los Angeles, California, where he specialized in corporate and securities law matters. Mr. René earned his law degree from Cornell Law School in 1987, and also received an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, in 1984. Following his graduation from Occidental College in 1980, Mr. René attended The University of the Saarland in Germany as a Fulbright Scholar.

Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) is the trusted partner of service providers, enterprises and governments worldwide, providing solutions that deliver voice, data and video communication services to end-users. A leader in fixed, mobile and converged broadband networking, IP technologies, applications and services, Alcatel-Lucent leverages the unrivaled technical and scientific expertise of Bell Labs, one of the largest innovation powerhouses in the communications industry. With operations in more than 130 countries and the most experienced global services organization in the industry, Alcatel-Lucent is a local partner with a global reach. Alcatel-Lucent achieved revenues of Euro 16.98 billion in 2008 and is incorporated in France, with executive offices located in Paris. For more information, visit Alcatel-Lucent on the Internet:

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