Business and Human Rights

Rapidly evolving human rights standards continue to shape the expectations of government regulators, board members, investors, communities and other stakeholders. Recent years have seen a growing consensus on the role companies should play in respecting human rights, as shown by the 2011 endorsement of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights by the UN Human Rights Council. In parallel, voluntary human rights standards have proliferated among prominent companies and other stakeholder groups, as have mandatory reporting requirements and other human rights-related laws in the United States and abroad. Moreover, violations of human rights standards create substantial risks of reputational harm and costly disruption of operations even when they do not give rise to legal liability. Miller & Chevalier's Business & Human Rights (BHR) practice draws on our deep experience in compliance counseling, investigations and litigation to provide tailored strategies to comply with BHR and related standards, avoid violations that create reputational and operational risk and defend against alleged violations if issues arise. 

We have assisted clients in navigating these new areas of law and emerging best practices through representations involving analysis of human rights risks, human rights compliance program design and implementation, and compliance with U.S. human rights-related regulations and relevant international norms. We bring a rigorous and holistic approach to compliance, developed through decades of leadership in the anti-corruption field, in which we have assisted companies in a broad range of industries under close scrutiny by law enforcement agencies and the public. In such representations, we have long stood as a thought leader in providing practical solutions for clients' novel corporate compliance challenges. We also have substantial experience representing parties in litigation for alleged human rights violations. Representative engagements include:

  • Conducting risk assessments of multinational operations; 
  • Advising on transactions presenting human rights risks, including due diligence and contractual safeguards; 
  • Structuring relationships with security forces; 
  • Developing corporate human rights policies and country-specific procedures; 
  • Communicating with governments and other stakeholders regarding human rights compliance;
  • Drafting submissions to comply with the U.S. Department of State's Reporting Requirements on Responsible Investment in Burma; 
  • Reporting to comply with the Dodd-Frank conflict minerals disclosure requirements; 
  • Representing clients in litigation under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) and Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA), including a suit that reached the U.S. Supreme Court, in which the courts unanimously affirmed the dismissal of the ATS and TVPA claims against our client; 
  • Research and mapping of multi-stakeholder initiatives in business and human rights; and 
  • Serving in leadership of the International Bar Association's Corporate Social Responsibility Committee.
Government Experience
  • General Counsel, U.S. Department of Commerce 
  • Counselor to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Assistant United States Attorney, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Criminal and Civil Divisions) 
  • Attorney-Advisor, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of International Trade - Regulations & Rulings 
  • Trial Chief, Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia 
  • Staff Attorney, Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia 
  • License Examining Officer, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)
Corporate Experience
Rankings and Recognition
  • Chambers Global: FCPA (United States), 2015 - 2016 
  • Chambers Global: Corporate Crime & Investigations (USA), 2016
  • Chambers Global: Fraud & Corporate Investigations (Latin America-wide), 2015 - 2016 
  • Chambers Global: International Trade (United States), 2005 - 2015 
  • Chambers Latin America: Fraud & Corporate Investigations (Latin America-wide), 2015 - 2017 
  • Chambers USA: FCPA (National), 2014 - 2016
  • Chambers USA: Corporate Crime & Investigations (National), 2015 - 2016 
  • Chambers USA: International Trade (National), 2005 - 2014 
  • Latinvex: Top 10 Latin American FCPA & Fraud Firm, 2015
  • Legal 500: Dispute Resolution: International Trade (US), 2011, 2013 - 2016 
  • U.S. News -- Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms": International Trade and Finance Law (National), 2011 - 2016 
  • U.S. News -- Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms": International Trade and Finance Law (District of Columbia), 2011 - 2016
  • Latin Lawyer Anti-Corruption Survey, Top Law Firm, 2013 
  • Main Justice Best FCPA Lawyers Client Service Award, Distinguished Service Award: Compliance Champions, 2013 
  • The Best Lawyers in America®: International Trade and Finance Law, First among Washington, D.C. law firms for number of lawyers ranked, 2010