Businesses face significant white collar scrutiny and risk in today’s complex global legal and regulatory landscape. With lawyers and other legal professionals based in key international financial markets and highly regulated jurisdictions, our white collar litigation and government investigations team helps clients navigate regulatory, criminal, and civil challenges worldwide.
Our US team includes seasoned defense lawyers who are leaders in their profession as evidenced by their inclusion in the American College of Trial Lawyers and leading directories such as Chambers. Many on our team are former US Department of Justice (DOJ) assistant attorneys general, US Attorneys, federal prosecutors and supervisors from numerous US attorney offices, senior enforcement attorneys and supervisors with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), state prosecutors, and leaders from other government agencies. Our lawyers outside the United States counsel clients in investigations involving regulators such as the UK Serious Fraud Office, UK Financial Conduct Authority, UK Competition and Markets Authority, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission, and the Dubai Financial Services Authority, including advising on parallel investigations involving the DOJ and SEC.
We represent and advise clients in the full range of internal investigations, civil litigation, criminal trials, enforcement actions, and government inquiries in developed and emerging markets. Our first priority—always—is to resolve problems with no charges filed, litigation, or adverse publicity by efficiently and effectively identifying the heart of an issue and leveraging our credibility with enforcement authorities on behalf of our clients. If litigation is called for, however, our veteran defense lawyers coordinate cross-border investigations, work with local counsel where necessary, manage global differences in the approach to privilege, advise on cultural nuances with the benefit of local language skills, coordinate regulatory settlements, and manage litigation risk, including potential group litigation.
Our representations have involved multiple agencies across global jurisdictions arising from issues related to:
We defend against False Claim Act (FCA) investigations and litigation—and litigate both intervened and non-intervened qui tam actions—throughout the United States at the federal district court and appellate levels, often in industrywide investigations. Our team includes nationally recognized FCA practitioners and thought leaders who have handled federal and state investigations in more than 40 jurisdictions. At the federal and state levels, we handle parallel proceedings involving multiple prosecuting agencies and defendants. We respond to all ancillary aspects of government investigations—including shareholder suits, suspensions and debarments, and administrative monetary penalty proceedings—brought by, among others:
Our team represents clients before the DOJ and SEC in connection with Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigations; in UK Bribery Act proceedings involving the UK Serious Fraud Office and the UK Financial Conduct Authority; and anti-bribery and corruption legal and regulatory proceedings involving other global agencies in Asia, the Middle East, Central and South America, Russia and its neighbors, and Africa. Our on-the-ground investigations capabilities in the United Kingdom, Asia, and the Middle East include lawyers with significant experience in managing US-led investigations who provide a coordinated approach to managing cross-border investigations to required scrutiny standards. Our knowledge of and experience with local laws and cultural nuances have resulted in our team handling internal investigations in more than 70 countries around the world.
From pre- and post-transaction due diligence to compliance counseling and training, our lawyers implement mechanisms designed to reduce the risk of corrupt activity and the enforcement actions and consequences that may flow from them. Where investigations arise, we advise on remedial actions along the way, using our understanding of, and experience with, the expectations of enforcement agencies to best position our clients to mitigate exposure. Our experience includes:
Our healthcare fraud team—which includes lawyers skilled in criminal, regulatory (including US Food and Drug Administration), and healthcare law matters—provides clients with comprehensive strategies for healthcare fraud investigations and related litigation. We guide clients through every stage of these investigations and litigation—from responding to grand jury subpoenas through trial and appeal, including:
At every stage of the enforcement and investigative process, we advise clients facing securities, commodities, and financial fraud investigations and enforcement actions worldwide, including allegations related to:
In addition to the DOJ and SEC, our lawyers have advised clients in matters involving:
Composed of the former head of the DOJ’s Tax Division, former federal prosecutors, and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) lawyers, our tax fraud team handles complex criminal and civil matters related to tax fraud and noncompliance. While we seek to resolve taxpayer issues at the civil examination or appeal levels, we have experience successfully defending clients in civil or criminal proceedings or trials in US and state courts, in US Tax Court, and on appeal. We have been at the forefront of representing taxpayers’ interests and shaping policy in cutting-edge tax issues, such as in connection with the IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP). In the United Kingdom, we have represented clients in the financial services sector in connection with investigations led by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and managing related claims.
Companies accused of environmental crimes turn to us due to our command of the subject matter, insight into government agencies, and demonstrated investigational and trial skills. We work on our clients’ behalf to avoid criminal charges or favorably resolve unavoidable enforcement proceedings. Our environmental crimes team includes white collar, environmental, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lawyers—many of whom are former federal prosecutors and agency alumni with experience trying environmental cases. Our team is led by a former assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, the US government’s top environmental enforcement position, who is also a former US Attorney. In addition to the DOJ, we regularly deal with major US environmental enforcement agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, Fish and Wildlife Service, and their state counterparts.
We have defended matters involving false statements regarding:
Well-designed corporate compliance programs help companies prevent potential problems before they occur; reduce the likelihood of enforcement actions; and minimize criminal penalties and the risk of compliance monitors being required as part of investigation resolutions. Informed by our experience in investigations and corporate governance, our team works with clients to design and implement compliance programs from the ground up, and to strengthen existing compliance programs. We perform comprehensive audits, develop training programs, and establish ongoing monitoring mechanisms.
From the United States, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, our antitrust lawyers work as a collaborative global team offering a broad, coordinated approach to address our clients’ complex multijurisdictional, cross-jurisdictional, and multiagency matters. Our team includes former senior officials from the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, US Federal Trade Commission, and Japan Fair Trade Commission. Our cartel and government investigations lawyers have been involved in almost every recent major cartel probe, and our merger control team is highly sought after for complex, multinational deals, often serving as special antitrust counsel for clients for whom the firm is not deal counsel.
In addition to the DOJ, we have experience in cross-border investigations involving:
We counsel and defend clients in procurement fraud proceedings, including both criminal investigations and civil litigation. Major government contractors across an array of industries, including aerospace and weapons, are among our clients. We are intimately familiar with the rules and regulations governing contractors, and we constantly monitor new and proposed regulations.
Our team, which is well versed in the US Economic Espionage Act and related state trade secret statutes, assists companies and trade secret owners who may have been victims of trade secret theft or foreign economic espionage. We also conduct internal investigations to determine the scope of any misappropriation and represent parties in all phases of a criminal investigation and prosecution through trial. Additionally, we conduct trade secret audits and design trade secret protection programs to prevent and discourage trade secret misappropriation.
Our white collar lawyers defend clients in immigration-related investigations involving the US Customs and Border Patrol, US Department of Homeland Security, and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. We work closely with our immigration lawyers, who regularly advise clients on technical and administrative issues involving Form I-9 completion and maintenance. When I-9 issues directly affect hiring or continued employment, we counsel clients on compliance, help them avoid charges of unfair immigration-related employment practices, and work to avoid or respond to government I-9 audits. We understand state employment eligibility verification regulations, and we regularly advise clients with multistate operations.
Our lawyers advise clients on all aspects of internal investigations, resolution of enforcement matters, and government investigations involving international trade, national security, and economic sanctions. With a cross-border team that understands the intricacies of navigating global investigations, we help clients investigate and resolve matters under US export and import laws, including—but not limited to—International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Export Administration Regulation (EAR), and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulations, in addition to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs in the United Kingdom and France’s Customs Authority.
In the context of economic sanctions, our lawyers have experience advising clients on the application and interplay of US, EU, and UK sanctions, and their impact on activity involving business operations in sanctions jurisdictions as they evolve and respond to political developments.
We regularly counsel clients engaged in global business transactions on US and international export controls and embargo rules. We help clients design systems and programs to avoid compliance problems, anticipate and address enforcement issues, and deal with government regulators if necessary. We are familiar with issues affecting companies across all industries, and guide our clients through these issues to minimize risk and ensure cost-effective compliance.
State attorneys general (AGs) have become very active in the enforcement space, using tools such as unfair trade statutes, consumer protection laws, and the engagement of private plaintiff’s counsel to pursue litigation in financial fraud, antitrust, and drug marketing and pricing. Our lawyers have handled state AG matters in the context of criminal proceedings, federal civil actions, and class actions. Because AG enforcement responsibilities vary from state to state, addressing multistate matters requires in-depth knowledge of each AG’s approach as well as the state laws and policies guiding them. Our team, which includes former AGs, works with clients to develop and execute sophisticated strategies working with AGs in both single- and multistate matters. We have succeeded in employing certain strategies to limit claims, reduce litigation burden, convey the benefits of resolution and downsides of litigation to the AGs, and implement successful resolution strategies. In addition, our lawyers handle the full range of consumer protection issues affecting manufacturers and service providers. We represent businesses in all types of consumer protection matters, including federal, state, and local investigations and class actions, and qui tam, regulatory, and individual litigation matters.
Our white collar lawyers defend public corruption investigations and charges. The leader of our public corruption team was White House counsel for two presidents and deputy White House counsel for one president, and we have several former federal and state prosecutors who have handled corruption cases. Our team responds to subpoenas, navigates congressional testimony, liaisons with the media, and litigates on our clients’ behalf in high-profile congressional, federal, and state investigations and prosecutions.
Our global team advises clients on the increasingly complex and global web of laws, regulations, and rules to avoid potential criminal and civil liability related to anti-money laundering and terrorist financing statutes, including:
We also help clients implement robust compliance programs to prevent legal actions and lawsuits, and, if necessary, we represent our clients vigorously should litigation be unavoidable.
Our privacy and cybersecurity lawyers advise on compliance with privacy and cybersecurity regulations around the world, in conjunction with white collar investigations lawyers where needed. We advise client on issues related an array of privacy laws, including:
We customize solutions and policies to meet our clients’ business demands and ever-changing technology footprints, including in the context of data breach responses, investigations, and litigation. Our team helps clients achieve their business goals while addressing privacy and cybersecurity concerns in a manner that protects their brands and reputations while complying with applicable regulations.
Morgan Lewis counsels clients in all stages of US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) matters, including licensing and inspections and, when necessary, resolving ATF enforcement actions. We advise and advocate for clients in matters concerning firearms and other weapons and related accessories, including highly regulated products such as ammunition, explosives, and knives. Leveraging our team’s deep knowledge of US federal, state, and local weapons laws and regulations, we help clients efficiently and effectively resolve law enforcement inquiries related to ATF licensing and inspections; federal and state compliance issues; International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) compliance; private security forces; and employee handbooks/weapons policies and procedures.
Our nuclear energy clients with private security forces rely on us to provide guideposts in navigating the intersection of Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ATF, and state law weapons compliance. In addition, upstream oil and gas clients, as well as those with mining and drilling operations, turn to us for advice on federal explosives licensing matters. We also assist global companies on export-control matters, including compliance with the US Munitions List and ITAR-related requirements. Our extensive background in handling simultaneous inquiries by multiple state and federal agencies allows us to best serve clients facing parallel proceedings and investigations.
National retailers and major ecommerce clients with sports and outdoor lines benefit from our knowledge of state laws relevant to the sale of weapons and similar highly regulated products. We have assisted numerous clients with developing robust compliance programs and product restrictions in these areas. We stay on top of industry trends and state legislative initiatives throughout the United States to provide timely, impactful solutions to clients negotiating this dynamic regulatory landscape. Our licensing team is well acquainted with the fundamentals required to gain ATF and state licensing approvals in the most effective and expeditious manner.