Usually, the presence of a private investigations firm in a civil suit, criminal prosecution or government investigation goes unknown. If everything goes right, and if the matter doesn’t end up in a court filing or in the press, a large law firm’s hiring of a global investigations firm like Nardello & Co. remains hidden.

The secrecy baked into these engagements conceals a trend: Big Law is turning to private investigators with increasing frequency. Risk management practices are growing, ESG issues are going nowhere, and the #MeToo movement has forever altered the boundaries of what’s acceptable in corporate America.