Companies must decide who will take responsibility for overseeing and conducting the investigation.  Typically this responsibility will rest with in-house legal counsel.  If the alleged misconduct includes potential involvement or knowledge by senior management, the audit committee or a committee of independent board members should oversee the investigation.  Similarly, in certain circumstances, the company’s in-house lawyers may need to be excluded from the process, and outside attorneys engaged to oversee the investigation.  Outside counsel may be particularly helpful if an investigation is sprawling in scope or presents significant legal, financial, or reputational risks to the company.

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