Behavioral Science – Compliance Through Culture

Data and behavioral sciences add a sophisticated dimension to your compliance program, providing analytical insights into your culture and a fundamental competitive advantage.


“They have the deep experience and understanding of how a global company operates.… They are our go-to firm as far as compliance/FCPA issues are concerned.” Client quoted in U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers
“They understand risk. You don’t get opinions that are conservative or done in a vacuum.” Client, Chambers USA


Traditional approaches to compliance involve check-the-box, one-size-fits-all policies and procedures. But clients tell us that creating these compliance programs are expensive and, ultimately, efforts focused on procedural audits, training, testing and remediation create inefficiencies and frustrate employees. And the best-articulated protocol in the world can fail in a culture that isn’t wired toward ethical behavior and compliance. 

Ropes & Gray is on the cutting edge of an innovative approach to risk management—helping companies identify and mitigate risk using data and behavioral science. Behavioral science seeks to help companies understand the factors underlying compliance risks, including what motivates employees to commit fraud or break with procedure. This approach is particularly valuable now as regulators, including the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, have suggested behavioral science to companies as an approach to measuring and driving ethical corporate behavior.

Drawing on data from across the business, we offer risk assessment and advisory services aimed at creating a corporate culture that empowers leadership to drive ethical behavior and employees to better cope with risks. Our attorneys leverage their deep experience across key industries, including private equity, asset management, health care, life sciences and technology, to: 

  • Implement organizational culture reviews to identify and correct problematic and risky behavior 
  • Help companies design global ethics and compliance programs rooted in data and behavioral science
  • Ensure that compliance programs are risk-based, tailored, and subject to regular evaluation and evolution
  • Interview key stakeholders throughout your global operations, identify internal data that can help identify misconduct, and produce a comprehensive report on your risks in various areas
  • Advise on anti-corruption laws, economic sanctions and export control regulations, anti-money laundering laws and anti-boycott laws 
  • Engage employees in developing compliance programs and deliver presentations to employees about ethical corporate behavior

Consistently recognized for its innovative approach to compliance counseling, Ropes & Gray has a long and successful track record of representing clients on the full spectrum of anti-corruption and risk management matters.

The firm’s white collar team was named a Law360 “Practice Group of the Year” for 2019. Ropes & Gray is ranked in Chambers Global 2020 for Corporate Investigations: Anti-Corruption; Chambers USA 2019 for FCPA; The Legal 500 US 2019 for White-Collar Criminal Defense; and The Legal 500 UK 2020 for Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime, among others. The Financial Times, as part of its Innovative Lawyers awards, commended the firm for the creation of a suite of anti-corruption analysis tools, including a Global Anti-Corruption Update and the firm’s econometric Anti-Corruption Risk Matrix.

Beyond serving as an approach to risk management, a solid compliance strategy enables businesses to compete more effectively in an increasingly challenging and competitive global stage.


Our attorneys have a long history of assisting companies with some of their most sensitive and private matters around the world.  Ropes & Gray also consults with companies to help them assess their culture, policies and procedures.  The firm then makes recommendations to limit risk exposure and assists with their implementation, monitoring and reporting. Below is a short list of representative matters:

  • Conducted an independent investigation into the abuse of hundreds of elite and Olympic gymnasts and other children by Larry Nassar.
  • Retained by a large international private equity firm to implement a global anti-corruption compliance program.
  • Serving as global anti-corruption counsel for five of the world’s largest alternative asset management firms and representing 30 additional private equity and global asset management firms, providing compliance and risk assessment advice and conducting internal investigations related to the FCPA and U.K. Bribery Act.
  • Serving as independent corporate compliance monitor for Brazilian aircraft manufacturer, Embraer, as part of a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. DOJ and consent decree with the SEC.
  • Conducting global anti-corruption risk assessment, developing a best-in-class compliance program and interim risk-based protocols, and conducting third-party diligence for a global energy company.
  • Developed a global anti-corruption compliance pro­gram for a multibillion-dollar multinational corpora­tion to satisfy undertakings of a deferred prosecution agreement and compliance monitor.
  • Serving as global anti-corruption counsel to a U.S.-based energy company and advising the company with respect to best practices designing and implementing an effective global anti-corruption and economic sanctions program.
  • Conducting anti-corruption diligence and advising on appropriate documentary protections in relation to a major global private equity firm’s formation of an RMB fund with a major Chinese bank.






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