Sahar Maali’s practice focuses on internal corporate investigations, white-collar criminal matters, and compliance counseling. She regularly represents individual clients and multinational corporations facing government investigations and enforcement actions before the US Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory and law enforcement agencies. Ms. Maali has particular experience in matters related to financial fraud, insider trading, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, economic sanctions, anti-money laundering, compliance and risk management, internal controls and disclosure issues. She also has experience conducting sensitive, anti-discrimination investigations involving allegations of racial and gender discrimination. 

Ms. Maali’s practice is international in scale, and she represents clients in a diverse range of industries including financial services, technology, healthcare, cryptocurrency, and natural resources. Ms. Maali also maintains an active pro bono practice, representing individuals in various immigration-related matters.  


  • Representative Matters

    • Representing the independent directors of a large financial institution in multiple inquiries involving the SEC and other federal regulators. 
    • Representing the chief executive officer of a public company in an SEC investigation.
    • Representing a prominent investment adviser in connection with SEC, DOJ, and OFAC inquiries involving the investment firm’s management of funds from a trust operated by the family of a Russian oligarch.
    • Advised a large Africa-based company on anti-corruption and trade compliance risks and developed a comprehensive compliance policy focused on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, UK Bribery Act, sanctions, and anti-money laundering.
    • Represented a major cryptocurrency exchange in multiple SEC inquiries. 
    • Represented the chief financial officer of a California-based public construction company in a shareholder and derivative litigation, and an SEC inquiry.
    • Successfully resolved charges on behalf of a major, international software company in connection with SEC and DOJ inquiries involving alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in the Middle East.
    • Represented a large technology company in conducting an internal investigation into allegations of racial discrimination involving a senior company executive.
    • Represented Theranos, Inc. in inquiries by the US Attorney’s Office and the SEC.
    • Represented a prominent California developer in a public corruption inquiry by the US Attorney’s Office.
  • Pro Bono

    • Representing an Afghan interpreter for the US military and his family in adjustment of status proceedings before the US Citizenship and Immigration Services following the family’s forced emigration from Afghanistan.
    • Represented a University of California student in connection with his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) petition. 
    • Secured U nonimmigrant status (U visa) for a Guatemalan minor who was the victim of sexual abuse.


  • Named a Northern California Super Lawyers "Rising Star" in 2023 in the area of Criminal Defense: White Collar

Insights & News


  • Education

    • JD, University of California, Berkeley School of Law, 2015

    • Certificate of Specialization in International Law Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law
    • MS, Columbia University, 2012

      Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, magna cum laude
    • BA, Political Science, University of California, Berkeley, 2009

      cum laude
  • Admissions

    • California

  • Languages

    • Farsi



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