Global Investigations Review Honors Dechert’s White Collar Team for Airbus Investigation
Dechert LLP’s white collar practice has been honored by Global Investigations Review (GIR), which recognized European aerospace leader Airbus SE’s ground-breaking settlement of a global corruption investigation as the “Most Important Development of the Year” at the GIR Awards 2020.
Airbus responded to the unprecedented, multi-jurisdictional investigation by creating a Virtual Law Firm (VLF), consisting of white collar lawyers, export control practitioners, eDiscovery consultants, and forensic accountants.
Dechert played a leading role in advising Airbus on the investigation and global strategy throughout the four-year investigation, taking special responsibility for interactions and negotiations with the UK’s Serious Fraud Office. Alongside Airbus, the firm’s white collar team also developed and deployed the innovative global disclosure strategy that underpinned the company’s collaboration efforts with enforcement agencies.
Airbus reached a US$4 billion, same-day settlement in January 2020, believed to be the first settlement agreement with the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, France’s Parquet National Financier, and the U.S. Departments of Justice and State.
Dechert’s London-based white collar partner Caroline Black accepted the award on behalf of all the firms involved in the VLF at the GIR Awards ceremony, which was held online on October 22.
The Airbus investigation featured prominently in several other categories at the GIR Awards. Airbus group general counsel John Harrison was named “Outstanding In-House Counsel of the Year” for his role in guiding the company through the investigation. Forensic Risk Alliance, which provided forensic accounting services to Airbus, was named “Investigations Consultancy of the Year”. France’s Parquet National Financier, which took a lead role in the investigation, was named “Enforcement Agency or Prosecutor of the Year”.
GIR also selected Dechert’s white collar practice as a finalist for “Most Impressive Investigations Practice of the Year” and – for the fifth consecutive year – named Dechert to its “GIR 30” list of law firms able to carry out sophisticated cross-border government-led and internal investigations.
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