Lee, Brenda E.

Brenda E. Lee

Brenda Lee represents corporations, universities, and individuals in a broad range of government-related and internal investigations and proceedings, including white collar criminal, securities enforcement, anti–money laundering (AML), and anti-discrimination matters. She has extensive experience representing organizations in parallel proceedings, including overlapping criminal and civil investigations, and advises clients regarding regulatory compliance and corporate governance.

Ms. Lee has represented clients in investigations and enforcement proceedings brought by the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, FINRA, FinCEN, state Attorneys General, and various Inspectors General. She has defended financial institutions, corporations, and individuals against allegations of securities fraud, Bank Secrecy Act/AML program violations, government contracting fraud, and other state and federal violations. She has conducted numerous internal investigations, both in the US and abroad, often involving allegations of fraud or financial reporting violations.  

Ms. Lee also has substantial experience conducting sensitive internal investigations for companies and higher education institutions with respect to reported sexual misconduct incidents. She has represented universities in multiple Title IX investigations by the US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, provided advice in connection with criminal investigations and prosecutions arising from sexual misconduct incidents, and counseled on the interplay of Title IX, the Clery Act, and FERPA.

Ms. Lee shares the firm's commitment to pro bono work, with an emphasis on children's law issues. In addition, she has represented multiple criminal defendants in Maryland state courts, including an individual who successfully challenged his life-term prison sentence on constitutional grounds.

Ms. Lee joined the firm after serving as a law clerk to the Honorable Richard J. Leon of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and the Honorable Alan D. Lourie of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Professional Activities

Ms. Lee has a longstanding relationship with the Children's Law Center, and previously served on its Advisory Board. She is a member of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of DC.

Ms. Lee is a member of the firm's Diversity Committee, Pro Bono and Community Service Committee, and Hiring Committee.

Experience

  • Corporate Representations and Internal Investigations

    • a global financial institution in parallel DOJ, FINRA, and state regulatory investigations of potential fraud committed by a registered representative
    • a prominent hedge fund in an internal culture review following the filing of a high-profile lawsuit alleging gender discrimination and sexual harassment
    • a tech company in parallel investigations by over a dozen state Attorneys General, the FTC, the US Congress, and numerous international regulators regarding data privacy and consumer protection issues
    • independent directors of a consumer credit reporting agency in an internal investigation related to a data breach
    • a global financial institution in parallel SEC, FINRA, and FinCEN investigations of the institution's AML program and related internal investigations
    • a global financial institution in a DOJ criminal investigation of customers charged with Iraqi-dinar fraud and money laundering and related internal investigation
    • a global financial institution in response to a DOJ criminal prosecution of a customer for laundering international bribery proceeds and related internal investigation
    • a global financial institution in response to a DOJ criminal prosecution of a customer for healthcare fraud and related internal investigation
    • a US broker-dealer in response to an SEC investigation of potential cherry-picking by a registered representative
    • a renewable energy company in an SEC investigation during parallel civil litigations
    • a major telecommunications company in an investigation by more than 40 state Attorneys General
    • a government contractor in a Department of Energy Office of Inspector General investigation
    • an international manufacturing dealer in a DOJ criminal investigation
    • a renewable energy company in a Department of Interior Office of Inspector General investigation
    • a major global oil and gas company in connection with parallel SEC and DOJ criminal investigations and in other executive branch inquiries arising from an accident in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Higher Education Practice

    • a state university in an internal investigation regarding potential fraud
    • a major research university in a Department of Education investigation under Title IX
    • a major research university in internal and Department of Education investigations under Title IX and in collateral criminal litigation
    • a university and its employees in an Office of the Intelligence Community Inspector General investigation
  • Individual Representations

    • a director of a publicly traded company in an SEC investigation
    • a former airline executive in a DOJ investigation
    • the president of a global financial services firm in an SEC investigation
    • foster parents seeking to adopt or obtain permanent guardianship of their foster children in DC Superior Court proceedings

Insights & News

Credentials