Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations

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Monday, 10 June 2019

Huawei demands removal of redactions in scrap over Sidley Austin lawyer

Chinese telecoms company Huawei says it cannot adequately contest the US Justice Department’s attempts to bar Sidley Austin lawyer James Cole from representing the company in a sanctions and money laundering case because of redactions to documents.

In a 7 June filing, Huawei said the DOJ is “seeking to preclude Huawei from contesting the motion by redacting every part of the proposed factual basis for that motion (without prior permission of the court)”.

The Justice Department filed a motion on 10 May, claiming that Cole, a former US deputy attorney general, cannot act in the matter because of an unidentified conflict of interest.  

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn charged Huawei on 29 January over an alleged scheme to violate US sanctions on Iran. The company denies wrongdoing.  

KPMG reported to FRC over bullying allegations

A former KPMG employee has reported the firm to the UK Financial Reporting Council (FRC) following the resignations of two senior female partners over how KPMG handled bullying allegations, the Financial Times reports.

The firm decided not to discipline former partner Sanjay Thakkar for alleged bullying in December. Current and former KPMG employees have reportedly told the Financial Times that top executives repeatedly ignored complaints about Thakkar’s behaviour from as far back as 2017.

The firm has reportedly declined to comment.

KPMG is already facing heavy scrutiny from the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) after it admitted in September to failing to adequately consider whether records of custody relationships maintained by the Bank of New York Mellon were compliant with FCA rules.

Kraft Heinz finds no evidence of misconduct by senior execs in accounting probe

US food company Kraft Heinz said on 7 June in a market filing that it has completed an internal investigation into procurement practices following a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that was made public in a 21 February market announcement.

The company said that its internal investigation did not identify any misconduct by any member of the senior management team, and that it has corrected prior identified misstatements.

The filing also states that the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois is reviewing the matter in cooperation with the SEC.

The company previously said the investigation found that multiple employees in the procurement area had engaged in misconduct. The company is cooperating with the SEC.

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