GIR 100 2021

Charles River Associates

Charles River Associates

Professional notice

The firm has considerably expanded its forensic services practice in recent years and specialises in large-scale, complex investigations and monitorships requiring data analytics, forensic accounting and e-discovery.

The firm

Charles River Associates (CRA) was founded in 1965. Its forensic services practice is relatively new still, having been launched in late 2015 with a primary focus on forensic accounting, cybercrime and digital forensic investigations. Despite its recent launch, the firm says the forensic team is now its most-used and third-largest practice.

In 2019, the firm strengthened its offering by launching its risk, investigations and analytics practice. The group is led by Robert Brunner in Los Angeles and Peter Nolan in New York, who is joined by vice president of the practice Neal Hochberg, while Kristofer Swanson in Chicago, an anti-money laundering, fraud and financial forensics expert, leads the forensics services practice.

Brunner is a seasoned practitioner whose expertise lies in data collection and analysis in complex financial cases, whether government investigations or class action litigation.

Nolan is a Mandarin speaker who has worked on investigations ranging from Bank Secrecy Act, sanctions to FCPA violations and more, while Hochberg – a former monitor who oversaw an FCPA settlement between engineering company JGC Corporation and the Department of Justice – specialises in financial misreporting, fraud and corruption cases.

Also in Chicago is vice president Cuyler Robinson who is listed in Who’s Who Legal: Investigations as a digital forensics expert thought leader in 2020. Robinson has taken the lead on cyber investigations into trade secret theft, security attacks, white-collar crimes and data breaches.

Others named in Who’s Who Legal include forensic accountants Paul Doxey in London, who was praised by clients for his thoughtfulness and imagination, and Peter Resnick in Boston. Doxey has led large-scale investigations in Europe and Asia and spent two years seconded at the Bank of England’s investigations unit and at the FCA’s predecessor. Resnick handles significant fraud cases and has been a frequent expert witness in trials and in arbitration cases.

Other names to know at the firm include vice president Bill Hardin, who, together with vice president G Scott Solomon and Swanson was part of the team that joined CRA in 2015 to launch the forensic services practice. Hardin and Solomon are both based in Chicago and both deal with cyber incidents. Hardin focuses on cyber incident response and Solomon deals with cybercrime-related insurance claims.

CRA also houses former Manhattan federal prosecutor Elaine Wood, who advises on foreign bribery, anti-money laundering and sanctions matters, as well as related compliance, and Dan Castleman, who spent 30 years at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Recent events

The firm is currently acting for a large e-commerce company regarding multi-million-dollar transactions in Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine that allegedly violated OFAC sanctions, as well as representing a confidential client in a case linked to illicit benefits or bribery in the dealings of an oil and logistics government contractor.

In a case carried out entirely during the pandemic, the firm successfully represented a client in an internal investigation into a whistle-blower allegation, proving through its data analytics, forensic accounting transaction testing and investigative efforts that there was no evidence of fraud.

CRA was retained to conduct an internal investigation into a range of alleged misconduct by the former CEO of an asset management company. The firm directed forensic accountants to analyse the former chief’s management of company funds and assets, and had investigators conduct staff interviews related to #MeToo allegations.

Network

CRA has over 800 professionals located in nine countries around the world. Its forensic services practice has over 40 consultants in the US and Europe.

Clients

The firm can claim several major law firms as clients including Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Winston & Strawn, Kirkland & Ellis, Jones Day, Taylor Wessing, Mayer Brown, Mishcon de Reya, Vinson & Elkins, and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.

Track record

CRA helped an international medical device company identify the extent of improper payments made to government officials at a subsidiary that led to the company’s self-disclosure of potential FCPA violations to US authorities. The firm assisted in analysing the company’s accounting system as well as various payments made across India.

The firm was also retained by a multinational provider of offshore contract drilling services to help in-house counsel in an investigation over allegations of improper payments and kickbacks. The investigation found millions of dollars of improper payments, which led the company to fire one of its executives.

CRA has also helped companies investigate the theft of trade secrets – a current area of priority for US enforcement authorities. They were retained by an international pharmaceutical company to help investigate an employee who took lucrative research information to a competing start-up in China. The data was returned and the company received a settlement. CRA also worked for a global information services company to help it investigate whether former US and UK employees brought valuable trade secrets to a competing company they created. Ultimately, the data was returned and a settlement agreed.

Independent forensic, investigative, and analytics professionals

CRA deploys cross-trained teams to execute large-scale, complex investigations and monitorships requiring the combination of analytics, forensic accounting, investigative, digital forensics, cyber, eDiscovery, and subject-matter expertise. Our professionals include former prosecutors and government agents, private investigators, data analytics and cyber specialists, former Big Four auditors, former law enforcement officers, information security experts, and risk management professionals.

Our collaborative approach delivers deep and timely insights by deploying teams of experienced forensic, cyber-incident response, and risk professionals, who are skilled at presenting their findings to regulators, boards, courts, and arbitral panels, and who also have served frequently as independent monitors.

Our focus areas include fraud and corruption investigations; independent monitoring services; investigative due diligence; cyber and data incidence response; asset tracing; healthcare fraud and compliance; post-acquisition disputes; anti-money laundering investigations and compliance; and theft of trade secrets or intellectual property.

Our multidimensional and comprehensive approach to investigations provides law firms, financial institutions, government regulators, multinational corporations, and other organizations worldwide with actionable intelligence and expert advice. Our clients and work are global. Our consultants are officed across North America, South America, and Europe.

Since so many investigations end up in downstream litigation, our clients benefit from the fact that so many of our colleagues in adjacent practices are available to provide complementary economic analysis, and to testify on damages, class certification, valuation disputes, etc.

Our forensic accounting and cyber incident response team has built state-of-the art digital forensics, eDiscovery, and cyber incident response labs, capable of serving clients anywhere in the world. The team is also certified under International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 27001:2013 requirements as part of our industry-leading commitment to our clients and their information security.

Our ability to collect and analyze disparate and voluminous data sets from internal and external sources, including electronic communications and transactions, public records in multiple languages, social media, and human intelligence, allows us to identify and examine legal, reputational, and commercial risk on behalf of law firms, financial institutions, multinational corporations, regulatory authorities, NGOs, and other organizations worldwide.

For more information, visit:

Website: www.crai.com

https://www.crai.com/services/forensic-accounting/

https://www.crai.com/services/investigations-and-compliance/

Contacts

Rob Brunner

Vice President and Practice Leader

Risk, Investigations & Analytics

[email protected]

+1-213-330-4030

Peter Nolan

Vice President and Practice Leader

Risk, Investigations & Analytics

[email protected]

+1-212-520-7295

Kristofer Swanson, CPA/CFF, CAMS, CFE

Vice President and Practice Leader

Forensic Services

[email protected]

+1-312-619-3313

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