White Collar Defense and Investigations

Nonprofit Investigations

Nonprofit organizations turn to WMHW to handle sensitive investigations and other crisis situations that often involve allegations of historic misconduct by board members, executives, staff, or even clients.

A variety of charities, independent schools, and religious communities retain WMHW to perform independent and objective investigations, prepare reports for both internal and external audiences, recommend remedial actions, and in some cases coordinate reporting and cooperation with law enforcement. We leverage our substantial experience not only in complex internal investigations and criminal defense, but also in employment litigation, commercial litigation, whistleblower matters, and cyber threats. Our team of experienced attorneys has a deep understanding of the key role of strategic crisis management and crisis communications, and when needed, we coordinate and collaborate with public relations firms, forensic accountants, investigators, and computer forensics firms in nonprofit investigations matters.

WMHW works with nonprofit leaders to appropriately scope the investigation, ensure that the investigation is conducted in a manner that is both rigorous and consistent with the organization’s mission and values and that the investigation is executed within a reasonable budget.

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  • Conducted an independent investigation on behalf of the Board of Director into a non-profit organization’s management and culture stemming from allegations of racism and bullying by the organization’s CEO.
  • Conducted an internal investigation on behalf of a private preparatory school into allegations of sexual misconduct by a nonemployee. After interviewing witnesses and performing a thorough review of other evidence, WMHW reported its findings to school administrators and proposed improvements to the handbook and relevant human resources, record keeping, and security policies.
  • Conducted an internal investigation on behalf of a special committee of a private boarding school’s board of trustees into historical allegations of sexual misconduct. Reported findings, counseled on necessary legal actions, and proposed improvements to policies and procedures.
  • Represented parents and students of a private school challenging the board of trustees’ use of charitable donations and the improper dismissal of the school’s headmaster.
  • Member of Archdiocese of New York’s review board for allegations of improper relations between the clergy and minors.
  • Advised the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions regarding U.S. law concerning various civil and criminal remedies, duties of the U.S. and other governments toward intended victims of crimes (including duty to warn), and related issues arising under international treaties and other international law, in connection with a report to the Human Rights Council of the U.N. concerning the death of the Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.
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