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O'Neil, Ben A.

Ben A. O'Neil

Direct Tel: +1 202-538-8151, Direct Fax: +1 202-538-8100
Washington, D.C.
Tel: +1 202 538 8000 Fax: +1 202 538 8100

A former federal prosecutor, Ben O’Neil is a partner in Quinn Emanuel’s Washington, DC office. He is an experienced trial lawyer with a particular focus on white collar and corporate investigations matters and crisis situations. His clients include corporate entities, boards of directors, audit and special committees, and individuals facing difficult and often high-profile legal challenges. His work spans virtually every industry and regularly involves multi-jurisdictional issues throughout Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America.

Over the past several years, Ben has been at the forefront of several groundbreaking, global resolutions for non-U.S. clients seeking to resolve criminal and civil exposure arising from the same conduct in multiple jurisdictions.  His role as co-lead counsel for the Odebrecht Group, J&F Investimentos and JBS S.A. has allowed Ben to develop an expertise in navigating the challenges of managing the process of cooperation and resolution with regulators spread throughout the world simultaneously.  He is one of only a handful of U.S. lawyers who has achieved this type of global result, and his deep experience with the obstacles that can arise in these types of cases places him at the forefront of this emerging trend of international criminal law.        

Prior to joining Quinn Emanuel, Ben was a federal prosecutor with the Fraud Section of the United States Department of Justice’s Criminal Division. In that role, he prosecuted foreign bribery, financial, and healthcare fraud throughout the United States.  Ben was the lead on several jury trials, and managed large-scale corporate investigations.

Selected Recent Public Criminal & Civil Matters:

  • Counsel to the Odebrecht Group, the largest construction conglomerate in South America, in what the U.S. Justice Department has described as “the largest-ever global foreign bribery resolution.”  Counseled Odebrecht in its negotiations with U.S. investigators and coordinated the global strategy in reaching a resolution between U.S., Brazilian and Swiss investigators and Odebrecht and its affiliate Braskem S.A. Currently conducting an internal investigation on behalf of the organization.    
  • Counsel to Confederacion Sudamericana de Futbol (“CONMEBOL”), the confederation of the ten South American national soccer teams, in connection with U.S. criminal investigations and prosecutions into allegations of bribery and corruption in the international soccer world.  Advising CONMEBOL on the investigations and conducting an internal investigation on behalf of the organization.  
  • United States v. Joseph Sigelman – Counsel to Joseph Sigelman, a successful American entrepreneur who founded and served as co-CEO of an oil services company called PetroTiger, in the highest profile Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) trial of recent years. In what was described by the national media as a “striking victory for the defense,” the U.S. Department of Justice agreed in the middle of trial to drop all of the most serious charges against Mr. Sigelman, including those relating to substantive bribery, kickbacks, defrauding investors and money laundering and wire fraud, permitting Mr. Sigelman to receive no jail time and avoid the 20 years in prison prosecutors had sought.
  • FIFA – Counsel to the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) in connection with investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and Swiss law enforcement authorities of alleged bribery and corruption in international football world.
  • BTG Pactual – Counsel to a special committee of the Board of Directors of BTG Pactual S.A., Brazil’s largest investment bank, in connection with an internal investigation of allegations of public corruption and bribery.
  • U.S. ex rel Kester v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation – Counsel to Novartis in connection with a False Claims Act case brought by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. We negotiated a favorable settlement for the company before trial which did not require an admission of liability.
  • United States v. Ram Kamath – Counsel to Ram Kamath, accused of participating in a conspiracy to import non-FDA approved prescription pharmaceutical products into the US. We obtained a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) from the Department of Justice, dismissing all charges against our client prior to trial. DOJ rarely agrees to a DPA for an individual defendant, particularly after the defendant has already been indicted, as was the case here.
  • United States v. Andreas Bachmann – Counsel for Andreas Bachmann, a Swiss banker charged with assisting U.S. taxpayers evade taxes while working at a Credit Suisse subsidiary. Obtained from the U.S. Department of Justice an agreement to permit Mr. Bachmann, a Swiss citizen, to return home to Switzerland immediately after plea and sentencing without serving a single day in prison.

Selected Recent Non-Public Criminal Investigations:

  • Defense of a former CEO of a major US healthcare company in connection with an investigation by the US Federal Elections Commission of alleged campaign finance violations
  • Representation of several major Swiss Private Banks and individual bankers in the U.S. Department of Justice’s investigations of their cross-border banking activities, including allegedly facilitating tax evasion by U.S. taxpayers.
  • Defense of a multi-billion dollar US hedge fund in connection with an SEC investigation of alleged fraud by the fund against certain investors.
  • Defense of a former CEO of a major US healthcare company in connection with an investigation by the US Federal Elections Commission of alleged campaign finance violations.


  • Georgetown University Law Center
    (J.D., magna cum laude, 2005)
    • Order of the Coif
    • Georgetown Law Journal:
      • Associate Editor, 2004-2005
  • University of Virginia
    (B.A., History, 2000)
  • The District of Columbia Bar
  • The State Bar of Maryland
  • United States Court of Appeals:
    • District of Columbia Circuit
  • United States District Courts:
    • District of Maryland
    • District of Columbia
  • Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section:
    • Trial Attorney, 2011-2013
  • Kobre & Kim LLP:
    • Associate, 2008-2011
  • Williams & Connolly LLP:
    • Associate, 2005-2007
  • The National Law Journal, D.C. Rising Star, 2017
  • Law360, Rising Star: White Collar, 2016