Willkie represents public companies, financial institutions and their executives in all aspects of compliance, investigations and enforcement, and in particular high-stakes matters and all types of financial crimes. We are distinguished as an elite international team, joining up the experience of litigators in the U.S., UK and Continental Europe to provide an integrated platform of legal services covering multiple jurisdictions and geographies. We have substantial experience in sensitive matters relating to international business practices, including the FCPA, the U.K. Bribery Act, anti-money laundering, export controls, trade sanctions, human rights and Alien Tort Statute matters.
The firm was named “Most Impressive Investigations Practice of the Year” and honored for its role in the “Most Important Case of the Year” at the Global Investigations Review (GIR) Awards 2020, in addition to being named among the 2020 GIR 30, a prominent ranking of the world’s leading cross-border investigations practices.
Our team is uniquely qualified to handle any compliance matter—contentious or otherwise—from start to finish. We have substantial experience in defending against government investigations, conducting internal investigations, advising on business transactions, and counseling companies and individuals on compliance and corporate governance matters.
Defending Against Government Investigations
We represent companies and individuals in criminal and civil enforcement matters before government agencies, and legislative bodies, and in judicial and administrative proceedings, including those brought by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.K. Serious Fraud Office, and the Financial Conduct Authority, as well as regulatory authorities from more than a dozen other countries around the world. We have defended some of the most significant cases in the area of FCPA/international corruption, including those against Tyco International, Alcatel-Lucent, Daimler, and Pride International. In the U.K., we acted for the first company to reach a corporate plea bargain in connection with overseas corruption and for the first parent company that was subject to civil disgorgement proceedings for allegedly receiving tainted dividends. We have litigated aggressively and successfully against government enforcers on behalf of our clients and have negotiated effectively to moderate the scope and impact of government investigations, as the circumstances and our clients’ needs require.
We routinely conduct complex international internal investigations in sensitive areas such as corruption, fraud, money laundering, accounting irregularities, export controls, sanctions, and human rights issues. On the ground, we have conducted more than 100 internal investigations in dozens of countries in the last three years. Our deep bench and breadth of experience allows us to quickly and efficiently handle any investigation thoroughly and discreetly with minimum disruption to the organization.
Advising on Business Transactions
We conduct and advise on compliance-related transactional due diligence for cross-border mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and strategic partnerships. We also draft representations, warranties, and contractual compliance safeguards for international business transactions.
We design, implement, and benchmark corporate compliance and ethics programs of all types. We conduct compliance audits and assessments and regularly provide compliance counseling to dozens of major corporations.
Our globally recognized practice consists of former federal prosecutors and former SEC attorneys. In 2013, Willkie was named one of Law360’s top 10 “Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Powerhouse Firms.” Three of our partners co-authored a comprehensive treatise on the FCPA, The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: Compliance, Investigations, and Enforcement. Martin J. Weinstein, the chair of the practice group in Washington, DC, was ranked by Chambers USA (2017) and Chambers Global (2017) in the number 1 tier for FCPA in the United States and was named by Ethisphere Magazine as one of the "Attorneys Who Matter" in 2009-2012 and one of the "100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics" in 2007. Peter Burrell, the head of our London Compliance, Investigations & Enforcement Practice, is recognized by Chambers UK and Legal 500 UK as a leading practitioner in all aspects of investigations, corporate crime, and civil fraud.
Our industry experience includes Fortune 500 and FTSE-100 listed companies and other leading businesses and individuals in the aerospace, airline, automobile, brokerage, defense, engineering, entertainment, financial services, infrastructure, insurance, logistics, manufacturing, media, oil and gas, oilfield services, petrochemical, pharmaceutical/medical devices, professional services, retail, technology, and telecommunications industries.