Elizabeth Prewitt was featured in a Q&A with Israeli newspaper Calcalist discussing the importance of corporate compliance.
The Aug. 21 article, "The Arm of the U.S. Laws is Long," noted that Prewitt, who worked for 16 years at the U.S. Department of Justice, is a "renowned expert in the field of antitrust law" who is now "on the other side of the barricade, as a partner in a top-tier New York law firm."
Prewitt told Catalist that doubling down on compliance with U.S. laws is crucial for companies of all sizes, as it is easier to misstep than one might think. "The arm of the U.S. laws is very long," she said. "People are sometimes surprised that the sending of an email to a U.S. recipient, in furtherance of achieving some goal that the U.S. thinks is an illegal goal, could be a basis for prosecution. Companies should be knowledgeable about how to communicate this message all the way down so it's really heard and understood."
Prewitt said it's a "big challenge" to bridge the knowledge gaps between the prosecutors and the people they investigate in the financial industry because a huge investment is required, both for the prosecution and the defense. "You have to learn about the industry, you have to learn about the products, and to understand the profit motivations of the individuals involved," she said. "In the U.S., it's very helpful to be in a position of dialogue with enforcers, where there's a certain level of trust where you can communicate with them, understanding how they perceive evidence and information, and maybe help explain to them why the conclusion they may be drawing is not the right one."
Prewitt said one of the biggest challenges top executives in companies of all sizes face is raising awareness of compliance all the way down through the ranks. "That's a huge challenge because it's not just about antitrust compliance," she said. "It's a wide range of potential violations that can occur from the actions of employees. And when you present to individuals the range of conduct they could be engaging in, and the penalties they potentially face, that's a massive deterrent."
Click the PDF Article to see the original article.