Celesq® Attorneys Ed Center

Internal Investigations – Top Tips, Strategies and Considerations

Program Number: 3167

Program Date: 03/23/2021


As we enter a new presidential administration where the expectation is that law enforcement and regulatory scrutiny will increase, American businesses need to be prepared. Internal investigations are key parts of corporate life today. But if not conducted the right way following processes that are sound, tested and beyond reproach, an internal investigation might never get off the ground and might result in greater problems for the company. Whether triggered by a grand jury subpoena, a whistleblower or an enforcement action, internal investigations must be taken very seriously and should be run by personnel who are free from conflicts with every step and strategy mapped out clearly and in advance. And in the time of COVID-19, we will address new options to consider if travel is unsafe. Our presentation will highlight best practices – and pitfalls to avoid – when conducting an internal investigation.

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Available in states

California, Colorado Eligible, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey Eligible, New York, Texas Self Study

Credit Information

50 minute credit hour - 1.00 General CLE credit
60 minute credit hour - 1.00 General CLE credit

State Program Numbers


Wifredo A. 'Willy' Ferrer, Esq.

Holland & Knight

Wifredo A. "Willy" Ferrer, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, is the chair of Holland & Knight's Global Compliance and Investigations Team and the executive partner of the firm's Miami office. Mr. Ferrer focuses his practice primarily on internal corporate investigations, corporate compliance and training, and white collar criminal defense.

Mr. Ferrer counsels and defends corporations and individuals in a wide range of criminal and regulatory matters, including allegations involving bribery and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), complex fraud, financial improprieties, securities law violations, healthcare fraud, false claims, cybercrime and government contract fraud.

Mr. Ferrer also regularly counsels corporations and individuals in compliance and due diligence matters. He conducts anti-corruption and FCPA training for companies, develops anti-corruption and FCPA policies and compliance programs, and develops corporate due diligence protocols.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Mr. Ferrer served for nearly seven years as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. He was nominated by President Barack Obama and received unanimous U.S. Senate confirmation in April 2010.

As U.S. Attorney, Mr. Ferrer supervised some of the most complex and noteworthy prosecutions handled by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Under his leadership, the U.S. Attorney's Office brought more than 11,000 cases and charged more than 18,000 defendants for their alleged roles in criminal schemes. His office prosecuted a wide range of financial fraud, including investment fraud, securities fraud, fraud against the U.S. government and Medicare fraud. He also supervised cases involving international and domestic terrorism, narcotics trafficking, money laundering, public corruption, violent crime, identity theft, tax fraud and human trafficking.

To proactively fight crime, Mr. Ferrer created several task forces, strengthening the connection between his office and federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. He also has traveled abroad to build partnerships, most recently participating in a Colombia summit on bilateral efforts to combat organized transnational crime.

Mr. Ferrer also supervised civil investigations and settlements under the False Claims Act. He oversaw the office's Asset Forfeiture and Civil Divisions to obtain restitution for crime victims and the government. His office routinely was among the nation's leaders in forfeiture collections and restitution obtained for victims during his tenure.

As U.S. Attorney, Mr. Ferrer testified before the U.S. Senate. In 2010, he testified on mortgage fraud before the U.S. Senate Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. In 2012, he testified on healthcare fraud before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.

Prior to becoming the U.S. Attorney, Mr. Ferrer served as chief of the Federal Litigation Section for the Miami-Dade County Attorney's Office from 2006 to 2010 and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida from 2000 to 2006. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Mr. Ferrer worked in the following sections: Public Integrity and National Security, Economic and Environmental Crimes, Major Crimes and Appellate. In these roles, he prosecuted and tried many high-profile cases alleging international money laundering, healthcare fraud, narcotics trafficking, international human rights abuses, immigration violations and firearms offenses.

Before becoming an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Mr. Ferrer served in various roles with the federal government. He gained experience as a White House Fellow and special assistant to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and later as deputy chief of staff and counsel to the late Attorney General Janet Reno.

Early in his career, Mr. Ferrer worked as an attorney at a Miami law firm. After graduating from law school, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Stanley Marcus in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.


Michael Hantman, Esq.

Holland & Knight

Michael E. Hantman, a former Assistant Attorney General, is a litigation lawyer in Holland & Knight's Miami office. Mr. Hantman focuses principally on white collar criminal defense, internal corporate investigations, compliance counseling and complex business litigation.

Mr. Hantman assists companies and individuals to investigate, respond to and defend against government scrutiny, whistleblower complaints and enforcement actions involving allegations of bribery, fraud, accounting misrepresentations, kickbacks, money laundering and other ethical lapses. He regularly helps companies design, implement and enforce comprehensive compliance and training programs throughout the enterprise to reduce their potential legal exposure.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Mr. Hantman was a criminal appellate assistant attorney general for the state of Florida. At the Office of the Attorney General, Mr. Hantman authored more than 150 briefs, state court responses and federal habeas corpus responses, and argued 39 appeals before the Third District Court of Appeal, including the first en banc hearing held in several years. See Kasischke v. State, 946 So. 2d 1155 (Fla 3d DCA 2006). Significant victories included defeating a petition for writ of certiorari in a first-degree murder case, defeating an emergency petition for writ of habeas corpus in a first-degree murder conspiracy case and winning certification to the Florida Supreme Court of a conflict between the Third District and First District Courts of Appeal. See Galindez v. State, 910 So. 2d 284 (Fla. 3d DCA 2005).