• K. Lee Blalack II
      1625 Eye Street, NW
      Washington, DC, 20006
      Phone: +1-202-383-5374
      Fax: +1-202-383-5414
  • Daniel Bookin
      Two Embarcadero Center, 28th Floor
      San Francisco, CA, 94111
      Phone: +1-415-984-8786
      Fax: +1-415-984-8701
  • Mary Patrice Brown
      1625 Eye Street, NW
      Washington, DC, 20006
      Phone: +1-202-383-5376
      Fax: +1-202-383-5414
  • Sharon M. Bunzel
      Two Embarcadero Center, 28th Floor
      San Francisco, CA, 94111
      Phone: +1-415-984-8939
      Fax: +1-415-984-8701
  • Arthur B. Culvahouse Jr.
      1625 Eye Street, NW
      Washington, DC, 20006
      Phone: +1-202-383-5388
      Fax: +1-202-383-5414
  • David Deaton
      400 South Hope Street
      Los Angeles, CA, 90071
      Phone: +1-213-430-6191
      Fax: +1-213-430-6407
  • Ross B. Galin
      Times Square Tower
      7 Times Square
      New York, NY, 10036
      Phone: +1-212-326-4307
      Fax: +1-212-326-2061
  • Andrew J. Geist
      Times Square Tower
      7 Times Square
      New York, NY, 10036
      Phone: +1-212-326-2207
      Fax: +1-212-326-2061
  • Richard Grime
      1625 Eye Street, NW
      Washington, DC, 20006
      Phone: +1-202-383-5178
      Fax: +1-202-383-5414
  • Howard E. Heiss
      Times Square Tower
      7 Times Square
      New York, NY, 10036
      Phone: +1-212-326-2116
      Fax: +1-212-326-2061
  • Carolyn Kubota
      400 South Hope Street
      Los Angeles, CA, 90071
      Phone: +1-213-430-6353
      Fax: +1-213-430-6407
  • David J. Leviss
      1625 Eye Street, NW
      Washington, DC, 20006
      Phone: +1-202-383-5282
      Fax: +1-202-383-5414
  • Greta Lichtenbaum
      1625 Eye Street, NW
      Washington, DC, 20006
      Phone: +1-202-383-5249
      Fax: +1-202-383-5414
  • Steven J. Olson
      400 South Hope Street
      Los Angeles, CA, 90071
      Phone: +1-213-430-7855
      Fax: +1-213-430-6407
  • Mark A. Racanelli
      Times Square Tower
      7 Times Square
      New York, NY, 10036
      Phone: +1-212-326-4403
      Fax: +1-212-326-2061
  • Jonathan Rosenberg
      Times Square Tower
      7 Times Square
      New York, NY, 10036
      Phone: +1-212-408-2409
      Fax: +1-212-326-2061
  • Stuart Sarnoff
      Times Square Tower
      7 Times Square
      New York, NY, 10036
      Phone: +1-212-326-2293
      Fax: +1-212-326-2061
  • Dan Shallman
      400 South Hope Street
      Los Angeles, CA, 90071
      Phone: +1-213-430-6143
      Fax: +1-213-430-6407
  • Michael Tubach
      Two Embarcadero Center, 28th Floor
      San Francisco, CA, 94111
      Phone: +1-415-984-8876
      Fax: +1-415-984-8701
PROFESSIONALS

White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations

Critical moments and critical decisions. How we interact with law and regulatory enforcement agencies involves critical decision-making and in those moments, experience counts. With a team of seasoned lawyers, the majority of whom are former federal and state prosecutors, we are capable of handling any crisis situation. Our White Collar practice is led by partners with extraordinary experience both inside and outside the government.

We represent individuals, partnerships, government officials, and Fortune 500 industry leaders in a wide variety of complex criminal investigations and trials, and in parallel administrative and civil proceedings throughout the United States and the world. We get results. We routinely represent corporations, audit committees, individual officers and directors, and others in internal, SEC, DOJ, attorney-general, and self-regulatory investigations. We have tried more than 200 criminal and civil cases to verdict or judgment. Our practice includes representing public companies and their officers and directors in a wide variety of SEC investigations, including investigations involving financial and accounting issues, insider trading, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and internal control issues. We also represent major U.S. broker-dealers, investment advisers, and registered persons in investigations by the SEC, DOJ, NYSE, and FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority; successor entity to the National Association of Securities Dealers), as well as federal banking regulators. We conduct internal investigations and compliance reviews for public companies, broker-dealers, and investment advisers to assess the adequacy and assist in the development of regulatory policies, procedures, and internal controls for such entities.

Key Facts

  • Throughout their careers, our lawyers have tried more than 200 criminal and civil cases to judgment or verdict in federal and state courts throughout the United States. Our advocacy skills have also led to victories in proceedings before arbitration tribunals and governmental agencies in Europe and Asia.
  • Our team includes former high-ranking members of the US Department of Justice and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, who provide clients with invaluable insight into governmental decision-making processes.
  • Clients seeking to enhance their risk management practices rely on our US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act handbook, first published in 1992 and now in its 6th edition.
  • In response to commonly asked questions by our clients, our team published the “In-House Counsel’s Guide to Conducting Internal Investigations.” The guide, issued by request to more than 500 in-house counsel, journalists, and lawyers from other major US law firms, serves as a roadmap to those about to face a challenging internal investigation as well as those who just want to be better informed about the process.
  • Our practice and lawyers are recognized in many rankings directories, including:
    • White Collar Law360 named O’Melveny “White Collar Group of the Year.”
    • Chambers USA quotes a source describing our practice as having “[a] great team with huge capability and extensive resources.”
    • Securities Law 360 called our practice a “one-stop-shop for white collar defendants.”
    • Legal 500 quotes a source stating, “The level of service—responsiveness, engagement, attentiveness to client concerns and needs, collaboration with other parties, comprehensiveness and pure bedside manner—was excellent.”
    • GC California magazine ranked our Government Investigations Practice #1 among California general counsel in a recent poll.
    • The Daily Journal regularly lists our partners and cases in its annual contests, including: “Top Women Litigators,” “Top 100 Lawyers,” and “Top Defense Verdicts,” among others.

Representative Experience

  • Representing major U.S. corporations in internal investigations concerning accounting, financial disclosure, internal control, and insider trading issues.
  • Representing major U.S. corporations or their officers and directors in investigations by the SEC, the DOJ, and other federal and state agencies and authorities.
  • Representing mutual funds in late trading and market timing investigations.
  • Representing broker-dealer firms in connection with SEC and FINRA investigations relating to revenue sharing arrangements, mutual fund sales practices, sales of variable annuities, and supervisory practices.
  • Representing hedge funds in trading practices investigations.
  • Representing public companies in delisting hearings before the NASDAQ and the American Stock Exchange.
  • Representing a multinational financial institution contemplating the acquisition of a bank and credit card company in Latin America in due diligence focusing on potential FCPA, anti-money laundering, and OFAC issues.
  • Designing and assisting with FCPA compliance programs for financial institutions, trained compliance executives and conducted internal investigations.

Practice Strengths

  • Congressional Investigations
    • O’Melveny has extensive experience in responding to Congressional committee subpoenas, representing members in ethics inquiries and related criminal investigations, preparing clients to testify before Congressional committees, and managing public relations and political consequences. We draw on a team of talented and diverse lawyers with decades of government experience and creative approaches to investigations. Representative clients include: Former Senate Majority Leader William H. Frist, MD in connection with investigations surrounding his sale of stock from federally qualified blind trusts; Former Senator Pete Domenici in connection with a federal grand jury and Senate Ethics Committee investigation of his communications with the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico; and Former New Jersey Governor and EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman in connection with a House investigation of EPA's response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001; among many others.
  • Criminal Antitrust Litigation
    • With increasing regularity, antitrust authorities in various countries conduct coordinated international investigations. O’Melveny’s antitrust lawyers have experience in criminal matters and in dealing with competition regulators worldwide. Our team secured a favorable plea agreement on behalf of a semiconductor supplier, which had become ensnared in an industry-wide criminal antitrust investigation conducted by the US Department of Justice for alleged price-fixing violations. We simultaneously prepared for trial while developing and pursuing a strategy for settlement negotiations with the government.
  • Criminal Environmental Litigation
    • Our team has considerable experience counseling clients accused of violating laws regarding hazardous waste disposal, the US Clean Air Act, and the US Clean Water Act, among others. We have achieved successful settlements with the US Environmental Protection Agency through voluntary disclosures and have convinced the US Department of Justice to close criminal inquiries without bringing charges. For example, we scored a significant victory for client Jack Wolter in the largest-ever federal criminal prosecution of alleged violations of the Clean Air Act when a federal court jury acquitted him of conspiracy to obstruct the Environmental Protection Agency and to endanger the community of Libby, Montana.
  • False Claims Act
    • We have significant experience handling the complex aspects of “whistleblower” qui tam claims under the False Claims Act and other civil fraud statutes. Members of our nationally renowned White Collar Practice counsel clients through the thicket of overlapping federal and state criminal and civil laws regulating the reporting obligations and protections. We regularly handle internal investigations, compliance reviews, defense of government investigations, and False Claims Act and related employment litigation and trials. We also have considerable experience in related areas such as the anti-kickback statutes, state False Claims Act statutes, and complex government accounting disputes.
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
    • We regularly counsel clients on the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Much of our work involves conducting internal investigations and pre-acquisition due diligence, structuring and revising compliance programs, and providing training. We also provide advice on how to comply with the Act’s anti-bribery provisions as well as its recordkeeping requirements. For example, we assist the Independent Compliance Consultant engaged by Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. (SSI) in connection with FCPA compliance issues.
  • Health Care Enforcement
    • Our lawyers regularly represent hospitals, pharmaceutical and biological manufacturers, medical supply and device manufacturers, doctors and other health care providers in governmental investigations into alleged violations of the health care fraud and abuse laws and understand the enforcement climate well. For example, we represented a major hospital chain in a False Claims Act lawsuit that involved an alleged improper billing for use of x-ray equipment. We obtained a dismissal with prejudice.
  • Internal Investigations
    • Internal investigations are essential in uncovering possible wrongdoing and restoring corporate integrity. Directors who fail to act bring risk to themselves and the companies they serve. We have conducted thorough investigations and suggested remedial actions for audit committees, special board committees, and independent directors. We are representing the audit committee of a multi-billion-dollar computer networking company in an investigation regarding revenue recognition issues in its Asia Pacific operations. Also, a retail company hired us to investigate allegations of irregular accounting practices relating to the company’s tracking and reporting of inventory and accounting for vendor allowances.
  • Multi-Front Litigation
    • We have helped numerous clients defend against highly publicized multi-front litigation onslaughts from criminal, regulatory, and administrative agencies, civil litigants, and US congressional committees. To succeed, we coordinate across our worldwide offices and work with media relations professionals on proper messaging for the press. For example, we represented a San Diego-based bookseller on multiple fronts after the company announced that it would restate five years of financial statements due to accounting issues, including a federal securities class action, federal and state derivative actions, and investigations by the DOJ and the SEC.
  • Securities Fraud
    • Our practice includes representing public companies and their officers and directors in a wide variety of SEC investigations, including investigations involving financial and accounting issues, insider trading, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and internal control issues. We also represent major US broker-dealers, investment advisers, and registered persons in investigations by the SEC, DOJ, NYSE, and FINRA, as well as federal banking regulators. We conduct internal investigations and compliance reviews for public companies, broker-dealers, and investment advisers to assess the adequacy and assist in the development of regulatory policies, procedures, and internal controls for such entities. In these engagements, we leverage the experience of former senior members of the Staff of the Division of Enforcement of the SEC and former federal prosecutors with extensive securities enforcement experience.
  • Trade Secrets
    • We represent public companies and individuals, particularly those in the high-tech industry, in parallel criminal and civil investigations and prosecutions by government enforcement agencies. On behalf of numerous clients, we have conducted large-scale internal investigations of trade-secret misappropriations and computer hacking, and negotiated with government officials who have declined to prosecute clients on the basis of their proactive efforts.