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 & Partners, which recognized the firm as a leader in FCPA and Corporate Investigations (Anti-Corruption) in its 2016 Global and USA editions, 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.


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Witten, Roger M.

Roger M. Witten

Senior Counsel

+1 212 230 8850 (t)

Holtmeier, Jay

Jay Holtmeier


+1 212 295 6413 (t)

Sloane, Erin G.H.

Erin G.H. Sloane


+1 212 295 6458 (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 (2013-2017 editions) and Senior Counsel Roger Witten (2005, 2006, 2008-2017 editions) for their work in the criminal defense: white-collar field.
  • 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 the 2016 edition, clients state: "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 (GIR) – Named WilmerHale the Most Impressive Investigations Practice of the Year in 2016 for its cross-border work in high-profile internal and government-led investigations. The firm also placed second on the GIR 30 list of the world's leading investigations and compliance practices in 2015 and 2016, and was noted for advising on the most FCPA public settlements of any law firm in the industry in the past eight years. GIR also named Partner Kimberly Parker among the top Women in Investigations in 2015 and Partner Erin Sloane 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


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.

September 14, 2016

GIR Highlights WilmerHale's FCPA Dominance

WilmerHale has advised on the most Foreign Corrupt Practices Act public settlements of any law firm in the industry in the past eight years and has been particularly successful in 2016, according to a recent Global Investigations Review Just Anti-Corruption report.

September 9, 2016

WilmerHale's FCPA Practice Lands GIR “Elite” Ranking

Global Investigations Review Just Anti-Corruption recently gave WilmerHale's Washington DC office an “elite” ranking for its Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) practice, putting it among the top firms in the nation's capital.

July 13, 2016

Civil Fines Jump Across Agencies Under Inflation Adjustment Act

Civil fines across federal agencies have recently been increased dramatically under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (2015 Act) (Sec. 701 of Public Law 114-74), with some more than doubling. Companies violating the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Improvements Act, the Securities and Exchange Act, or the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), among others, could soon face civil monetary penalties that are up to 150% higher than the existing levels. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the 2015 Act would increase the federal government's revenue by $1.3 billion over the next ten years.

May 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.

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 23, 2016

Chambers Global 2016 Ranks WilmerHale Lawyers, Practices

Chambers Global has named 27 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.