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 UN Human Rights Council's 2011 endorsement of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. In parallel, voluntary human rights standards have proliferated among prominent companies and other stakeholder groups, as have human rights-related laws and regulations in the United States and abroad. Moreover, violations of human rights standards create substantial reputational risks and costly disruption of operations and supply chains, even when they do not give rise to legal liability. Miller & Chevalier's Business and Human Rights (BHR) practice draws on our deep experience in compliance counseling, investigations, and litigation to provide tailored strategies to help companies comply with BHR and related standards, live up to internal and external stakeholder expectations and core values, avoid violations that create reputational and operational risk, and investigate and defend against alleged violations.
We have assisted clients in navigating these new areas of law and emerging best practices through representations involving:
- Assessment and analysis of human rights risks
- Design and implementation of human rights compliance programs
- Advice on U.S. human rights-related regulations and relevant international norms, such as mandatory reporting requirements, prohibitions on importation of products made with forced labor, and sanctions against parties implicated in human rights abuses
- Supply chain planning and risk mitigation strategies
- Interactions with regulators and enforcement officials to resolve human rights-related inquiries and effectively communicate BHR initiatives
- Representing parties in litigation for alleged human rights violations
We bring a rigorous and holistic approach to compliance, developed through decades of leadership in the fields of FCPA & International Anti-Corruption, Customs & Import Trade, and Economic Sanctions & Export Controls, 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 served as a thought leader in providing practical solutions for clients' novel corporate compliance challenges, and a trusted partner in interacting with regulators and enforcement officials.
- For a multinational oil and gas company, conducted integrated compliance risk assessments (covering human rights and other compliance areas) of operations in West Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.
- Advised a major agricultural company on compliance with U.S. prohibitions on importation of products made with forced labor (amended Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 USC §1307)), including assistance with navigating U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) survey audit inquiries and withhold release orders.
- Advised a global apparel company on forced labor risks related to workers from China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), including assistance with supply chain risk mitigation strategies, remediation of forced labor indicators, and inquiries from members of Congress.
- Advised the largest mining company in a South American country on human rights standards related to resettlement processes.
- Advised a major mining company on compliance issues in a large-scale remediation effort after an environmental disaster affecting numerous host communities.
- Advised international companies in the technology, oil and gas, real estate, and food and beverage sectors in connection with business activities in Asia, Africa, and Latin America regarding compliance with U.S. sanctions on parties implicated in human rights abuses.
- For a global mining company under investigation for FCPA violations, developed corporate human rights policies and country-specific procedures, including guidance on interactions with local communities and indigenous peoples.
- Advised a multinational oil and gas company on structuring relationships with security forces, including consideration of relevant international standards such as the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.
- 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.
- Drafted submissions for a major offshore drilling company to comply with the U.S. Department of State's Reporting Requirements on Responsible Investment in Burma.
- Assisted in all aspects of compliance program development and implementation for a power transmission company to comply with the Dodd-Frank conflict minerals disclosure requirements.
- Conducted research and mapping of multi-stakeholder initiatives in business and human rights in collaboration with San Francisco-based NGO Multi-Stakeholder Initiative Integrity (MSI Integrity) and the Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics.
- Serving as leadership of the International Bar Association's Business Human Rights Committee.
- General Counsel, U.S. Department of Commerce
- Counselor to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce
- Deputy General Counsel, U.S. Department of Commerce
- Trial Chief, Public Defender Service of the District of Columbia
- Attorney-Advisor, Office of International Trade - Regulations & Rulings, U.S. Customs and Border Protection
- Staff Attorney, Public Defender Service of the District of Columbia
- Corporate Crime & Investigations: The Elite (USA - Nationwide), 2021 - 2023
- Corporate Crime & Investigations (USA - Nationwide), 2015 - 2022
- FCPA (USA - Nationwide), 2014 - 2023
- International Trade (USA - Nationwide), 2005 - 2015
- Brazil Corporate Crime & Investigations (International Firms), 2023
- Corporate Crime & Investigations (Latin America-International Counsel), 2015 - 2023
- Corporate Crime & Investigations (USA), 2016 - 2023
- Corporate Investigations/Anti-Corruption (Global: Multi-Jurisdictional), 2017 - 2023
- FCPA (USA), 2015 - 2023
- Investigations & Enforcement (International & Cross-Border) (USA), 2020 - 2023
- International Trade (United States), 2005 - 2015
Chambers Latin America
- Corporate Crime & Investigations (International Counsel), 2015 - 2024
- Dispute Resolution: International Trade (U.S.), 2011, 2013 - 2022
Legal 500 Latin America
- International Firms: Compliance and Investigations, 2021 - 2024
- Top 10 Latin American FCPA & Fraud Firm, 2015 - 2023
- Anti-Corruption Survey, Top Law Firm, 2013
U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms"
- International Trade and Finance Law (District of Columbia), 2011 - 2024
- International Trade and Finance Law (National), 2011 - 2024
- Best FCPA Lawyers Client Service Award, Distinguished Service Award: Compliance Champions, 2013