Quinn Emanuel has one of the most 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 Asian jurisdictions, including Mainland 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:
- Marc Greenwald, Co-Chair of the Firm’s Investigations, Government Enforcement and White Collar Criminal Defense Practice Group, former federal prosecutor, Southern District of New York, and former policy adviser at the U.S. Treasury Department.
- Michael Carlinsky, Chair of the Firm’s Complex Litigation practice and consistently ranked among the top U.S. litigators by numerous legal publications including Chambers and Partners, Benchmark Litigation.
- Manisha M. Sheth, Co-Chair of the Firm’s Government and Regulatory Litigation Practice Group, former Executive Deputy Attorney General of the Economic Justice Division at the Office of the New York Attorney General, and former federal prosecutor, Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
- Adam Abensohn, former federal prosecutor, Eastern District of New York.
- Kevin Reed, former federal prosecutor, Southern District of New York.
- Kathleen Sullivan, former Harvard Law School Professor and former Dean Stanford Law School.
- Jim Asperger, Co-Chair of the Firm’s Investigations, Government Enforcement and White Collar Criminal Defense Practice Group, former federal prosecutor and Chief of the Major Frauds Section, Central District of California, former Supreme Court clerk, and Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
- Steve Madison, Co-Chair of the Firm, Investigations, Government Enforcement and White Collar Criminal Defense Practice Group, former federal prosecutor Chief of the General Crimes Section, Central District of California, and Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
- Dave Grable, former federal prosecutor, Northern District of New York.
- Duane Lyons, former federal prosecutor and Chief of the Criminal Complaints Section, Central District of California.
- Bill Price, former federal prosecutor, Central District of California, and Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
- Kristin Tahler, represented individuals and corporations in some of the highest profile white collar matters of the last decade.
- Christopher Tayback, former federal prosecutor, Central District of California, former prosecutor in the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, and Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
San Francisco and Silicon Valley
- John Potter, Co-Chair of the Firm’s Investigations, Government Enforcement and White Collar Criminal Defense Practice Group, and former federal prosecutor and Deputy Chief, Government Fraud Section, Central District of California.
- Diane Doolittle, Co-Chair of the Firm’s National Trial Practice Group, and former prosecutor in Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.
- Bob Feldman, former federal prosecutor, Northern District of California, and Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
- William Burck, Co-Chair of the Firm’s Investigations, Government Enforcement and White Collar Criminal Defense Practice Group, former federal prosecutor, Southern District of New York, former Special Counsel and Deputy Counsel to the President of the United States, former U.S. Supreme Court clerk, and one of only a handful of lawyers recently named a “White Collar MVP” by Law360.
- Juan Morillo, Co-Chair of the D.C. Office’s Investigations, Government Enforcement and White Collar Criminal Defense Practice Group, and a prominent criminal defense lawyer as ranked by numerous legal publications, including Benchmark Litigation, Financial Times, and Legal 500.
- Ethan Glass, former Assistant Chief of the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, Litigation III Section, where he received numerous performance awards including the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award (the DOJ’s second highest performance award), the Attorney General’s John Marshall Award for Trial of Litigation, and two AAG Awards (the Antitrust Division’s top performance award).
- Stephen Hauss, former prosecutor in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, his work has been recognized by Law360, The American Lawyer, Global Investigations Review, and Who’s Who Legal Investigations.
- Michael Liftik, former Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Enforcement Advisor to the Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, with nearly 10 years of SEC enforcement experience.
- Michael Lyle, former Director of the White House Office of Administration in the Clinton Administration, and former General Counsel for the White House Office of Administration.
- Ben O’Neil, former federal prosecutor, Fraud Section of the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice, and named a “Rising Star” of the White Collar Bar by Law360 in 2016.
- Jonathan Bunge, former federal prosecutor and Deputy Chief of the General Crimes Section, Northern District of Illinois, and Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
- Leonid Feller, former federal prosecutor, Eastern District of Michigan, and faculty at the University of Michigan Law School.
- Alex Spiro, former Manhattan prosecutor, and faculty at Harvard Law School.
- Sam Williamson, former federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York and the Middle District of Tennessee, and former Chair of Kirkland & Ellis’ Asia-based Government Enforcement and Investigations Practice.
- Michelle Fox, repeatedly identified as one of the leading lawyers in Australia by Chambers, Who's Who Legal, and Legal 500 Asia Pacific.
- Michael Mills, Founder of the Firm's Sydney Office, and widely recognized as one of Australia's most highly regarded advocates by Best Lawyers Australia, Chambers, Legal 500 Asia-Pacific, and Who's Who Legal.
- Boris Bronfentrinker, repeatedly recognized by Financial News, Global Competition Review, and Chambers, as a leader in internal investigations into competition law and bribery/corruption issues.
- Nadine Herrmann, Chair of the Firm’s EU competition and antitrust practice, extensive experience in EU and national investigations, recognized by Law360, Handelsblatt, ManagingIP.
- Trevor Soames, Managing Partner of the Brussels office has over 30 years experience in running major antitrust, regulatory and FCPA/anti corruption investigations and led the defence teams in significant EU and national investigations, recognized by Who’s Who Legal, Chambers Europe, Commercial Disputes Resolution, Global Competition Review, IFLR, Law 360.
- Thomas Werlen, Managing Partner of the Swiss Office and former General Counsel of a listed multinational pharmaceutical company, recognized as a leading Swiss lawyer by Handelszeitung and Bilanz, has been heavily involved as lead counsel in bribery investigations in international sports and in investigations of Swiss banks in connection with the US-Swiss Tax Program.
- Xiao Liu, former Counsel to Skadden Arps in Beijing, recognized in Chambers Global 2018 and Chambers Asia Pacific 2018 as a “rising star” in the China market “with expertise in FCPA investigations and enforcement matters, and has vast experience representing Chinese companies and individuals in investigations by the U.S. government authorities such as the SEC, DOJ, FINRA, and Federal Reserve, and in federal and state courts in the United States.
A. Bribery and Corruption
- FIFA-Related Matters:
- We are lead counsel to FIFA, in what the New York Times aptly described as “one of the most complicated international white collar cases in recent memory.” Specifically, we represent FIFA in the global criminal investigations involving, amongst others, allegations that international media companies bribed FIFA officials to obtain sponsorship and broadcasting contracts.
- We represent Julius Baer in connection with parallel investigations by the DOJ and Swiss authorities involving allegations that FIFA officials and sports media and marketing officials engaged in money laundering, racketeering and wire fraud in connection with the awarding of global and regional soccer tournament media and marketing rights. Specifically, the investigation is focused on (1) whether FIFA officials and sports media and marketing executives – as alleged in the DOJ’s May 2015 indictment and December 2015 superseding indictment – maintained accounts at the bank that were used to facilitate bribery payments in connection with soccer media and marketing rights contracts, and (2) whether bank executives and employees knew or should have known about such payments. Julius Baer and its employees are cooperating with DOJ and we are representing them in discussions with U.S. authorities.
- We represent the CONMEBOL in connection with U.S. criminal investigations and prosecutions into allegations of bribery and corruption in the international soccer world. Specifically, we are advising CONMEBOL on the investigations and conducting an internal investigation on behalf of the organization. On May 27, 2015, the U.S. unsealed a 47-count criminal indictment in the Eastern District of New York, charging 14 defendants with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies, among other offenses, in connection with the defendants’ alleged participation in a long running scheme to enrich themselves through the corruption of international soccer. The criminal indictment alleges that high-level soccer officials abused their positions to solicit bribes from sports marketing companies. The DOJ announced a superseding indictment on December 3, 2015, which charged 16 additional defendants, including several past and current CONMEBOL officials. Among the additional charges in the superseding indictment are a bribery scheme implicating many top CONMEBOL officials relating to the sale of broadcasting rights to the CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores and a scheme by an Argentinian sports marketing company to obtain various rights properties by paying bribes to three Central American soccer officials to cause them to exert their influence in favor of the company.
- JBS, J&F, Batista Representation. We are lead counsel to the largest meat producer in the world, JBS S.A. (“JBS”), its controlling shareholder J&F Investimentos S.A. (“J&F”), and J&F’s individual owners, Joesley and Wesley Batista in one of the largest ongoing criminal investigations in the world. Prior to the companies’ engagement of Quinn Emanuel, Brazilian prosecutors, acting unilaterally, imposed a fine of more than R$ 10.3 billion (approximately USD 3.2 billion), the largest corporate fine for corrupt activity in history. We have been leading the efforts on behalf of the companies and the individuals to secure a resolution in the United States with the Department of Justice and the SEC. The representation is particularly sensitive given that the Batista brothers developed evidence implicating the sitting president of Brazil, Michel Temer. This fact, along with the size and scope of the investigation, has made this one of the most challenging representations in recent memory, and the unique expertise of Bill Burck and his team have been necessary to move the matter towards a resolution.
- McDonnell Corruption Trial. We represented former First Lady of Virginia Maureen McDonnell in connection with federal bribery and obstruction charges brought against her and her husband, former Governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell. Mrs. McDonnell was convicted of obstruction of justice and certain corruption charges after a six-week trial in 2014. After convincing the trial court to vacate the obstruction conviction because it was unsupported by the evidence, we pursued on appeal our arguments that the court incorrectly defined bribery and effectively directed the jury to convict. The Supreme Court of the United States agreed with our position in the Governor's appeal and vacated the convictions in a unanimous opinion that resoundingly rejected the government's and lower courts' conception of federal bribery laws. Following the Supreme Court's decision, which gave the government the option to attempt to re-try the case under the new standard, we met with the government to advocate that the charges instead be dismissed with prejudice. In early September 2016, the government abandoned the case against our client and the Governor.
- Sigelman FCPA Trial. We convinced the Department of Justice to drop a high profile FCPA prosecution mid-trial, resulting in the client receiving a sentence of probation and no jail time. In one of only a few FCPA cases ever to be tried, the Government dropped five-and-a-half of six charges against Mr. Sigelman after an admission by the Government’s star witness that he made false statements to the jury on direct examination. The judge referred to the firm’s cross examination of the Government’s star witness as “bloodletting.” Sigelman had been facing a possible sentence of 20 years in prison. Instead, the Government agreed to a plea deal in which he received a sentence of probation with no incarceration. These types of plea offers in the middle of trial rarely occur.
- Odebrecht Global Resolution. We represent the Odebrecht Group in connection with civil and criminal investigations flowing from the Lava Jato scandal, the largest corruption scandal in the history of Latin America and what the DOJ has described as “the largest-ever global foreign bribery resolution”. We helped secure a global resolution of Odebrecht’s criminal liability in the United States, Brazil, and Switzerland which allowed the company to continue operating despite allegations which constituted an existential threat.
- PHL Variable Insurance Company v. Town of Oyster Bay. The firm achieved an important victory for municipalities struggling with civil litigation caused by the misconduct of their officials. In a recent decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the Town of Oyster Bay, located in the greater New York metropolitan area, could not be liable on a contract that had been agreed to by former corrupt Town officials without the approval of the Town’s governing body, the Town Board. PHL Variable Insurance Company had alleged that the Town breached an agreement to guarantee a multi-million dollar loan PHL had made to a former Town concessionaire. PHL also had alleged that it was defrauded by the Town into making the loan. We obtained a dismissal with prejudice of all of PHL’s claims in district court, successfully arguing that the guarantee was unenforceable because it was never authorized by the Town Board. We then obtained a unanimous, published decision by the Second Circuit affirming the dismissal. The decision is a victory not only for the Town but also for other municipalities seeking to enforce their own procedures in order to protect their citizens from public corruption.
- We successfully defended a major sports-governing body in a criminal investigation in Germany that centered on corruption and other criminal allegations in connection with a sports event. In this context, the prosecutors considered imposing a penalty payment on our client for the alleged misconduct of a former executive but we convinced the authority to close the case at the pre-trial stage.
- We represent ENRC, a global mining conglomerate, and its successor, ERG, in connection with a UK SFO investigation into alleged bribery involving the company’s Kazakh and African operations. ENRC was listed on the London Stock Exchange but de-listed in part as a result of the SFO’s investigation. We previously represented the two former executives at the heart of the investigation, the former CEO of ENRC’s African operations and the former Global General Counsel, both of whom have been identified as “suspects” by the SFO. We have now replaced Deveboise & Plimpton as counsel for the Company.
- We served as counsel to the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of one of Europe’s largest engineering and construction firms concerning alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act relating to government procurement contracts in Africa and elsewhere.
- We represented the Special Committee of Independent Directors of a major clothing manufacturer in response to allegations of customs violations, kickbacks and commercial bribery in its Hong Kong and Singapore operations.
- One of our partners represented one of Africa's largest telecommunications companies in an investigation by U.S. and African authorities of allegations of corruption and bribery relating to the award of a mobile license in Iran.
- We represented a member of the board of directors of Net1, a South African company listed in the United States, in a FCPA investigation of Net1 and the board. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission formally dropped its investigation, bringing no charges against our client or Net1.
- We represented the Vice President of a foreign country in connection with foreign corruption allegations by U.S. Department of Justice and successfully resolved the matter with no criminal charges and a favorable civil settlement.
- BTG Internal Investigation. We represent a special committee formed by the Boards of Directors of Banco BTG Pactual S.A. (“BTG Pactual”), the largest investment bank in Latin America, and BTG Pactual Participations, Ltd. (“BTG Participations”), in an internal investigation regarding money laundering and bribery allegations against its former CEO André dos Santos Esteves. We found no basis to support the allegations against the Bank and its employees.
B. Money Laundering and Fraud
- We represented Erick Archila, the owner of Grupo A, one of Guatemala’s largest media conglomerates, and former Minister of Mines and Energy of Guatemala, in connection with a high-profile money laundering investigation by the Guatemalan government involving allegations that he provided hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gifts to the former President and Vice-President of Guatemala. Guatemala issued an arrest warrant against Mr. Archila in June 2016. This is one of the largest, high-profile criminal prosecutions launched by the Guatemalan government in recent history. Specifically, we represented Mr. Archila in U.S. extradition proceedings initiated by Guatemala resulting from the arrest warrant. The U.S. government has not processed Guatemala's extradition request. Additionally, we represented Mr. Archila in proceedings before INTERPOL and the ICHR and with immigration co-counsel, in U.S. asylum proceedings. Importantly, in March 2018, we successfully obtained a decision by INTERPOL cancelling Mr. Archila’s international arrest warrant. It is extremely rare for INTERPOL to cancel international arrest warrants. The ICHR and asylum proceedings are ongoing.
- We represented Leon Pasternak, the Deputy Chairman of Australian radio company Southern Cross, in a regulatory investigation of Mr Pasternak’s purchase of Southern Cross shares, which the regulator alleged constituted insider trading. After almost 4 years of investigations, we obtained confirmation that the regulator would not take enforcement action.
- FBME Preliminary Injunction. We obtained an unprecedented preliminary injunction that prevents the U.S. Treasury Department and its Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or “FinCEN,” bureau from enforcing a final rule that otherwise would have cut our client bank, FBME, off from U.S. dollars (and thus from the global financial system) to devastating effect. This is the first successful stand a bank has made against FinCEN’s implementation of this deadly sanction, which reflects a determination by FinCEN under Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act that a foreign bank is an institution of “primary money laundering concern” and should be cut off from the U.S. financial system. We persuaded the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that our client faced irreparable harm from implementation of the rule and was likely to prevail on the merits on the grounds that FinCEN’s ruling was procedurally defective and arbitrary and capricious. We succeeded despite being up against classified evidence submitted ex parte and in camera that allegedly established FBME’s involvement in money laundering and terrorist financing, as well as the heightened deference that courts accord Executive agencies whenever concerns about national security and foreign policy are invoked, as they were here.
- We represent BSI, a Switzerland-based, international private bank, in connection with the global criminal investigations involving 1MDB, Malaysia's sovereign wealth fund. This is one of the most important, high-visibility criminal money laundering investigations in the world. The Swiss authorities have ordered the bank to be liquidated and have launched the first ever criminal money laundering investigation against a bank. The U.S. authorities are also conducting a wide-ranging investigation.
- We represented Actelion Pharmaceuticals in a three-year U.S. Department of Justice investigation into marketing practices related to the drug Tracleer. The investigation concluded without any criminal charges being filed and with the dismissal of a related civil action.
- We represented the Board of Supreme Audit in Iraq in investigating fraud in the Oil for Food program.
- One of our partners was lead investigations counsel for Triple Canopy/Constellis, the private security company, in a global investigation concerning allegations of False Claims Act violations in Uganda.
- We represented the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Idealab to investigate claims by venture capital investors alleging various improper stock transactions and self-dealing on the part of the company’s management.
- We represented Tier Technologies in a six-month Audit Committee investigation following an accounting restatement and in related shareholder and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission proceedings.
- We represented Terayon Communications Systems in a year-long Audit Committee investigation arising out of an accounting restatement and in related U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and shareholder actions over operations in Canada, Israel, and Brazil.
- One of our partners represented Teledyne for allegedly overcharging the federal government in connection with defense contracts.
- One of our partners represented General Re, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, in investigations by federal and state agencies into financial reinsurance arrangements and obtained a non-prosecution agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice.
- One of our partners represented HCA, Inc. for alleged Medicare and Medicaid overbilling.
- One of our partners represented BlackRock in investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, and New York Attorney General, in investigations concerning market timing, late trading and revenue sharing.
- One of our partners represented the former public company IDB Communications in U.S. Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission investigations for alleged financial accounting fraud and insider trading by senior officers.
- One of our partners represented Tyco in connection with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigations stemming from the conduct of its former officers Dennis Kozlowski, Mark Belnick, and Mark Swartz.
- One of our partners represented ICGS, the joint Northrop Grumman Lockheed Martin entity formed to rebuild the U.S. Coast Guard through the Deepwater program, involving a $25 billion series of contracts. This involved various government investigations, fraud and False Claims Act subpoenas, and qui tam investigations. Our partner successfully defended after foreign whistleblower initiated action.
C. Economic Espionage and Trade Secrets
- Chen Espionage Investigation. We represented Dr. Qun Chen, a senior executive of Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare Co. Ltd., a leading Chinese medical imaging company, in a criminal economic espionage investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York that resulted in the indictment of three NYU scientists. We successfully extricated Dr. Chen from the Southern District’s investigation.
- Dismissal of Trade Secret Misappropriation Claim. In Koninklijke Philips N.V. et al. v. Elec-Tech International Co., Ltd. et al. (N.D. Cal.), we successfully obtained a dismissal of a high-stakes trade secret misappropriation claim brought in federal court by one of the world’s largest producers of light-emitting diodes and related products against Chinese competitor Elec-Tech International Co., Ltd. (ETI), several of its subsidiaries, and three of its officers.
- Motion to Quash Granted in Espionage Case. We represent the Pangang Group and three of its subsidiaries. These Chinese companies—large metal manufacturers—were indicted in a closely watched criminal case brought under the Economic Espionage Act. The government attempted to serve the indictment on our clients by delivery and mailing of a summons on an uncharged U.S. corporation that it alleged acted as an “agent” of the defendants. Our motion to quash the government’s attempted service was granted.
D. Constitutional and Civil Rights
- We are defending Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, in connection with solicitation of prostitution charges brought against him by the State of Florida. The charges stem from an investigation launched by the Town of Jupiter Police Department (“JPD”) in October 2018 concerning alleged prostitution taking place at a day spa in Jupiter, Florida. As part of that investigation, the JPD obtained a sneak-and-peek search warrant that authorized the JPD to conduct covert video recording inside the private massage rooms within the spa between January 18–22, 2019. According to the JPD, those covert recordings captured footage of Mr. Kraft engaging in paid sex acts while at the spa. We recently challenged the constitutionality of the sneak-and-peek search warrant on various grounds, including that it failed to adequately minimize the extent to which lawful conduct was surveilled, which is a constitutional requirement for this type of surveillance. Specifically, we argued that the warrant was facially invalid insofar as it permitted the JPD to conduct unfettered recording of all activity—legal or illegal—and any type of person (male or female) entering the spa. After extensive briefing and a three day suppression hearing, our motion to suppress was granted. According to the Court, the sneak-and-peek warrant “fail[ed] to consider and include instructions on minimizing the impact on women…in a setting with a high legitimate expectation of privacy” and contained “no minimization techniques or directives” to be implemented by the JPD when “viewing male spa clients receiving lawful services.” Importantly, the judge also suppressed all other evidence derived from the illegal video recordings, including a subsequent traffic stop that allowed the JPD to identify Mr. Kraft. The State has since appealed the ruling and the matter will soon be heard by the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal. In the meantime, the case is stayed and the videos remain sealed.
E. Tax Evasion
- We represented Bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd., which is the world’s largest pure private bank and publicly listed on the Swiss stock exchange, in resolving criminal liability related to its historical U.S. private banking business. In February 2016, Julius Baer entered into a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) and paid a total of $547 million as part of its settlement. Julius Baer was one of the first Swiss banks to reach a resolution outside of the U.S. Department of Justice Program for Non-Prosecution Agreements or Non-Target Letters for Swiss Banks, which was negotiated between the U.S. and Swiss governments and announced in August 2013. The penalty component of Julius Baer’s settlement ($81 million) represented a departure of approximately 85% below the bottom end of the recommended sentence range under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. Julius Baer’s resolution stands as the largest percentage downward departure that DOJ has publicly reported in any context. As Julius Baer complied with the requirements of the DPA – which required, among other things, ongoing cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice for a period of three years – the SDNY moved to dismiss the criminal charges against the bank. On February 4, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York formally dismissed the charges.
- We are representing several major Swiss Banks in the unprecedented and high visibility DOJ Swiss Bank Program which allowed Swiss Banks’ to resolve potential criminal liability for helping Americans evade taxes, if they satisfied certain requirements. We have obtained non-prosecution agreements and other favorable outcomes for several Swiss banks in this Program.
- For example, we represented BSI SA (“BSI”), one of the world’s largest private banks, in the DOJ Swiss Bank Program. BSI was the first, out of approximately 100 banks participating in the Swiss Bank Program, to obtain a non-prosecution agreement.
- We also represented EFG Bank (“EFG”), one of the largest banks in Switzerland, in connection with the DOJ Swiss Bank Program. We obtained a non-prosecution agreement for EFG, which was one of the largest banks in the Program. In contrast to other banks in the Program, this penalty is 1.9% of the Bank’s peak U.S. assets under management. This is less than half the penalty that other banks in the Program have had to pay.
F. Economic Sanctions
- Our Firm represented Reza Zarrab, a Turkish gold trader charged in the Southern District of New York with engaging in hundred of millions of dollars worth of transactions that constituted money laundering, Iran Trade sanctions violations, and bank fraud. Because Mr. Zarrab acted entirely from overseas, and the only connection alleged by the government between his conduct and the United States was the transferring of funds from one foreign country to another in U.S. dollars, the case raised jurisdictional issues of first impression. Our partners, including William Burck, were featured with other New York and Washington lawyers as members of a legal "dream team" assembled by Mr. Zarrab.
- We are representing Yani Benjamin Rosenthal Hidalgo, a prominent Honduran businessman and former candidate for president in that country, in defending against a criminal charge, brought in the Southern District of New York, that he and businesses in which his family has interests engaged in laundering funds that were the proceeds of international drug trafficking and bribery. Mr. Rosenthal is also contesting OFAC's determination to designate him under the so-called Drug Kingpin Act as a Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficker.
- One of our partners represented Mahmoud Reza Banki in obtaining reversal in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals of criminal convictions on charges of violating the Iran Trade Regulations and operating an illegal money transmitting business. The government maintained that Mr. Banki was violating the law by receiving funds from his family in Iran, through a "hawala" money transfer service. The reversal resulted in the vacating of a sentence of 30 months' imprisonment.
- We are defending a multinational commodities trading company in investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, and the Manhattan District Attorney's Office of alleged violations of U.S. trade sanctions on doing business in Iran, Sudan and Cuba.
- A partner defended an Iranian-American client in a trade sanctions case. The client received Presidential Pardon in the so-called Iranian "prisoner exchange" in 2016.
- We provided Iran sanctions compliance advice to one of the largest bulk material supply companies in the Middle East.
- One of our partners represented a U.S. manufacturer of refrigerators, washing machines, and other “white goods” in an investigation and voluntary disclosure to government investigators regarding potential sanctions violations in connection with shipment of restaurant equipment to Cuba.
- Quinn Emanuel represented a Dubai-based company in connection with a DOJ criminal investigation into its relationships with sanctioned companies operating in the Middle East and Africa, ultimately obtaining a non-target letter from DOJ on behalf of our client.
- Our partners advised an international trading company on various compliance issues related to transactions involving Russian counterparties.
- We advised a sovereign wealth fund on issues related to U.S. trade sanctions.
- On behalf of a multinational corporation, we conducted an internal investigation in the Middle East of alleged FCPA violations, money laundering, trade sanctions violations, and fraud.
- Our Firm advised a global shipbuilding company on compliance issues related to their business with sanctioned countries, including Cuba and Sudan.
- We assisted a Swiss chemical company in applying to OFAC for the release of funds that had been blocked pursuant to the Russian sanctions regime.
- We provided Iran sanctions advice to the Government of Azerbaijan.
- We represented Leon Pasternak, the Deputy Chairman of Australian radio company Southern Cross, in a regulatory investigation of Mr Pasternak’s purchase of Southern Cross shares, which the regulator alleged constituted insider trading. After almost 4 years of investigations, we obtained confirmation that the regulator would not take enforcement action.
- Securities Fraud Acquittal. We represented David Demos, a former trader and managing director at Cantor Fitzgerald & Co., who was indicted on five counts of securities fraud. Demos was acquitted of all charges.
- Complete Dismissal in AIG matter. We obtained a complete dismissal, with prejudice, of a major False Claims Act case against AIG that alleged AIG defrauded the Federal Reserve Bank of New York by hundreds of millions of dollars during the financial crisis. The case, brought by a former AIG human resources executive-turned-whistleblower, alleged that two insurance subsidiaries that AIG sold to the Federal Reserve in exchange for $25 billion in debt reduction had, for decades, engaged in unlicensed insurance business in New York. The plaintiff alleged that AIG was complicit in the illegal insurance activity, concealed it from regulators, and deliberately misled the Fed during the negotiations in order to consummate the transaction. This case posed a potential $2.5 billion liability for AIG under the False Claims Act’s treble damages provision. We previously convinced the Justice Department to decline to intervene in the suit, and after a three-hour long oral argument on our motion to dismiss, we have now obtained a complete dismissal, with prejudice, in an opinion that adopted nearly every one of our arguments and found that any attempt by the plaintiff to supplement his complaint would be futile.
- Diaz DOJ and SEC Investigation. Martin Diaz-Alvarez is one of Mexico’s most prominent bankers. In 2014, the Mexican government falsely accused Mr. Diaz of a $500 million fraud involving the collapse of Oceanografia S.A. de C.V. (“Oceanografia”), Mexico’s largest oil services company. This is the largest financial fraud case in the history of Latin America. We successfully extricated Mr. Diaz from parallel DOJ and SEC investigations.
- Time-Served Sentence. We obtained a sentence of “time served” (only 4 months) for Isidoro Garbarino, who had been indicted for defrauding customs out of millions of dollars of duties for Russian and Iranian caviar and then fled the U.S. for more than 20 years.
- SEC Declines to Bring Charges Against Apple. We were selected by Vice President Al Gore to represent a special committee of the board of Apple in connection with an investigation into Steve Jobs’ approval and personal receipt of backdated stock options. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission specifically cited the quality of our investigation as a factor in declining to bring charges against the company.
H. Asset Forfeiture
- We obtained a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York to prohibit the creditors of our client, Oro Negro, a Mexican oil services company, from seizing the company’s only assets: five offshore oil drilling rigs—an attempt which, if successful, would have led to the company’s total destruction. The creditors’ plan to seize the rigs began with the institution of baseless criminal investigations in Mexico against Oro Negro and its employees, falsely alleging that they had misappropriated funds to which the creditors were entitled. After obtaining from a Mexican criminal court, a “restitution order”—issued ex parte and replete with procedural and substantive irregularities—purporting to allow the creditors to take possession of the rigs, the creditors rented helicopters and flew out to the rigs, located in Mexican waters, and forcibly sought to take possession of them. We quickly moved to obtain a TRO to stop the creditors in their tracks before they could take possession of the rigs. Following the New York court’s granting of our TRO, the creditors agreed to enter a court-ordered stipulation pursuant to which they will cease and desist from any further efforts to seize the platforms.
- Favorable Resolution of Asset-Forfeiture Case. We successfully represented the Vice President of Equatorial Guinea in a precedent-setting civil forfeiture proceeding brought by the DOJ that raised novel issues regarding the role of foreign law under the U.S. money laundering statutes. We successfully resolved the case.
- Criminal Copyright Case. We represented Megaupload Limited in the largest copyright case in U.S. history in connection with criminal charges brought by the DOJ and successfully set aside a restraint order that had frozen the client’s assets located in Hong Kong.
- Dismissal of All Felony Charges. We represented IFCO executives charged with immigration violations after the government detected undocumented workers at the company’s factories. We won dismissal of all felony charges, and the case settled for a misdemeanor fine of less than $10,000.
J. Campaign Finance Law Violations
- We represented Steve Bonner, the former CEO of Cancer Treatment Centers of America, in an internal investigation regarding serious campaign finance law violations that had occurred at the company over the last decade. We secured a favorable conciliation agreement for our client with the Federal Election Commission for our client, which declined a referral of the matter to the DOJ.
- Pre-Trial Dismissal and Jury Acquittal in BP Deepwater Horizon matter. We obtained pre-trial dismissal of the most serious charges related to the BP Deepwater Horizon Explosion & Oil Spill, and subsequently obtained an acquittal at trial on all remaining charges. We represented an individual facing 23 federal criminal counts arising out of the BP Oil Spill. He was accused of causing oil pollution and manslaughter. Over a three-year period, we first obtained dismissal of all the manslaughter counts before trial on the grounds that the statutes the government was prosecuting under did not apply to off-shore activities at that point in the ocean. As to the remaining counts, a jury unanimously acquitted our client, finding that he did not cause the disaster. The acquittal was covered extensively by The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Houston Chronicle, and Texas Monthly.
L. Criminal Anti-Trust
- Not Guilty Verdict. One of our partners represented Manuli Rubber Industries of Italy executive Francesco Scaglia in the “Marine Hose Price Fixing Cartel” trial in West Palm Beach, Florida. The case was one of the largest international criminal antitrust cases ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice. The jury returned its “not guilty” verdict within hours after a month-long trial.
- We represent a pharmaceutical client in a criminal investigation launched by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Antitrust Division in Washington, D.C. concerning price increases for generic drugs. The Grand Jury subpoena was served by the Department of Justice in an ongoing investigation into alleged price fixing by key players in the generic drug industry that was commenced in late-2014. The recent rise in the prices of generic drugs in the United States also has been the subject of a congressional inquiry.
- One of our partners represented a broker-dealer in connection with a criminal antitrust investigation by the Department of Justice arising out of alleged bid-rigging in the municipal derivatives market.
- We obtained a grant of leniency from the Department of Justice for a company whose employees had engaged in an international price-fixing scheme related to the internet marketplace for consumer goods.