Becoming aware of potential wrongdoing within your company, whether alleged by the government, a whistleblower, or a shareholder, can be the most stressful and sensitive event in the company’s life. Briol & Benson has experience in conducting efficient, effective, and confidential investigations. We can help you uncover the truth behind allegations of employee misconduct and white-collar crime and craft the most effective response – whether for management alone, or as a special litigation committee reporting to the board of directors.
In March 2009, a former partner at one of the largest law firms in Louisiana appeared in an orange jumpsuit and shackles before a federal judge in New Orleans and was sentenced to fifteen years and eight months in prison. He had been overbilling clients for over a decade. When the scheme was ultimately unraveled, the federal government recovered over $29 million from Swiss bank accounts containing the entire proceeds of his years of fraud.
For Briol, which served as lead trial counsel for a corporate client victimized by the scheme, the sentencing was the culmination of four tough years of work. Ultimately, Briol obtained an award and recovery of more than $6.5 million on its client’s claims for restitution against the defendant. The award was the entire amount Briol’s client sought, exclusive of interest. The case received prominent coverage in both the local and the national press.
Briol also served as lead trial counsel when this client sued the defendant and his law firm in state court in Louisiana for the monies wrongfully taken. This client also engaged Briol to assure the client was neither involved in nor contributorily negligent in the matter. Much to the client’s chagrin, when the client was first made aware of the wrongful conduct, Mr. Briol went in and seized all of the computers of all of the top management of the company and hired a forensic consultant to freeze their server and not allow any possible deletion of any emails or documents. The client was completely cleared of any involvement.
At the request of Dorsey & Whitney, Briol served as the sole member of a Special Litigation Committee for the board of directors of a Dorsey-represented corporation in a shareholder derivative lawsuit. The lawsuit was engineered by a stockholder who accumulated shares in order to gain control of the privately-owned company. Briol provided extensive legal analysis of derivative claims to Dorsey & Whitney and its client’s board of directors. The trial court accepted Briol’s Special Litigation Committee Report in its entirety and dismissed all of the derivative claims in the lawsuit.