Douglas M. Fuchs is a partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Los Angeles office. Mr. Fuchs is the co-chair of the firm’s Los Angeles Litigation Department. He also is a member of the firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations, Accounting Firm Advisory and Defense, Securities Enforcement and Securities Litigation Practice Groups.
Mr. Fuchs has a special expertise in representing corporations and individuals in white collar criminal, SEC and other regulatory enforcement matters, including cases involving allegations of securities fraud, environmental violations, public corruption, antitrust violations, economic espionage and government contracting fraud. Mr. Fuchs has also conducted sensitive internal investigations, been retained by companies that have been victimized by fraud, and developed compliance programs, including compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Mr. Fuchs additionally has experience handling a broad range of civil litigation, including cases stemming from the same facts giving rise to criminal, SEC, and regulatory investigations. Mr. Fuchs has represented companies and individuals in securities class actions, shareholder derivative actions, consumer class actions, and lawsuits involving allegations of fraud, interference with contract, theft of trade secrets, and unfair business practices.
Representative criminal matters:
- Representing two universities in Varsity Blues criminal investigation by Boston U.S. Attorney’s Office, including conducting internal investigations and advising clients on employment decisions concerning university personnel.
- Representing insurance adjusting firm in criminal investigation by New Orleans United States Attorney’s Office into handling of Katrina-related insurance claims.
- Represented charter school operator in criminal investigation by Los Angeles U.S. Attorney’s Office into alleged misuse of funds by company executives, resulting in client obtaining a non-prosecution agreement from the government.
- Represented oil refining company in connection with DOJ investigation relating to explosion at oil refinery involving fatalities resulting in government declining to bring charges.
- Represented university in investigations by the New York Attorney General, the California Attorney General, the DOJ, and Congress concerning student loan practices, resulting in no action taken against university by any regulator.
- Represented insurance adjusting firm in investigations by the DOJ, Mississippi Attorney General, Mississippi Department of Insurance and Congress, and a related qui tam action, into the handling of insurance claims following Hurricane Katrina resulting in no action taken against company and dismissal of the qui tam action.
- Represented ex-CFO of gaming company in connection with FCPA investigations by DOJ and SEC resulting in no action being taken against client.
- Represented Chinese-American professor in economic espionage investigation by United States Attorney’s Office resulting in no charges being brought.
- Represented real estate investor in investigation by DOJ into disturbance of wetlands resulting in no charges being brought.
- Represented aircraft parts manufacturer in DOJ investigation resulting in the government declining to bring civil or criminal charges and qui tam plaintiff abandoning False Claims Act case.
- Represented individual after he had already been indicted by the DOJ for making illegal campaign contributions and obtained a non-custodial sentence over the government’s objection.
- Represented individual in DOJ Antitrust Division investigation into price-fixing in auto lights industry resulting in client obtaining non-custodial sentence over government’s objection.
- Represented individual in payola investigation by DOJ resulting in no charges being brought against client.
- Represented individual in DOJ investigation concerning alleged improper receipt of government benefits resulting in DOJ taking no action against client.
- Represented securities firm in DOJ Antitrust Division investigation into alleged anti-competitive practices in the underwriting of municipal bonds resulting in no action being taken against firm.
- Represented college official in investigation by District Attorney’s Office into conflicts of interest resulting in no charges being brought.
- Represented CEO of non-profit in investigation by United States Attorney’s Office into alleged embezzlement resulting in government declining to take any action against client.
- Represented owner of pharmacy in drug diversion investigation by U.S. Attorney’s Office and DEA resulting in no charges against client.
- Represented Big 4 accounting firm in state and federal criminal investigations relating to alleged improper conduct by employees of audit client.
Representative SEC matters and other civil government investigations:
- Represented former General Counsel of public clothing manufacturer in SEC investigation after the SEC had issued a Wells notice to the client indicating an intention to charge him with fraud. Persuaded the SEC to drop its investigation leading to no action being taken against client.
- Represented fantasy sports provider in investigations by multiple state attorney generals concerning potential violation of state anti-gambling laws.
- Represented public retail company in an SEC investigation and a parallel securities class action and shareholder derivative lawsuit. The SEC matter settled with no financial penalties, the derivative action was dismissed, and the securities class action settled on favorable terms.
- Represented public professional services firm in SEC investigation into accounting for bonus payments to employees resulting in no action being taken by SEC.
- Represented real estate investment company in SEC investigation resulting in the SEC declining to bring any enforcement action against client.
- Represented auditor at Big 4 accounting firm in SEC investigation concerning stock option backdating resulting in the SEC declining to bring any enforcement action against client.
- Represented Big 4 accounting firm in SEC investigation relating to alleged insider trading in stock of audit client.
- Represented private equity firm in investigations by DOJ, SEC and the California Attorney General concerning pay-to-play allegations in pension fund industry resulting in no action being taken against client.
- Represented health insurance company in investigation by California Attorney General into claims handling practices resulting in no action being taken against client.
- Represented investment banking firm in lawsuit brought by City Attorney alleging fraud in connection with the sale of insurance by client’s portfolio company resulting in dismissal of case on demurrer.
Additional representative civil matters and internal investigations:
- Represented public executive search firm in lawsuit by rival firm alleging unfair competition and theft of trade secrets, resulting in a favorable settlement.
- Represented university in connection with murder of professor by graduate student involving an internal investigation, an investigation by the District Attorney’s Office, and a settlement with the professor’s family.
- Represented founder of technology company in multiple lawsuits filed by co-founder alleging breach of fiduciary duty. Obtained summary judgment for client and affirmation on appeal in one case. Represented client at trial in the Delaware Chancery Court in the second case with result pending.
- Represented trust company in connection with embezzlement by former employee involving an internal investigation, settlement with the victim client, federal and state civil litigation to recover embezzled funds, and dealings with regulators.
- Represented university in connection with alleged misconduct by medical school dean, including internal investigation, negotiated separation with medical school dean, and resolution of claims by dean’s alleged victims.
- Member of large Gibson Dunn team representing technology company in internal investigation of applications developers for misuse of user data.
- Represented Big 4 accounting firm in lawsuit alleging intentional and negligent misrepresentation in connection with M&A transaction obtaining summary judgment for client and affirmation on appeal.
- Represented Big 4 accounting firm in lawsuit alleging malpractice relating to wealth advisory services resulting in favorable settlement.
- Represented Big 4 accounting firm in lawsuit filed by former client concerning alleged defective tax strategy purchased by client.
- Represented company in gaming industry in investigations by California state agency and related consumer class actions resulting in favorable settlement with state agency and dismissal of all class actions.
- Represented leading ticketing company as plaintiff in lawsuit against competitor involving interference with contract and other business torts resulting in favorable settlement.
- Represented clothing retailer in federal securities class action resulting in court granting motion to dismiss.
Prior to joining the firm in 2007, Mr. Fuchs was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California for seven years, and served as Deputy Chief of the Major Frauds Section. During his tenure with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Fuchs represented the government in nine jury trials, briefed and argued cases before the Ninth Circuit, and handled multiple investigations involving complex white collar crime, including securities, accounting, bankruptcy, tax and money laundering and investor frauds.
While working for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Fuchs handled the high-profile prosecution of 11 former Homestore.com executives in connection with a revenue inflation scheme, which culminated in a nearly three-month jury trial. The investigation was used as a model to formulate DOJ policy relating to the prosecution of corporate fraud and corporations. Other representative matters included the prosecution of eight members of a telemarketing boiler-room operation for defrauding investors out of several million dollars and prosecution of numerous individuals for fraud and other crimes. For his work with the government, Mr. Fuchs received many awards and commendations from state and federal agencies, including the FBI, IRS, INS, and Postal Inspection Service.
Before his tenure with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Fuchs practiced with Munger, Tolles & Olson and Davis Polk & Wardwell. He served as a law clerk to the Honorable Cynthia Holcomb Hall in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Mr. Fuchs graduated cum laude from the University of Chicago Law School in 1992, where he was a member of the Law Review. He earned his B.A. degree cum laude from Duke University in 1989.
Mr. Fuchs is a member of the California Bar, a board member of the Federal Bar Association, active in the American Bar Association, and has repeatedly been named a Southern California Super Lawyer in the fields of white collar criminal prosecution and criminal defense. Most recently, he was selected by his peers as Lawyer of the Year in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Regulatory Enforcement. He has also been recognized in the areas of Criminal Defense: White Collar Law, Commercial Litigation, Regulatory Enforcement Litigation, and Securities Litigation.