The Biden administration has moved quickly to repudiate many policies of the Trump administration and to select nominees very different in philosophy and experience than their predecessors. After only weeks in office, President Biden’s executive actions and appointments have made clear to corporate clients that the federal government will significantly change its priorities and approaches to investigation and enforcement across its agencies. As a result, the need for both defense of enforcement actions and internal investigations is almost certain to increase in a number of areas over the next four years.
The Department of Justice will develop much of the new investigation and enforcement agenda. Merrick Garland, the nominee for Attorney General, and Lisa Monaco, the nominee for Deputy Attorney General, are both Department of Justice veterans with a demonstrated respect for the traditional institutional norms developed and followed—until recently—over the Department’s long history. This will be welcomed by career professionals, as well as many former U.S. Attorneys and Assistant U.S. Attorneys, who believe those traditions were eroded under the leadership of former President Trump and former Attorneys General Barr and Sessions.