Quinn Emanuel has one of the elite investigations, government enforcement and white collar criminal defense practices in the world. Over 50 partners in a dozen offices worldwide specialize in the field and our firm has repeatedly been recognized as being among the very best by numerous legal publications, including Chambers USA, Chambers UK, Chambers Europe, Law360, The American Lawyer, The National Law Journal, The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers, Legal 500, The Expert's Guide to the World's Leading Lawyers, and Best Lawyers. Our practice group was named “Most Impressive Practice of the Year” by Global Investigation Review in 2015 and “White Collar Practice Group of the Year” for 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 by Law360. In 2017, The American Lawyer and Legal Week named our group “Transatlantic Investigation Team of the Year.”
Deep experience with government investigations. In government-facing matters, experience as a prosecutor is important. Over 25 of our partners have served as United States Attorneys, Assistant United States Attorneys, Department of Justice attorneys, UK Serious Fraud Office attorneys, or as other high ranking government lawyers. They understand the dynamics of a prosecutor’s charging decision. As a result, we have considerable expertise in designing and implementing strategies to avert criminal charges.
We focus on getting the best resolutions as quickly as possible. Of course, the best resolution of a criminal matter is achieved when no charges are ever brought, whether because a successful internal investigation provides the basis for a negotiated resolution or because presenting a vigorous defense early shows the government authority the downside to pursuing prosecution. We recognize the mere filing of a criminal charge can ruin a client’s reputation and trigger catastrophic financial losses. While Quinn Emanuel has regularly represented clients in high profile matters covered on the front pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and other publications, our best results have often been obtained quietly, outside the public glare, by persuading government lawyers to refrain from filing charges. To effectively conduct these negotiations, it is critical that the lawyer has earned the respect of the prosecutors, which requires mastery of the process. Our partners' extensive experience with the government gives us that.
Our experience in corporate investigations, government enforcement and white collar defense is wide-ranging and diverse. We have conducted sensitive internal investigations at the direction of corporate General Counsel, Audit Committees and Special Committees. We have successfully represented both corporations and individuals in congressional investigations, grand jury investigations, at trial and on appeal. We have both conducted internal investigations regarding and defended clients against, allegations of health care, securities and government contract fraud; the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), Corruption, Money Laundering and Trade Sanctions, Economic Espionage and Trade Secrets, Tax Evasion, Fraud, Asset Forfeiture, Employment and Immigration Issues, Environmental Violations, Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act, and Criminal Antitrust Price Fixing. We have litigated against virtually every U.S. enforcement agency including the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”), the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), the U.S. Department of the Treasury and its Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), the Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”), as well as Attorneys General and District Attorneys in numerous states.
We have an international practice with partners located in 23 global offices, and have represented clients in the United States and throughout the world, including Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Middle East. Much of our work has been done on behalf of foreign companies and individuals whose activities have drawn the attention of U.S. regulators and prosecutors. Our global resources, coupled with our unique cross-border experience, allow us to effectively and efficiently navigate related criminal investigations in multiple jurisdictions.
OUR INTERNATIONAL PRESENCE
Our European practice has recently focused on representing (i) the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (“FIFA”) in connection with U.S. and Swiss criminal investigations into allegations of bribery and corruption in the international soccer world, including conducting an internal investigation on behalf of the organization; (ii) two major European banks, including by investigating whether the banks knew or should have known that accounts at the banks were used to pay bribes; (iii) a multinational logistics and transportation company based in Switzerland in a DOJ investigation of alleged violations of the FCPA; (iv) a Switzerland-based, international private bank, in connection with the global criminal investigations involving 1MDB, Malaysia's sovereign wealth fund; (v) several major European banks in connection with the “Panama Papers” investigation focused on whether accounts at the bank held under the names of companies created by the Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca, were used to evade taxes, conduct business with sanctioned individuals or companies, or otherwise engage in criminal activity; (vi) ENRC, a large mining conglomerate formerly listed on the London Stock Exchange, in a high-profile investigation by the UK's Serious Fraud Office of alleged bribery in the company's operations in Africa and Kazikhstan; (vii) a Swiss-based private bank in connection with an SEC investigation concerning a client of the bank; (viii) a Swiss commodity trading company in connection with the Petrobras bribery scandal in Brazil (Lava Jato); and (ix) several European banks in connection with the Petrobras and PdVSA investigations focused on whether accounts at the banks were used to pay bribes to Petrobras or PdVSA officials in return for contracts.
Our Latin American practice regularly represents clients in (i) criminal and regulatory matters involving Latin America such as investigations, prosecutions, and trials against U.S. enforcement agencies, including the DOJ, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the SEC and their European equivalents, and (ii) cross-border internal investigations involving U.S. and Latin American jurisdictions and laws. In recent years, we have been involved in many major criminal cases involving Latin America. Perhaps unlike any other firm, our Latin America practice includes attorneys with training and experience in both the U.S. and Latin America. Fully bi-cultural and bi-lingual, our team is uniquely positioned to advise on any issues involving Latin American cases or clients. Indeed, the practice includes partners, associates, paralegals, and secretaries that are fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, most of whom are bi-cultural, and many of whom are trained and licensed to practice law in Latin America, in addition to the U.S. Having a team comprised of bi-lingual and bi-cultural professionals provides our clients a unique advantage where understanding subtle cultural differences and nuances is often critical. The practice’s recent representations include: (i) CONMEBOL in connection with U.S. criminal investigations and prosecutions into allegations of bribery and corruption in the international soccer world; (ii) the Special Committee of Banco BTG Pactual S.A. (“BTG Pactual”) in an internal investigation of alleged corruption involving its former CEO and other bank executives, in which we found no basis to support the allegations against the Bank and its employees; (iii) two of the largest construction companies in Brazil in potential civil and criminal investigations and litigation involving the Petrobras bribery scandal (Lava Jato), the largest corruption scandal in Latin American history, involving allegations of over $2.5 billion in bribes and kickbacks; (iv) the Government of Brazil in a corruption matter involving former senior government officials and multiple jurisdictions; (v) the General Manager of one of the largest energy companies in Central America in connection with allegations of bribery in Guatemala; (vi) a Mexican high-ranking executive for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in connection with DOJ and SEC FCPA investigations against Wal-Mart; (vii) a large Argentinean oil company and its owner, one of Argentina’s wealthiest individuals, in connection with high-profile DOJ and SEC investigations involving alleged FCPA violations to secure an extension of oil rights in an Argentinean oilfield; (viii) the United State’s largest chemical and industrial products companies in an internal investigation of alleged corruption involving its Mexican subsidiary; (ix) the Rosenthal family, one of the most prominent families in Central America, in a number of related criminal matters; and (x) a senior executive of one of Venezuela’s largest engineering companies in DOJ investigations into corruption and money laundering involving PdVSA.
We have represented clients in cases and investigations all over Asia, including China, India, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand in a wide variety of industries, including pharmaceutical, construction/ infrastructure, hospitality, and mining. Our Asia practice includes successful representations involving: (i) numerous companies of varying size, both publicly traded and privately held, in connection with FCPA-related internal investigations and government enforcement actions involving the DOJ, the SEC, and multiple foreign enforcement agencies, (ii) numerous publicly-traded companies’ boards of directors, audit committees, and special committees of the board, with regard to the conduct of internal reviews of securities disclosure and accounting concerns and other compliance, enforcement or regulatory matters, and (iii) U.S. and Chinese companies in connection with private plaintiff and U.S. government antitrust litigation and investigations, including providing advice on dealing with Chinese government antitrust investigations and enforcement actions.
We have extensive experience providing counsel to clients in the Middle East, including as follows: (i) the Mina Group, the U.S. military’s largest supplier of jet fuel, in parallel U.S. Congressional and DOJ investigations into alleged corruption in their Middle East, Russia and Central Asia operations, ultimately obtaining a congressional report exonerating the Group, (ii) Dubai Islamic Bank (“DIB”) , the world’s largest Islamic bank, in consolidated proceedings in U.S. federal court involving claims arising from the September 11 terrorist attacks, (iii) Mubadala Development Co., one of the UAE’s largest sovereign wealth funds, in connection with civil forfeiture actions filed by the DOJ against a Malaysian businessman named Jho Low with whom our client has various joint ventures, relating to charges that Jho Low assisted various high-level Malaysian government officials illegally divert funds from the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB for their personal use, (iv) a Kuwaiti company, one of the largest logistics companies in the world, in defense of $500 million in claims and criminal charges brought by the U.S. government related to food supply contracts in Iraq, and (v) a Dubai-based company in connection with a DOJ criminal investigation into its relationships with sanctioned companies operating in the Middle East and Africa.
Partners from our Sydney Office have successfully represented numerous prominent directors and officers facing regulatory investigation by Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), as well as represented companies throughout Australia, New Zealand and southeast Asia in a variety of white collar investigations. Recently, we represented E*Trade after its Manila office was raided by the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation for alleged violations of Philippines securities laws. Within months, we obtained a dismissal of all alleged violations.
OUR WHITE COLLAR PARTNERS AROUND THE WORLD
Among our preeminent white collar partners are:
San Francisco and Silicon Valley
A. Bribery and Corruption
B. Money Laundering and Fraud
C. Economic Espionage and Trade Secrets
D. Constitutional and Civil Rights
E. Tax Evasion
F. Economic Sanctions
H. Asset Forfeiture
J. Campaign Finance Law Violations
L. Criminal Anti-Trust
Quinn Emanuel mourns the loss of one of its name partners, Bill Urquhart. Bill joined the firm 31 years ago when it was just a few lawyers in downtown Los Angeles. Bill was a visionary and helped lead a transformation of the firm from a small litigation boutique to the largest and most successful litigation firm in the world, with over 800 lawyers in 23 offices on four continents.
In his legal practice, Bill was a sage counselor and trusted advisor for both plaintiffs and defendants, and for numerous Fortune 100 companies in their most important disputes — matters that usually involved tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of dollars. Over the years he advised IBM, Hughes, Johnson Controls, CNA, Nokia and Qualcomm, among many many others.
For the many people at the firm who were fortunate to know Bill, he was more than a visionary partner and excellent lawyer, he was also a friend, who lived and loved life. He was loved and will be missed.
He leaves behind his wife Mary and 6 children, and our thoughts are with them in this time of grief.