Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Anti-Corruption LITIGATION/CONTROVERSY

WilmerHale has an award-winning team that has been involved in FCPA and related anti-corruption issues since the enactment of the statute and the government investigations that triggered its passage.

With more than 40 experienced anti-corruption lawyers, WilmerHale’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and Anti-Corruption Group offers extensive knowledge in all aspects of the field—government and internal investigations, risk assessments, M&A and strategic transactions, and ad hoc counseling. Our practice and approach to client service repeatedly earns recognition—most recently in April 2013 as the “Practice Group of the Year” by Main Justice and in June 2013 as an “FCPA Powerhouse” by Law360.

We have been involved in some of the most notable public cases, as well as numerous non-public cases and key developments related to FCPA and anti-corruption issues. From our offices in the United States, Europe and Asia, we regularly counsel more than 65 public and other companies and individuals domestically and abroad. We currently have approximately 25 FCPA matters pending with the Department of Justice (DOJ), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or World Bank. Our lawyers regularly speak and write on anti-corruption matters and also have authored the leading treatise in the field. Complying with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is now in its 8th edition.


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Parker, Kimberly A.

Kimberly A. Parker

Co-Chair, Pro Bono and Community Service Committee

+1 202 663 6987 (t)


Mark D. Cahn


+1 202 663 6349 (t)

Green, Karen F.

Karen F. Green


+1 617 526 6207 (t)

Holtmeier, Jay

Jay Holtmeier


+1 212 295 6413 (t)


Boyd M. Johnson III


+1 212 230 8862 (t)

Lee, Randall R.

Randall R. Lee


+1 213 443 5301 (t)

Mugmon, Michael

Michael Mugmon


+1 650 858 6103 (t)


Our work in the FCPA arena spans a vast range of industries, including financial and professional services; energy, oil and gas; pharmaceutical, medical devices and health care; media; technology; defense and aerospace; and manufacturing. These are some examples, among many others, of recent significant FCPA matters we have handled or are handling:

  • We represented a US aircraft maintenance provider and its foreign parent in their 2012 settlements with the DOJ of FCPA issues relating to payments to government officials in Mexico and elsewhere. 
  • We represented Armor Holdings, now a subsidiary of BAE Systems, Inc., in its July 2011 FCPA settlement with the DOJ and SEC relating to the actions of a former employee of the company who later went on to become the informant in the DOJ’s 22-defendant FCPA sting case.
  • We represent several financial institutions in connection with the SEC’s “sweep” relating to interactions by financial institutions with sovereign wealth funds, and a number of oil companies in connection with the SEC’s “sweep” relating to business dealings in Libya.
  • We represented the former chief executive officer of a public company in an investigation by the DOJ and SEC of violations of the FCPA and US sanctions laws.
  • We represented oil driller Helmerich & Payne in its July 2009 settlement with the DOJ and the SEC of FCPA matters involving payments to customs officials in Argentina and Venezuela.
  • We currently are, and have been in the past, involved in dozens of internal investigations and investigations conducted by the DOJ, SEC and other authorities. Some of these matters involve voluntary disclosures to the government, while others do not. We have obtained several declinations of prosecution from the enforcement authorities for our clients.
  • We have recently advised—and continue to advise—companies in connection with mergers and acquisitions and other strategic transactions, including the conduct and evaluation of pre-transaction due diligence and the implementation of post-transaction compliance programs for acquired and affiliated entities.
  • We have assisted clients in successfully obtaining DOJ clearance under the FCPA’s advisory opinion program.
  • We have assisted dozens of companies in conducting anti-corruption risk assessments and other compliance reviews and audits and have helped to design and implement dozens of compliance programs.


WilmerHale’s FCPA and anti-corruption practice, as well as its individual attorneys, are routinely recognized as leaders in the field.

  • WilmerHale was named one of 10 “FCPA Powerhouse” firms nationwide by Law360 in 2013.
  • Main Justice presented WilmerHale with its “Practice Group of the Year” award, its most prestigious honor, identifying the firm’s FCPA and Anti-Corruption Practice as the best in 2012. In addition, Main Justice also honored Senior Counsel Roger Witten with its “Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Master” award.
  • Senior Counsel Roger Witten and Partner Kimberly Parker were individually recognized as “FCPA Experts” in the 2013 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers in Business.
  • Senior Counsel Roger Witten has received numerous individual accolades, including being named one of the “Best FCPA Lawyers Outside the Beltway” by Main Justice; recognized as an FCPA expert in the 2012 and 2013 editions of Chambers Global, and continuously selected as a “New York Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers.
  • Partner Jay Holtmeier and Senior Counsel Roger Witten were individually recognized among the 2013 Best Lawyers in America for their work in the criminal defense: white-collar field.
  • Partner Kimberly Parker was named one of the 45 leading women lawyers under 45 years of age in the January 2011 issue of The American Lawyer.


In connection with their ongoing work at the forefront of issues relating to the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and other anti-corruption laws, WilmerHale Senior Counsel Roger Witten and Partners Kimberly Parker and Jay Holtmeier recently published the 8th edition of Complying with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The treatise serves as an up-to-date resource for those seeking to navigate their way through the requirements of the FCPA and other similar laws in an environment of active enforcement by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as well as other law enforcement authorities around the world. Among other things, the recent edition focuses on guidance published by the DOJ and SEC in November 2012.

Lawyers in the firm began producing the treatise long before the FCPA became well known, and the treatise has become even more useful as enforcement efforts (and corresponding compliance efforts) have skyrocketed in the last decade. The treatise serves as a guide to understanding the basics of the FCPA, many of the nuances in its interpretation and enforcement (particularly when decided cases by US courts are still rare), and fast-changing developments in the law. WilmerHale Partner Erin Sloane, Special Counsel Lillian Potter and Counsel Thomas Koffer and Saniya O’Brien, along with numerous others, also contributed to the new edition.

Complying with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is comprised of 13 substantive chapters and contains resource materials, statutes, advisory opinions, treaties and model forms for use in internal compliance programs, along with additional resources. Among the topics covered are the FCPA’s historical background; its anti-bribery and accounting provisions; issues relating to risks associated with the use of agents, joint ventures and other third parties; issues in mergers and acquisitions; hypothetical situations illustrating frequent real-world FCPA issues and strategies for responding to them; developments and trends in the enforcement arena; and key elements of an effective anti-corruption compliance program.

Complying with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is published by Matthew Bender & Company, a member of the LexisNexis Group.

Publications & News


April 1, 2014

First EU Anti-Corruption Report: What it Means for Business

EU Member States have in place most of the necessary legal instruments to prevent and fight corruption. However, the enforcement results are not always satisfactory. With its recently published first EU Anti-Corruption Report, the EU Commission provides a detailed analysis of the status of corruption for each of the 28 Member States. It specifies for each of them problems in dealing with corruption but also lists good practices which might serve as models for other Member States. Although the Report is primarily addressed to the Member States, it is also of significant relevance for business. Any company doing business in Europe is well advised to review its compliance program and policies in light of the findings and recommendations of this Report.

March 14, 2014

Chambers & Partners Recognizes WilmerHale in its 2014 Global Edition

Thirty-one WilmerHale lawyers have been named among the “World’s Leading Lawyers for Business” in the 2014 edition of Chambers Global. In addition to these individual accolades, 13 of the firm’s practice areas were also recognized.

March 11, 2014

US Supreme Court Upholds Broad Scope of Sarbanes-Oxley Act Whistleblower Protection

Last week, the US Supreme Court issued an important decision addressing whether Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) (codified at 18 U.S.C. § 1514A) limits protection from retaliation to the employees of public companies, or if it also covers employees of contractors to a public company.

February 5, 2014

Global Anti-Bribery Year-in-Review: 2013 Developments and Predictions for 2014

The year 2013 witnessed several notable developments in the enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). In 'Global Anti-Bribery Year-in-Review: 2013 Developments and Predictions for 2014', WilmerHale Partners Roger M. Witten, Kimberly A. Parker, Jay Holtmeier and Erin G.H. Sloane discuss notable trends and developments in 2013 corporate settlements and individual prosecutions, key FCPA legal developments, notable collateral litigation developments, and significant developments in international anti-corruption law.

January 9, 2014

China’s New Anti-Corruption Policies in the Health Care Industry

December 19, 2013

The Lawyer Ranks WilmerHale Among Top 10 Global Litigation Practices

The Lawyer has ranked WilmerHale among the top 10 litigation practices in the world in this year's list of the Global Litigation Top 50—an annual analysis of which of the world's largest firms are generating the most fee income from disputes.

November 27, 2013

Understanding Iran Sanctions for US Business: The New Agreement Brings Some Change But Much is Left the Same

On November 24 in Geneva, the United States and the five other members of the P5+1 reached an initial agreement with Iran with the aim of ensuring that Iran's nuclear program will be entirely peaceful. Under the agreement, the United States and the EU will ease certain sanctions on Iran for a period of six months. However, this "limited, temporary, targeted, and reversible" sanctions relief means that US and foreign firms must closely monitor the implementation of the agreement.

November 1, 2013

WilmerHale Among U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” and Again Named International Arbitration “Law Firm of the Year”

The 2014 edition of the U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list names WilmerHale as “Law Firm of the Year” in International Arbitration—this is the second consecutive year that the firm has won this honor—and honors WilmerHale as a first-tier law firm in 27 national and 60 metro-area rankings.

October 25, 2013

Fixing the False Claims Act: The Case for Compliance-Focused Reforms

A white-paper co-authored by WilmerHale Partners David Ogden and Jonathan Cedarbaum.

August 15, 2013

UK Bribery Act Prosecutions

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) has brought charges under the UK Bribery Act 2010 for the first time.

Current Developments