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 by Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business, which recognized the firm as a leader in FCPA and Corporate Investigations (Anti-Corruption) in the United States in its 2015 edition, and by Who's Who Legal: Investigations 2015, which has ranked several WilmerHale attorneys as being among the world's leading investigations lawyers, as voted on by clients and peers. Previously, the firm was recognized as the "Practice Group of the Year" by Main Justice and as an "FCPA Powerhouse" by Law360, among other honors.

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.


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 Hewlett Packard in the Mexico portion of the FCPA case that was settled with the DOJ and SEC in 2014.
  • We represent an energy company in publicly disclosed FCPA investigations involving the DOJ and SEC.
  • 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.

  • 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 edition.
  • Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business – Recognized the firm as a leader in FCPA and Corporate Investigations (Anti-Corruption) in the United States in its 2015 edition. Chambers Global also has recognized Senior Counsel Roger Witten as an FCPA leader in its 2012-2015 editions.
  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business – In its 2015 edition recognized Partner Jay Holtmeier, noting him as "incredibly bright, and exhaustive in uncovering the information he needs to give sound and practical advice," and Partner Kimberly Parker, praising her for having "an exceptional level of expertise" in FCPA matters. 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 (GIR) – In 2015 named Partner Kimberly Parker among the top Women in Investigations, a list meant to honor remarkable women in the field. 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.
  • 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 also has 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® – In the 2014 "Best Law Firms" rankings, our criminal defense: white collar practice was ranked in the first-tier in Boston, New York and Washington DC.
  • Who's Who Legal: Investigations 2015 – Ranked several WilmerHale attorneys as being among the world's leading investigations lawyers, as voted on by clients and peers.


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 published the 8th edition of Complying with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 2013. The treatise serves as a 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 treatise 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 and Special Counsel Lillian Potter, along with numerous others, also contributed to this edition of the treatise.

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


July 23, 2015

World Bank New Procurement Framework

A blog post by Alison Geary, published on the WilmerHale W.I.R.E. UK blog.

June 30, 2015

What the First World Bank Procurement Review in 70 Years Means for Anti-Corruption Requirements

A blog post by Alison Geary, published on the WilmerHale W.I.R.E. UK blog and that first appeared on Fraud Intelligence.

May 19, 2015

WilmerHale Practices, Lawyers Ranked Among Nation’s Best by Chambers USA

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business announced its final rankings for the 2015 edition, with WilmerHale ranking among the nation's best in 46 practice area categories. Chambers also ranked 86 WilmerHale attorneys as leaders in their respective fields.

April 28, 2015

SEC Applies Whistleblower Interference Rule to Corporate Confidentiality Requirement

On April 1, the US Securities and Exchange Commission issued—in a settled administrative proceeding—a cease-and-desist order in In the Matter of KBR, Inc., directing that the respondent cease violating Commission Rule 21F-17(a).

March 12, 2015

WilmerHale Lawyers, Practices Recognized in 2015 Edition of Chambers Global

Thirty-two WilmerHale lawyers are named among "The World's Leading Lawyers for Business" in the 2015 edition of Chambers Global. In addition to these individual accolades, the firm is recognized in 17 practice areas that span six different regions.

January 27, 2015

Global Anti-Bribery Year-in-Review: 2014 Developments and Predictions for 2015

The year 2014 witnessed several notable developments in the enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. In Global Anti-Bribery Year-in-Review: 2014 Developments and Predictions for 2015, WilmerHale attorneys discuss notable trends and developments in 2014, and look ahead to possible trends in 2015.

December 18, 2014

The DoJ goes to China: re-evaluating corporate cooperation

An article by Tim Perry, published in Global Investigations Review on December 18, 2014.

October 1, 2014

Sentencing of Corporate Offenders in the UK: A Practical Guide

On 1 October 2014, the Sentencing Council's Definitive Guideline for Fraud, Bribery and Money Laundering Offences came into force, providing for the first time a framework for the sentencing of corporate offenders in the UK.

September 2, 2014

Update on German Anti-Corruption Legislation and Procedure

On 1 September 2014, an important amendment to German anti-corruption legislation has entered into force.

July 2, 2014

DC Circuit Issues Major Ruling Affirming Broad Applicability of Attorney-Client Privilege to Corporate Internal Investigations

On June 27, 2014, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit issued a major decision clarifying the scope of the attorney-client privilege as applied to corporate internal investigations.