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Critical Risks Facing Technology Companies in 2013: Thoughts from Corporate Counsel & the SEC


February 20, 2013 5:30pm - 7:00pm

Room 290

Recent press coverage has highlighted a number of corporate risks and the corresponding significant, adverse financial implications for companies and their shareholders.     These include billions in financial charges caused by:

  • Global acquisitions gone bad, including those with allegations of fraud,

  • Alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,

  • Other government & corporate internal investigations,

  • Data breaches of corporate networks and theft of intellectual property,

  • Struggles to obtain judicial approval of corporate/SEC settlements.

This interactive panel, comprised of in-house counsel from top technology companies, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and outside counsel, will share their insight regarding compliance programs, investigative procedures, and other best practices to mitigate these traps and stay out of the headlines as well as tips on how to effectively handle these problems if they do arise.

The panel will include

Sam Pailca (Assistant General Counsel of Microsoft)

Sam Pailca, assistant general counsel, Microsoft Corporation, serves as Director of Investigations, Office of Legal Compliance, Office of the General Counsel. Her team is responsible for managing business conduct compliance investigations across the globe, and reporting on investigation issues and trends to the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors.  Prior to joining Microsoft in 2007, Ms. Pailca served two terms as the Director of the Office of Professional Accountability for the City of Seattle, overseeing the internal investigation program of the Seattle Police Department.

Tracy Davis (Assistant Regional Director, SEC Enforcement)

Tracy L. Davis, Assistant Regional Director, SEC Enforcement: Ms. Davis joined the SEC’s San Francisco Regional Office as a staff attorney in the Division of Enforcement in 2002 and currently serves as an Assistant Director in the SEC’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Unit. Ms. Davis supervised the investigations that led to the SEC’s enforcement actions against GE Invision, Schnitzer Steel and UTStarcom for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Andrew Price (Lead Investigations Counsel for Google's global Ethics and Compliance)

Ethics and Compliance team.  The team’s core mission is to lead the Company’s efforts to identify and mitigate compliance risk and to nurture and expand upon the Company’s core value of “Don’t be evil.”  In his role as lead investigations counsel, Andrew is primarily responsible for conducting and managing investigations into alleged Code of Conduct violations by Company employees.  Prior to joining Google, Andrew was an associate at Arnold & Porter LLP, where his practice focused on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations, ethics and compliance investigations, securities class action litigation, and matters involving the False Claims Act.  He also counseled clients in congressional investigations and criminal investigations conducted by the United States Department of Justice.  Before entering private practice, Andrew served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia for several years.  Andrew is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Sharon Bunzel (Partner at O'Melveny & Myers)

Sharon Bunzel is a partner in O’Melveny’s San Francisco Office and a member of the White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations Group. She was named one of the Daily Journal's top women lawyers in California in 2012. Ms. Bunzel served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of California from 1999 to 2005. Ms. Bunzel worked closely with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, and served a detail as Special Counsel to the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Ed Westerman (Senior Managing Director, FTI Consulting)

Edward Westerman is a senior managing director in the San Francisco office of FTI Consulting’s Forensic and Litigation Consulting business segment.  He has more than 20 years of experience providing consulting services regarding forensic accounting, auditing, internal controls & compliance, and financial damages. Mr. Westerman is regularly engaged by counsel representing companies and board of director committees to conduct internal investigations in connection with subpoenas, government inquiries, and whistleblower allegations concerning accounting and financial reporting fraud and misappropriation of assets. In addition, Mr. Westerman is regularly retained in various securities litigation and white collar defense matters regarding accounting issues and alleged fraud. 

Prior to joining FTI Consulting, Mr. Westerman was a managing director, leader of the forensic accounting practice, and executive director of the Litigation, Forensics & Finance business segment of LECG.  He was also a partner in the forensic accounting practice of Deloitte & Touche.

Mr. Westerman is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Fraud Examiner.  He is a member of the American Institute of CPAs, California Society of CPAs, and Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.  During his career, he has participated in numerous speaking panels and other presentations regarding forensic accounting topics including presentations sponsored by the American Bar Association and Practising Law Institute.