GIR 100 2022

Charles River Associates

Charles River Associates

Professional notice

CRA has a fast-growing investigations practice and is a go-to for many top US law firms as well as the country’s biggest companies.

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. The forensic team, led by Chicago-based Kristofer Swanson, has quickly become one of the busiest in the firm. In 2019, the firm further strengthened its financial crime offering by launching a complementary risk, investigations and analytics practice. The group is led by Robert Brunner in Los Angeles and Peter Nolan in New York, who are joined by vice president of the practice Neal Hochberg in the same city.

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 violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, the FCPA, US economic sanctions 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.

Chicago-based vice president Cuyler Robinson is listed in Who’s Who Legal: Investigations.He has taken the lead on cyber investigations into trade secret theft, security attacks and data breaches.

Others named in Who’s Who Legal include forensic accountants Paul Doxey in London 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

CRA was recently hired by a US law firm acting for an Asian jewellery client who accused its US business partners of misappropriating over $23 million from a joint venture. CRA conducted investigations into multiple individuals and entities based in countries including Singapore, Thailand, the UK and the US. The firm’s findings were used to help the FBI execute a search warrant on an individual related to the case.

The consultancy also handled an international investigation for a financial institution into the background and asset profile of a business owner operating in North and South America who defaulted on millions of dollars in debt repayments.

CRA worked for a large e-commerce company on a case that concerned multi-million-dollar transactions in Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine that potentially violated OFAC sanctions.

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 operates from 22 offices in 10 countries around the world. The firm’s investigations experts are located in Boston, Chicago, London, New York, São Paulo, Toronto and Washington, DC. 

Clients

The firm can claim several major law firms as clients including Shearman & Sterling, King & Spalding, Ropes & Gray, Latham & Watkins, WilmerHale, Cravath Swaine & Moore, Perkins Coie and Kirkland & Ellis.

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.

A multidisciplinary approach to complex investigations

Managing legal, reputational, and commercial risk

CRA supports your commitment to integrity by independently responding to allegations of fraud, waste, abuse, misconduct, and non-compliance.

We offer a multidisciplinary and thoughtful approach to investigations, providing law firms, financial institutions, government regulators, multinational corporations, and other organizations worldwide with actionable intelligence and expert advice.

Independent forensic, investigative and analytics professionals

Whether responding to whistleblower allegations or regulatory inquiries, our clients seek a mix of the right experience, technical capabilities, and geographic reach.

  • We deploy cross-trained teams to execute large-scale, complex investigations and monitorships requiring the right mix of data analytics, forensic accounting, investigative, cyber, e-discovery, and industry expertise.
  • Our consultants include former prosecutors and government agents, white-collar investigators, data analytics and cyber specialists, forensic accountants, damages experts, and risk management professionals.
  • CRA operates from 10 countries around the world, with affiliate relationships in many more. Our consultants and their teams have been recognized and honored by leading publications that cover our practice areas.
  • Clients and their counsel routinely call upon our experts to investigate a broad range of allegations, such as fraud and corruption, money laundering, thefts of trade secrets, accounting and financial reporting issues, cybercrime, data breaches, False Claims Act violations, and employee misconduct.
  • We have architected and built a state-of-the art digital forensics, eDiscovery and cyber incident response lab, 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 focus areas

In depth descriptions of our client work and expertise can be found here:
https://www.crai.com/services/forensic-accounting/
https://www.crai.com/services/analytics/disputes-investigations/
https://www.crai.com/services/investigations-and-compliance/

For more information about Charles River Associates, www.crai.com

Contacts

Robert Brunner
Vice President

Paul Doxey
Senior Consultant

Peter Nolan
Vice President

Kristofer Swanson
Vice President

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