Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Anti-Corruption LITIGATION/CONTROVERSY

Named an “FCPA Powerhouse” and “Practice Group of the Year,” we have been involved in some of the most notable public and non-public cases and key developments related to FCPA and anti-corruption issues.


Companies facing high-stakes government and internal investigations, as well as those seeking anti-corruption risk assessments, M&A guidance and ad hoc counseling, rely on WilmerHale. Clients benefit from the advice of more than 40 experienced anti-corruption lawyers with extensive knowledge in all aspects of the field. We represent companies and individuals in DOJ, SEC, UK Serious Fraud Office, and Chinese Administration for Industry and Commerce investigations; perform internal investigations on the ground in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Latin America and elsewhere; conduct risk assessments and benchmarking; advise on strategic transactions; develop and enhance compliance programs; offer ongoing and real-time counseling; and draft and conduct anti-corruption training. In addition to our strong US-based team, clients benefit from our lawyers with extensive anti-corruption experience in the UK, Germany and China. Global Investigations Review named us No. 1 on its 2017 GIR 30 list of the world's leading investigations and compliance practices, and in 2016, we were named GIR's “Most Impressive Investigations Practice of the Year” and were identified as having been involved in more public FCPA resolutions than any other law firm.

Contacts

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Witten, Roger M.

Roger M. Witten

Senior Counsel

+1 212 230 8850 (t)

roger.witten@wilmerhale.com

Holtmeier, Jay

Jay Holtmeier

Partner

+1 212 295 6413 (t)

jay.holtmeier@wilmerhale.com

Sloane, Erin G.H.

Erin G.H. Sloane

Partner

+1 212 295 6458 (t)

erin.sloane@wilmerhale.com

Experience

Our team, which has been practicing in this area since the enactment of the FCPA, ranks among the top law firms in the industry and has advised on the most FCPA public settlements of any law firm. In 2016 alone, the firm handled five DOJ and/or SEC settlements, along with a publicly announced DOJ/SEC declination. The firm has also obtained numerous non-public declinations for clients who were under investigation by enforcement authorities.

We regularly counsel more than 80 public and other companies on anti-corruption compliance issues, including helping to build and enhance compliance programs and advising on specific transactions and third-party relationships. We have more than 20 FCPA matters currently pending with the DOJ and/or SEC and have deep relationships with the enforcement attorneys at those agencies. We have also advised clients on successful submissions under the DOJ's Opinion Procedure Release process.

Our work in the FCPA arena spans a vast range of industries, including financial and professional services; energy, oil and gas, and natural resources; pharmaceutical, medical devices and healthcare; media; technology; defense and aerospace; manufacturing; and consumer goods. 

Representative Matters

Specific examples of our FCPA and anti-corruption work include:

  • representing Analogic in its 2016 settlements with the DOJ and SEC related to conduct in Russia and elsewhere;
  • representing PTC, Inc. in its 2016 settlements with the DOJ and the SEC related to conduct in China;
  • representing an industrial technology leader in its 2016 settlement with the SEC and declination by the DOJ related to conduct in China;
  • representing Key Energy in its 2016 SEC settlement and DOJ declination related to alleged conduct in Mexico;
  • representing Latam Airlines (formerly LAN Chile) in settlements with the DOJ and SEC in July 2016;
  • representing a leading IT company in its 2016 declinations by the DOJ and SEC related to conduct in Russia and elsewhere;
  • representing a global financial services corporation in its 2015 settlement with the SEC, the first-ever FCPA case based on the theory of hiring relatives of government officials, and representing two clients in the SEC's ongoing investigation of hiring practices at financial institutions in the Asia-Pacific region. The cases are part of the industry-wide investigation of the hiring practices of various banks that has been covered in the press;
  • representing a client in an FCPA investigation involving alleged payments to PDVSA officials in Venezuela. We obtained an SEC declination in July 2016;
  • representing a major multinational company in a DOJ/SEC investigation of issues in Brazil and Colombia, which was closed in 2016 when both agencies declined to bring charges;
  • representing a client in an SEC enforcement matter involving alleged bribery and fraud at a financial institution, which originated with the arrest of individuals in Germany;
  • representing a client relating to the ongoing investigation by the Eastern District of New York involving FIFA confederation officials, international sports marketing firms and other unnamed co-conspirators;
  • representing a multinational software company in the Mexico portion of an FCPA case that was settled with the DOJ and SEC in 2014;
  • representing a major multinational company in an SEC investigation of seven different projects in China, which was closed in 2014 when the SEC declined to bring charges;
  • representing several financial institutions in connection with the SEC's “sweep” relating to interactions by financial institutions with sovereign wealth funds, and representing a number of oil companies in connection with the SEC's “sweep” relating to business dealings in Libya;
  • representing a major European industrial company in connection with a DOJ investigation of payments in the Middle East and Africa related to the Unaoil scandal;
  • representing a Germany-based aircraft services company and its US subsidiary in their 2012 settlements with the DOJ of FCPA issues relating to payments to government officials in Mexico and elsewhere;
  • representing oil driller Helmerich & Payne in its July 2009 settlement with the DOJ and SEC of FCPA matters involving payments to customs officials in Argentina and Venezuela; 
  • representing Armor Holdings, Inc. in its July 2011 FCPA settlement with the DOJ and SEC relating to the actions of a former company employee who later became the informant in the DOJ's 22-defendant FCPA sting case; and
  • representing numerous individuals, including two who settled civil FCPA charges with the SEC, and others who were not charged.

Recognition

WilmerHale's FCPA and Anti-Corruption Practice, as well as its individual attorneys, are routinely recognized as leaders in the field.

  • Best Lawyers in America – Individually recognized Partner Jay Holtmeier and Senior Counsel Roger Witten for their work in the criminal defense: white-collar field in its 2013-2017 editions.
  • Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business – Recognized the firm as a leader in FCPA in the United States and Corporate Investigations (Anti-Corruption) globally in its 2015 and 2016 editions. Chambers Global also has recognized Partners Jay Holtmeier and Kimberly Parker and Senior Counsel Roger Witten as FCPA leaders.
  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business – Included these statements from clients in its 2016 edition: “They have great legal minds and are very well versed in the ins and outs of FCPA law, and have good relationships with the regulators.” Individually, the guide recommends Partner Jay Holtmeier, with clients noting his “incredible knowledge of what needs to be done and how the government is going to react to a situation,” and Partner Kimberly Parker, praising her “expertise in the development and implementation of compliance programs and internal investigations involving the FCPA.” Senior Counsel Roger Witten is also recognized as a senior statesman, described by clients as “an éminence grise at the FCPA Bar with a wealth of experience - he is absolutely terrific.”
  • Global Investigations Review – Named WilmerHale No. 1 on its GIR 30 list of the world's leading investigations and compliance practices in 2017.
  • Global Investigations Review  – Named WilmerHale the “Most Impressive Investigations Practice of the Year” for its cross-border work in both high-profile internal and government-led investigations in 2016.
  • Global Investigations Review – Named WilmerHale's Investigations and Criminal Litigation Practice second in its GIR 100 list, an award ranking the top 100 law firms in 2015 and 2016 for capabilities in cross-border government-led and internal investigations.
  • Global Investigations Review – Named Partner Kimberly Parker among the top Women in Investigations, a list honoring remarkable women in the field, in 2015. Partner Erin Sloane was named by GIR to its list of 40 of the world's leading investigations lawyers under the age of 40 in 2014.
  • Global Investigations Review Just Anti-Corruption – Gave WilmerHale's Washington DC office an “elite” ranking for its Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Practice, placing the firm among the top in the nation's capital.
  • Law360 – Named WilmerHale one of 10 “FCPA Powerhouse” firms nationwide 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 honored Senior Counsel Roger Witten with its “Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Master” award; he also was named one of the “Best FCPA Lawyers Outside the Beltway.”
  • New York Law Journal – Named Partner Erin Sloane a 2014 “Rising Star.”
  • Super Lawyers – Has repeatedly selected Senior Counsel Roger Witten as a “New York Super Lawyer.”
  • The American Lawyer – Named Partner Kimberly Parker one of the 45 leading women lawyers under 45 years of age in the January 2011 issue.
  • U.S. News - Best Lawyers® – Ranked WilmerHale's criminal defense: white collar practice in the first tier in Boston, New York and Washington DC in the 2014 “Best Law Firms” rankings.
  • Who's Who Legal: Investigations 2015 – Ranked several WilmerHale attorneys as being among the world's leading investigations lawyers, as voted by clients and peers.

Treatise

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, Jay Holtmeier and Erin Sloane published the 9th edition of Complying with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 2016. The treatise serves as a comprehensive leading 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 and Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as other law enforcement authorities around the world. 

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 Special Counsel Lillian Potter, along with numerous others, also contributed to the treatise.

Complying with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is comprised of 10 substantive chapters, as well as 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

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November 29, 2017

DOJ Announces New FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy

Today, “[d]ue to the unique issues presented in FCPA matters,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced a new FCPA corporate enforcement policy published in a revision to the United States Attorneys' Manual.

October 27, 2017

WilmerHale Ranks No. 1 on Global Investigations Review's List of Top Investigations Practices

WilmerHale has climbed to the top of Global Investigations Review's list of the world's 30 leading investigations and compliance practices.

September 26, 2017

Randall Lee Named to the Daily Journal's Top 100

The Daily Journal has honored Randall Lee as one of the top 100 Lawyers in California in 2017. Lee was named to the annual list for his accomplishments during the last 12 months, including a trial win against the Securities and Exchange Commission and a declination in a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation.

July 18, 2017

Jay Holtmeier Elected to The City Bar Fund’s Board of Directors

The City Bar Fund supports several programs that help underserved communities secure legal representation; promote international justice efforts overseas; highlight the need for diversity and inclusion in the legal industry; mentor inner-city students looking to pursue legal careers; and offer substance abuse counseling to New York City lawyers.

May 26, 2017

WilmerHale Lawyers and Practices Recognized in 2017 Edition of Chambers USA

Chambers and Partners announced its rankings for the 2017 edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, with WilmerHale listed among the nation's best in 50 practice area categories. Chambers also ranked 86 WilmerHale lawyers as leaders in their respective fields.

March 21, 2017

WilmerHale Recognized for Outstanding International Lawyers and Practices in Chambers Global 2017

Chambers Global has named 27 WilmerHale lawyers among "The World's Leading Lawyers for Business" in its 2017 edition.

February 7, 2017

Global Anti-Bribery Year-in-Review: 2016 Developments and Predictions for 2017

The past year was consequential for FCPA enforcement in numerous respects, including blockbuster penalties, new policy initiatives, and the SEC's first DPA with an individual for FCPA violations.

November 8, 2016

Regulation of Synthetic Biology Under the Nagoya Protocol

An article by Bruce Manheim, published in Nature Biotechnology, considers whether digital sequence information from genetic resources in foreign countries will be subject to the access and benefit-sharing requirements of the Nagoya Protocol and other international agreements.

October 12, 2016

Freedom to Utilize Genetic Resources? The Nagoya Protocol Two Years Later

An article by Bruce Manheim, published as a WilmerHale Client Alert and republished by Intellectual Property Watch and Asia IP, discusses the Nagoya Protocol and how over the past two years—as various nations have adopted new provider and user measures—the Protocol's legal framework has begun to coalesce into an international regulatory scheme governing access to and use of genetic resources for research and development.

September 16, 2016

WilmerHale Named Industry's Most Impressive Investigations Practice by GIR

WilmerHale has been named the Most Impressive Investigations Practice of the Year by Global Investigations Review for its cross-border work in both high-profile internal and government-led investigations.