Government Investigations and Enforcement Actions

Our team has over 70 lawyers across the U.S. focused on government investigations, enforcement actions and white collar criminal defense.

With a team that includes seasoned trial lawyers, a deep bench of white collar defense lawyers with contacts across industries, two former presidentially appointed U.S. Attorneys as well as former senior officials at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), we bring integrated solutions to the most complex and challenging situations your company may face. We regularly assist audit committees in conducting internal investigations, and defending investigations and enforcement actions by the SEC, DOJ and state attorneys general. 

Our lawyers have represented public companies, officers and directors, financial institutions, broker-dealers, accounting firms, and public municipalities in hundreds of government investigations, actions and trials. Our lawyers regularly counsel companies in dealing with inquiries from the DOJ, the SEC, state attorneys general and district attorneys, multilateral development banks such as the World Bank, and self-regulatory organizations such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Experience to Guide You Through a Government Investigation

From the moment you are first notified of a regulatory investigation or enforcement action, our team of experienced litigators, former SEC lawyers, former federal and state prosecutors, and white collar criminal defense lawyers offers you the confidence of experience in guiding you through your case.

We can help guide your response in an effort to limit the scope and duration of the investigation to maximize the prospect for a favorable outcome, and counsel you on questions of privilege as well as the pros and cons of cooperation agreements.

We regularly work with companies, audit and special committees, and institutions that are involved in government investigations as well as individuals who need separate representation, including individuals facing parallel SEC and DOJ investigations.

We have broad experience in shutting down government investigations and, when appropriate, reaching suitable settlements that avoid costly battles and the negative effects of publicity. We also have the team and the experience to take matters to trial when circumstances dictate – an approach that, in turn, often produces more favorable settlements with regulators.

Such investigations and lawsuits potentially are covered under indemnity agreements and directors’ and officers’ (D&O) insurance policies, which often provide for the advancement of lawyers’ fees and costs in defending such actions. Our lawyers can assist you in determining your indemnity and insurance rights. We also have strong relationships with D&O insurance carriers, and can assist you in working with insurance carriers.

Our lawyers have forged strong working relationships and credibility with the senior leadership and staff at the SEC, the DOJ and other regulatory agencies across the country, and have developed strong relationships with members of the SEC and white collar defense bar. We deal with the staffs of the SEC, the DOJ, the PCAOB, SROs, the CFTC and state regulatory authorities on a regular basis, and our lawyers are well-known and well-respected by the staffs in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and other regional offices.

The situation may be new and daunting to you, but our lawyers are well-versed in the situation and are here to help you through it.

Trial Experience and Strategic Courtroom Defense

We regularly represent clients in complex white collar criminal, SEC and other regulatory trials, including grand jury proceedings. With decades of first-chair trial experience, we are known for our effective defense of clients in the courtroom. Our team has handled all aspects of criminal and SEC enforcement trials and related civil and administrative actions in federal court and before SEC administrative law judges.
  • Our lawyers have successfully handled a wide variety of government investigations, criminal proceedings and enforcement actions with the DOJ, the SEC and other regulatory agencies. Representative matters include:

    • Achieved a declination by a U.S. Attorney’s Office along the Gulf Coast in connection with an occupational safety investigation of a drilling contractor.
    • Represented European and Asian companies before the World Bank’s Department of Institutional Integrity in sanctions proceedings.
    • Represented a global financial institution in connection with investigations and examinations by the SEC, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve Bank concerning the institution’s anti-money laundering program.
    • Represented a global health care company in a five-year, worldwide FCPA investigation and successfully obtained rare declination letters from both DOJ and the SEC.
    • Represented a global oil and gas company in a DOJ FCPA investigation related to the company’s interests in West Africa and obtained a declination letter from the DOJ.
    • Represented the former CEO and other senior officers of a solar energy panel manufacturer, whose collapse after receiving $500 million in funding from the Department of Energy sparked congressional hearings, a federal criminal investigation and intense media scrutiny. No charges were brought.
    • Represented a California municipality and two senior executives in the successful resolution of an SEC investigation.
    • Represented a senior official with a California municipality in an SEC enforcement action.
    • Represented the former COO of one of the nation’s leading mortgage originators in a very active investigation by the DOJ involving the bank, its former officers and directors, and the bank’s new parent.
    • Represented the CFO of a global pharmaceutical and medical device company, achieving an acquittal on all charges of conspiracy and securities fraud.
    • Represented a Russian government official in a high-profile FCPA criminal investigation.
    • Represented a European company before the World Bank’s Office of Institutional Integrity, which has threatened to debar the company after conducting an audit of the company’s activities in a Middle Eastern country.
    • Represented three current and former employees of a pharmaceutical company in an FCPA investigation by the DOJ and the SEC. Our representations relate to transactions in Russia, Eastern Europe and Latin America.
    • Represented the former chairman of an international investment bank overseeing greater China related to the DOJ/SEC’s “princeling” investigation (i.e., financial service industry’s hiring practices in China and elsewhere in Asia).
    • Represented former senior executives of a multinational credit rating company in an ongoing DOJ and SEC investigation related to China. The DOJ and SEC are not seeking enforcement action against our clients.
    • Represented the Chief Compliance Officer of a multinational life sciences company in an FCPA investigation by the DOJ of activities in Asia.
    • Successfully represented a California mutual fund in connection with parallel SEC and New York Attorney General investigations.
    • Represented a major Fortune 50 company in an SEC investigation. No charges were brought.
    • Represented the special committee of a semiconductor company in an SEC investigation and a U.S. Attorney’s Office investigation in the Northern District of California.
    • Represented the special committee of an application software company in an SEC investigation and a U.S. Attorney’s Office investigation in the Northern District of California.
    • Represented the special committee of an information technology services company in an SEC investigation and a U.S. Attorney’s Office investigation in the Eastern District of New York.
    • Represented an application software company, its senior officers and its board members in an SEC investigation.
    • Represented a biotechnology company in an SEC investigation.
    • Represented an application software company in an SEC inquiry.
    • Represented a semiconductor company in an SEC investigation.
    • Represented a former president of a semiconductor equipment manufacturer in an SEC investigation, and U.S. Attorney’s Office investigations in both the Northern District of California (N.D. Cal.) and Eastern District of New York (E.D.N.Y).
    • Represented the former founder and CEO of a semiconductor equipment manufacturer in a U.S. Attorney’s Office investigation in the N.D. Cal.
    • Represented one of the Big Four accounting firms in an SEC investigation. No charges were brought.
    • Represented a former CFO of an application software company in an SEC investigation and a U.S. Attorney’s Office investigation in the E.D.N.Y.
    • Represented a group of current and former executives and employees of a communications equipment manufacturer in an SEC investigation and criminal case against former executives in the N.D. Cal.
    • Represented the CFO of a pipeline manufacturer in an SEC investigation of an accounting restatement. No charges were brought.
    • Represented the former general counsel of a semiconductor equipment manufacturer in an SEC investigation and U.S. Attorney’s Office investigations in both the E.D.N.Y. and N.D. Cal.
    • Represented the former general counsel of a networking platform company in an SEC investigation and a U.S. Attorney’s Office investigation in the E.D.N.Y.
    • Represented the current general counsel of an internet information company in an SEC investigation and a U.S. Attorney’s Office investigation in the N.D. Cal.
    • Represented the former general counsel of a system software company in an SEC investigation and a U.S. Attorney’s Office investigation in the N.D. Cal.
    • Represented the former general counsel of a semiconductor company in an SEC investigation.

Insights