White Collar Defense and Investigations

Overview

Litigation Dept of the Year - White Collar/Regulatory category

The White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice Group defends businesses, senior executives, public officials and other individuals in a wide range of investigations and prosecutions.  The group is composed of over 100 lawyers practicing across our U.S. and international offices and draws on the expertise of more than 75 of its members with extensive government experience.   In its 2016 Litigation Department of the Year competition The American Lawyer named our firm the winner in the White Collar/Regulatory category, noting that "[c]lients routinely describe lawyers at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in superlatives," such as "'[s]trategic thinkers,' 'creative,' 'tenacious' and 'responsive.'"  The publication called our appellate work in these areas "exceptional" and "involving areas where there was little law on the books."

Many cases involve simultaneous criminal, civil and regulatory actions arising out of the same events.  To handle them, Gibson Dunn's White Collar group draws on the full range of our skills and resources, collaborating with lawyers in other practice groups, allowing us to work with clients in almost every business sector in a wide array of substantive areas that includes:   

  • Anti-money laundering
  • Antitrust
  • Computer and intellectual property crimes
  • Environmental violations and compliance
  • Export/import violations
  • U.S. False Claims Act
  • U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and U.K. Bribery Act
  • Health care fraud
  • Privacy and cybersecurity
  • Procurement fraud
  • Securities, financial institution and accounting fraud
  • Tax offenses

Our areas of service include:

  • Representation in grand jury and other government investigations
  • U.S. federal and state trials
  • Criminal appeals
  • Internal investigations
  • Representation in U.S. congressional and other legislative investigations
  • Regulatory defense
  • Compliance and internal-controls reviews and audits
  • Monitorships

The White Collar Defense and Investigations group includes numerous former U.S. federal and state prosecutors and officials, many of whom served at high levels within the U.S. Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other key investigative and prosecutorial arms of the government.  Our lawyers use firsthand knowledge of how government agencies conduct investigations and prosecutions to assist our clients in navigating those processes successfully.

Our White Collar group teams with Gibson Dunn's Crisis Management Practice to provide coordinated and efficient advice.  The right response to a crisis requires a cohesive team equipped to immediately respond in an organized and strategic manner on multiple fronts, before issues become framed and fixed in the public mind.  This requires interacting immediately and simultaneously with federal and local prosecutors, regulatory agencies, concerned investors and directors, the private plaintiffs' bar, congressional investigators and the media.

Gibson Dunn's lawyers always prepare for "x factors" that inevitably arise in such high-stakes and high-profile matters.  We give legal and strategic advice for responding to crises both inside and outside the courtroom, and we have substantial experience operating in the public relations arena — a skill that has become essential to resolving the most serious and fast-moving white-collar legal challenges.

Experience and Recent Representations

  • Represented multinational companies and individuals in connection with numerous international cartel investigations and antitrust-related U.S. grand jury investigations, including plea negotiations and/or leniency applications in the United States, the European Union, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Brazil and other jurisdictions.
  • Defended U.S. and international companies in a variety of civil antitrust lawsuits, including class actions involving allegations of price fixing and related claims before state and federal courts throughout the United States.
  • Represented American Airlines and obtained summary judgment in a predatory pricing case brought by the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • Represented Atlantic Coast Airlines in its federal lawsuit to block a hostile takeover attempt in 2003, leading to a preliminary injunction that preserved Atlantic Coast's independence.
  • Representing a prominent hedge fund in the trial defense against an SEC insider trading action.
  • Defending a former Big Four accounting firm audit partner at a trial involving allegations brought by the SEC Division of Enforcement and Investigations of the U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB).
  • Defended the former general counsel of a major regional brokerage firm in a three-week securities enforcement trial before the SEC's chief administrative law judge and obtained dismissal of all claims.
  • Defended the president of a hardware supply company in a criminal price-fixing case in a three-week trial and obtained acquittal on all counts.
  • Successfully defended at trial the former general counsel of a broker-dealer charged with failing to supervise a broker, culminating in an acquittal on all charges.
  • Defended the former head of the fixed income desk at a broker-dealer against fraud charges.  Following a two-week evidentiary hearing and post-hearing briefing, the hearing panel cleared our client of all charges.
  • Handling the appeal of a Silicon Valley corporate lawyer's jury trial conviction for alleged bribery of a California law enforcement official.
  • Won a unanimous decision in which the U.S. Supreme Court narrowed the scope of liability under the False Claims Act by adopting a restrictive interpretation of the statute's intent requirement.
  • Filed a successful petition for writ of certiorari and merits briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of media entrepreneur Conrad Black.  The Court unanimously reversed a court of appeals judgment that had upheld Mr. Black's mail fraud and obstruction convictions.
  • Successfully appealed to the 11th Circuit, which reversed all convictions on all counts of all four defendants.  We thereafter successfully opposed the solicitor general's petition for U.S. Supreme Court review of the decision.
  • Represented a Big Four accounting firm in an investigation by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations into alleged offshore tax evasion.  This investigation culminated in a hearing at which our client successfully defended its actions, resulting in no follow-up by the subcommittee and the avoidance of negative press coverage and reputational damage.
  • Representing two career colleges being investigated by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee as well as by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).  This investigation also involves related civil litigation as well as a separate congressional investigation that has looked into the GAO inquiry.
  • Representing a telecommunications company in multiple congressional investigations relating to the company's interactions with the Federal Communications Commission.
  • Representing a major multinational company under investigation by the House Energy and Commerce Committee for alleged abusive labor practices.
  • Representing a major health insurer before the House Energy and Commerce, House Oversight and Government Reform, and Senate Commerce Committees investigating practices within the health insurance industry.  This multifront defense of a series of high-profile investigations required careful coordination of the information and documents provided to different congressional committees.
  • Represented a major financial services company before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations regarding causes of the financial markets crisis.  This investigation included a hearing at which seven witnesses from the company testified over a 10-hour period.
  • Represented a company that holds construction contracts in several war zones in connection with investigation by the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan regarding Afghanistan reconstruction contracts.
  • Obtained dismissal of numerous lawsuits brought against the largest securities self-regulatory organization during the course of almost 20 years.
  • Defended Nursing Personnel, a Brooklyn-based home health aide agency, and its COO against overbilling and other charges by the New York Attorney General.  We convinced a state court judge to keep the indictment under seal and developed a compelling argument that the defendants had acted in good faith and in accordance with existing DOH regulations.  We also uncovered exculpatory information that the prosecutors failed to disclose, leading to the dismissal of the felony criminal case against the company and the COO. 
  • Represented more than 20 present and former Kmart officers in connection with an SEC investigation and related DOJ investigation of Kmart accounting and disclosure issues.
  • Successfully represented a major investment bank in an investigation of the arrangement and syndication of commercial real estate loans to lenders.  Following presentation of findings to the staff, the regulator closed the investigation.
  • Successfully represented a major hedge fund in an investigation into potential insider trading in credit default swaps.  Following presentation of findings to the staff, the regulator did not pursue the investigation.
  • Successfully represented the former managing director of a major investment bank in an investigation of proprietary trading of credit derivatives.  After receiving a Wells notice, we persuaded the SEC staff not to pursue an enforcement action.
  • Represented a hedge fund adviser in an investigation of trading in advance of public offerings and compliance with Rule 105.
  • Successfully represented a Fortune 500 company in an SEC inquiry of accounting issues.  Following presentation of information, the staff closed the inquiry.
  • Acted as lead counsel in the representation of a Japanese manufacturing company in connection with a trade-secrets investigation conducted by DOJ and the FBI, resulting in no charges filed and no actions taken against the clients.
  • Represented one of the largest publicly traded U.S. proprietary school companies in a federal criminal and SEC investigation across the United States alleging fraudulent student recruitment and financial aid practices.  The DOJ declined prosecution and the SEC closed its investigation without action.
  • Conducting a compliance program effectiveness review on behalf of a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical and medical device company currently under an HHS-OIG Corporate Integrity Agreement.
  • Advising several major financial institutions on anticorruption policies, including hotline issues, data privacy and surveying of laws in dozens of jurisdictions.
  • Advised a multinational petroleum companies with respect to numerous transactions and investments involving potential FCPA violations in the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America.
  • Provided ongoing advice to a major petrochemical services company on FCPA compliance issues, including specific concerns regarding the use of agents and facilitating payments, as well as the impact of joint venture agreements.
  • Developed a global FCPA compliance program for a Fortune 200 financial services company with extensive international operations.
  • Developed a global FCPA compliance program for an international shipping and logistics company with worldwide operations.
  • Represented the audit committee of a large multinational management consulting firm relating to FCPA exposure arising out of subcontracting practices in China.
  • Advised a Fortune 50 technology company regarding appropriate FCPA-related internal controls as part of larger Sarbanes-Oxley compliance program.
  • Provided ongoing advice on FCPA compliance issues involving foreign agents to a Fortune 25 company with extensive international operations.
  • Advised a large U.S. defense contractor with respect to the voluntary disclosure to the DOJ of a suspected FCPA violation.
  • Counsel to two companies under an FCPA compliance monitorship: Daimler AG and Innospec, Inc.
  • Appointed compliance monitors in two U.S. compliance monitorships: DePuy, Inc. and NuLine Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Appointed independent compliance monitors and independent counsel to the compliance monitor in three FCPA monitorships: Statoil ASA, Siemens AG and Alliance One, Inc.
  • Represented Facebook in an FTC investigation and enforcement action involving the company's online privacy practices.  The case resulted in a settlement that avoided any monetary penalty.  In a recent privacy report, the FTC describes the Facebook investigation as its largest privacy investigation to date.
  • Represented Sony BMG in a government investigation of allegations that Sony's software violated California anti-hacking and privacy laws as well as the Unfair Competition Law and the False Advertising Act.
  • Representing a prominent online company in its interactions with DOJ related to automated attacks on the company's website, which resulted in the indictment and conviction of the attackers.
  • Represented a professional services company related to a criminal referral of two former employees who illegally accessed the company's computer systems and stole trade secrets.  As a result of the representation, the U.S. government brought criminal charges against the two former employees.
  • Represented a leading online retailer in responding to a data breach related to a network intrusion and exfiltration of credit card information; coordinated with law enforcement concerning the security incident.
  • Defending an international transportation public company in connection with multiple state and federal government investigations relating to an environmental incident.
  • Representing a developer in an EPA enforcement action, a citizen suit and a criminal investigation alleging violation of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.
  • Defending a U.S. retail company against various criminal and civil investigations involving the handling of hazardous materials under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Clean Water Act.
  • Represented the board of directors of a multinational oil and gas public company in connection with a DOJ criminal investigation into an environmental incident.
  • Defended a real estate development firm in a grand jury investigation arising from alleged violations of the Clean Water Act.
  • Defended a municipality in a federal criminal investigation alleging Clean Water Act violations.  No charges were filed.
  • Represented multiple parties in a variety of enforcement actions under the California Health and Safety Code provisions for the protection of air quality before the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the California Air Resources Board.
  • Represented multiple parties in a variety of enforcement actions before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency including alleged violations of the Clean Air Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
  • Defending a multinational oil exploration company in an investigation by Departments of Commerce and the Treasury into alleged export control violations.
  • Representing numerous clients before the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Department of the Treasury to seek resolution of sanctions issues and/or to respond to alleged violations of embargo regulations.
  • Defended a maritime company in a federal criminal investigation alleging violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution From Ships.
  • Lead counsel for the Japanese steel industry in a successful effort to have antidumping duties on corrosion-resistant steel, hot-rolled steel and cut-to-length plate revoked by the International Trade Commission.
  • Served as lead counsel for the U.S. industry producing chlorinated isocyanurates in successfully obtaining an antidumping order on imports from China and Spain.
  • Represented two Canadian softwood lumber producers in antidumping investigations by the Department of Commerce.
  • Defending a leading health care services provider in connection with civil and criminal False Claims Act investigations by the U.S. Attorney's office, HHS-OIG and DOJ.
  • Defending a Fortune 500 health care services provider in connection with a nationwide U.S. False Claims Act investigation by the DOJ relating to alleged fraud and quality of care issues.
  • Advising a medical billing company in connection with California state and federal investigations into alleged workers' compensation fraud.
  • Advising the San Francisco-based trustee of an employee benefit plan in connection with civil and criminal investigations by the U.S. Attorney's office and Department of Labor relating to alleged billing fraud and kickbacks.
  • Conducting various internal investigations on behalf of multinational life sciences public companies in connection with alleged regulatory and compliance code violations.
  • Conducting a compliance program effectiveness review on behalf of a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical and medical device company currently under an HHS-OIG Corporate Integrity Agreement.
  • Represented Facebook in an FTC investigation and enforcement action involving the company's online privacy practices.  The case resulted in a settlement that avoided any monetary penalty.  In a recent privacy report, the FTC describes the Facebook investigation as its largest privacy investigation to date.
  • Represented Sony BMG in a government investigation of allegations that Sony's software violated California anti-hacking and privacy laws as well as the Unfair Competition Law and the False Advertising Act.
  • Obtained a first-of-its-kind order dismissing the complaint in a consolidated class action alleging that our client surreptitiously tracked Internet users and respawned deleted data in violation of several federal and state laws.  The dismissal was the first ruling in an Internet privacy action finding that plaintiffs had failed to allege a cognizable injury.  This order followed the court's preliminary approval of several settlements of plaintiffs' claims against other defendants in the same cases.
  • Led the successful efforts of numerous defendants to obtain dismissal of a putative class of all users of apps on iOS devices asserting claims against several different companies, such as our clients Flurry, Inc. and Pinch Media, that provide advertising and analytics services to application developers.  Plaintiffs alleged that these defendants collected and disclosed users' personal information located on their mobile devices without their knowledge or permission. 
  • Representing a defense contractor before the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Defense Contract Audit Agency and SEC in connection with Sarbanes-Oxley Act whistleblower claims raised by the contractor's chief compliance officer.
  • Representing a defense contractor in a U.S. Procurement Integrity Act investigation involving the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and Naval Acquisition Integrity Office.
  • Representing a defense contractor in a grand jury investigation arising from allegations of improper political contributions.
  • Representing a leading financial services firm in connection with criminal federal investigations into the mortgage-backed securities market.
  • Representing numerous hedge funds in connection with criminal and civil insider trading investigations by various U.S. Attorneys' offices and SEC regional offices.
  • Represented a group of independent directors in class action securities lawsuits and related federal grand jury and SEC investigations into the collapse of a publicly traded subprime mortgage company. 
  • Represented a public company in federal grand jury and related SEC investigations alleging wire and securities fraud.  No charges were filed.
  • Representing the former vice chair of a major Swiss bank, as well as a former adviser to the bank, in connection with an investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York for tax evasion issues.
  • Advising multiple financial institutions regarding compliance with and potential exposure arising from the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and other U.S. offshore compliance measures.
  • Representing a Big Four accounting firm in an investigation by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations into alleged offshore tax evasion.