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 in the United States and Corporate Investigations (Anti-Corruption) globally in its 2015 and 2016 editions. Chambers Global also has recognized Jay Holtmeier, Kimberly Parker and Roger Witten as FCPA leaders.
  • 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


April 8, 2016

DOJ Launches FCPA Pilot Program to Encourage Corporate Voluntary Disclosure and Cooperation

On April 5, 2016, the Fraud Section of the Department of Justice's Criminal Division issued an enforcement plan and guidance laying out three steps it is taking to intensify Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement.

March 27, 2016

WilmerHale Lawyers and Practices Recognized in 2016 Edition of Chambers USA

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business announced its final rankings for the 2016 edition, with WilmerHale ranking among the nation's best in 47 practice area categories. Chambers also ranked 82 WilmerHale lawyers as leaders in their respective fields.

March 23, 2016

Busy Q1 Yields Several Significant FCPA Resolutions

Recent actions announced by the DOJ and SEC during the first quarter of 2016 suggest that this year may be a significant one for FCPA enforcement.

March 23, 2016

Chambers Global 2016 Ranks WilmerHale Lawyers, Practices

Chambers Global has named 28 WilmerHale lawyers among “The World's Leading Lawyers for Business” in its 2016 edition. Additionally, the firm is ranked in 15 practice areas that span five regions.

February 2, 2016

Global Anti-Bribery Year-in-Review: 2015 Developments and Predictions for 2016

Among other significant developments, 2015 saw the U.S. Department of Justice (the “DOJ” or the “Department”) document a policy priority of holding individuals accountable for corporate wrongdoing. This policy was laid out in the “Yates Memorandum”—announced by Deputy Assistant Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates—and related changes the DOJ made to the U.S. Attorney’s Manual.

December 16, 2015

Brockmeyer and Stokes Offer Four Benefits of Cooperation and Four Ways Companies Can Go Wrong in Their Internal Investigations

An article featuring commentary from Lillian Howard Potter, published by The FCPA Report, Vol. 4, No. 26 (December 16, 2015).

December 2, 2015

Top FCPA Enforcers Discuss Evolving and Diverging Enforcement Approaches and the Defense Bar Responds

An article featuring commentary from Lillian Howard Potter, published by The FCPA Report, Vol. 4, No. 25 (December 2, 2015).

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.