DOJ Officials Clarify Yates Memo


Recurring Theme:  Individual Accountability


Summary Analysis: 

Clutch Group is currently sponsoring and attending the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s (SIFMA) Compliance and Legal Society Annual Seminar in Orlando, Florida.  Today, at the conference, officials from the Department of Justice (DOJ) discussed the recent ‘Yates Memo’ and its implications for the financial services industry. Both Leslie Caldwell, Assistant Attorney General of the DOJ’s Criminal Division, and Sung-Hee Suh, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, weighed in on interpretations of the agency’s new policy.

Caldwell dispelled popular notions that the Yates memo requires the waiver of privilege and that all corporate prosecutions going forward will include individual prosecutions. Instead, she described the policy as means of codifying existing best practices to prosecute individuals when appropriate.  Suh added that the Yates Memo does not contain a formal written certification of compliance requirement. Both officials sought to clarify industry concern about how to appropriately respond to the DOJ’s intentional shift towards individual accountability in instances of wrongdoing.


SIFMA Compliance & Legal Annual Seminar Program: