Photo of Ashley Nyquist

Ashley Nyquist

Ashley Nyquist guides clients through their most sensitive, high-stakes matters, including government investigations, independent investigations, and internal investigations into issues posing enterprise-level risk.

Ashley regularly represents clients -- from the largest multi-national companies to individuals -- in connection with government and internal investigations into alleged fraud, corruption, and other criminal conduct or issues of regulatory concern. She has considerable experience navigating complex, multi-dimensional matters involving parallel criminal, civil, and reputational risks.

Ashley routinely handles highly sensitive reviews and investigations related to workplace misconduct and institutional culture, including:

  • Leading internal investigations for corporate and non-profit clients related to allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment, discrimination, and other misconduct by executives and other leaders;
  • Conducting independent investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct; and
  • Guiding clients through proactive workplace culture assessments designed to mitigate risk.

Ashley has worked with clients from a variety of sectors and industries, including technology, consumer products, food processing, financial services, life sciences, and education.

Ashley’s pro bono work includes representing individual criminal defendants in state court.

Before practicing law, Ashley taught high school English in rural China.

October 17, 2023, Covington Alert

What You Need to Know

  • On October 4, 2023, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco provided new and expanded policy guidance on corporate criminal enforcement, announcing a new Mergers and Acquisitions Safe Harbor Policy (“Safe Harbor Policy”).
  • The Safe Harbor Policy provides acquiring companies an opportunity to avoid criminal charges if they voluntarily self-disclose misconduct at acquired companies within six months of a merger or acquisition (“M&A”), fully cooperate in any DOJ investigation, engage in timely and appropriate remediation within one year of the transaction closing date, and pay restitution or disgorgement, as appropriate.
  • The Safe Harbor Policy—which we expect will be formalized in writing and incorporated into the Justice Manual—appears to draw heavily on policies and guidance from the Criminal Division dating back to 2008, but that will now be formalized, clarified, and applied across the Department, with different parts of the Department “tailor[ing] its application . . . to fit their specific enforcement regime.”
  • As with all of the Department’s recent policy announcements concerning the benefits of voluntary disclosure, significant questions remain. We discuss some of those below, and we will be watching to see how DOJ applies the Safe Harbor Policy in practice. At a minimum, however, companies should ensure that their pre- and post-closing diligence and integration processes are designed to quickly identify legacy or ongoing misconduct at acquired companies so that they may have an opportunity to consider the expected benefits and burdens associated with a voluntary disclosure under the Safe Harbor Policy.
  • In addition to announcing the Safe Harbor Policy, Deputy Attorney General Monaco noted a “dramatic” expansion in national security enforcement, new enforcement tools that the Department is deploying, continued focus on incentivizing companies to seek compensation clawbacks from individual wrongdoers, and even more policy changes to come. Deputy Attorney General Monaco’s announcement follows recent shifts in enforcement remedies sought by the Department, such as divestiture in certain criminal antitrust cases—an unprecedented remedial measure.

Continue Reading DOJ Provides Further Voluntary Disclosure Incentives, This Time Linked to M&A Transactions, and Signals Other Areas of Focus