Our Global Investigations & White Collar Defense team represents corporations, boards of directors, board committees, public officials and executives in criminal, civil and regulatory enforcement proceedings worldwide.
Mayer Brown’s practice includes a diverse team of former federal prosecutors and government enforcement lawyers who know firsthand how government enforcement works and how to respond to the challenges and risks posed by criminal investigations and civil enforcement proceedings. We work closely with clients to ensure compliance with an ever-changing, increasingly global regulatory framework and to respond to investigations by regulators throughout the world. And when matters go to trial, we’re ready for that, too; we have collectively tried hundreds of federal criminal cases, both as defense counsel and as former prosecutors.
We conduct investigations to position the client to understand and navigate regulatory and compliance risks and potential collateral consequences that could flow from any substantiated misconduct, involving corruption, fraud of any kind, antitrust/competition, money-laundering, privacy, cybersecurity and data privacy, environmental, sanctions and export controls and a variety of other regulatory and enforcement risk areas. Our team conducts independent internal investigations on behalf of corporate management, boards of directors and audit or special litigation committees, and represents clients before government and regulatory agencies in defense of threatened enforcement actions. We staff these matters with a diverse team of seasoned criminal defense and compliance lawyers whose prior government, investigative and in-house experience make them the optimal choice to navigate a company’s most perilous issues and crises.
Government Investigations. We routinely defend companies under investigation by the DOJ, SEC, CFTC and other federal agencies, as well as various state attorneys general and foreign authorities, including the UK Serious Fraud Office, France’s Agence Française Anticorruption, the Comptroller General of Brazil, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, Monetary Authority of Singapore and dozens more worldwide. We navigate companies through these investigations, and quarterback crisis management of any collateral public relations, civil or regulatory issues. We ensure proper document preservation, collection, review and production, interview witnesses and partner with forensic accountants and analysts. We help clients fulfill fiduciary obligations, address board and shareholder concerns, develop and execute remediation plans and address the many other aspects of representation during a government investigation.
Cross-Border Investigations. Working seamlessly with our partners around the world, we advise on the potential global ramifications of cross-border investigations in areas such as data privacy, state secrets, attorney-client privilege, employment and the interplay of foreign and domestic laws.
We have collectively tried hundreds of criminal cases both as prosecutors and defense lawyers, with an outstanding record of success in state and federal courts and jurisdictions around the world. In addition, we represent clients in complex civil litigation arising under federal and state securities laws spawned by, and related to, criminal investigations. Frequently, we are retained near the culmination of an investigation to assess litigation risks and develop pre-emptive strategies, to defend against enforcement proceedings or to negotiate favorable settlements.
We have negotiated with and litigated extensively—and successfully—against the government. We are skilled negotiators familiar with the issues that drive government investigations and the factors that influence prosecutorial decision-making, using our substantial trial and investigative experience, which provides real value in negotiations. We have convinced many prosecutors that criminal charges should not be brought or negotiated outcomes more favorable than those originally proposed by the government.
We have deep experience testing, designing and implementing compliance programs for publicly-listed and privately held companies across industries, around the globe, and at all stages of maturity. We identify the opportunities to improve in clients’ compliance programs and business activities to mitigate risk and to meet the current regulatory landscape and increasingly aggressive enforcement efforts of prosecutors and regulators.
Using our insider knowledge about how prosecutors apply criminal law to alleged business crimes, we work with clients to undertake compliance audits and draft, implement, monitor and improve policies and procedures, training and compliance plans to minimize the likelihood of regulatory violations and litigation.
White collar defense matters encompass a wide range of regulatory and statutory requirements, each with their own unique enforcement aspects.
A Wide Range of Matters
We represent clients across the most highly regulated industries—such as health care, defense, automotive, gaming, energy, technology and the global financial services sector—on the full range of matters for which companies and executives can be held accountable. These include:
São Paulo (T&C)
Ranked by Chambers Global for FCPA two years in a row (2022-2023).
For the eighth consecutive year, Mayer Brown was named to the “GIR 30,” the publication’s list of the “world’s top 30 investigations practices.”
Ranked by Chambers USA for White Collar Crime & Government Investigations in Illinois (2008-2022). Clients noted, “Their work product is excellent and they have the resources to get involved in big cases. They do an excellent job staying several steps ahead and they're very good working with clients.”
Ranked by Chambers USA for White Collar Crime & Government Investigations in Washington DC (2021-2022), with clients commenting: “It is an experienced, talented, energetic and caring team that is results-oriented.”
Nationally ranked by Chambers USA for FCPA (2021-2022), in which the publication calls out Mayer Brown’s “significant governmental and in-house experience” and “impressive track record acting for clients with operations in Latin America and East Asia.” Clients commended the firm’s “solid white-collar group” and “first-rate practitioners.”
Our Compliance team was ranked by Chambers Brazil 2023 for the first time. Clients described our practice as a: "very talented team with deep understanding of anti-corruption regulations, [which is] straight to the point and sharp on advice."
"Senior and very effective team with quick and assertive responses."
"Their course of action was very professional and assertive."
Legal 500 US
Ranked by Legal 500 US for Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense: Advice to Corporates and Advice to Individuals (2021-2022), with clients commenting: “They are solid legal advisors both on the law, the realities of dispute resolution within our civil and criminal justice system, and on the practical side of any business dispute.”
“These are top litigators who can match the very best within the DOJ.”
“The law firm’s white-collar division has true experts with years of in-depth courtroom experience.”
Legal 500 Brazil
Ranked by Legal 500 Brazil for Compliance (2022), with clients commenting: “The team is knowledgeable, thoughtful, and strategic. They are proactive in identifying issues in advance and providing solutions. The team is responsive and collaborates well.”
Recognized by Leaders League as a “highly recommended” practice for Compliance (2022).
Named “Transatlantic Investigations Team of the Year” at Legal Week’s Transatlantic Legal Awards 2019
US News/Best Lawyers
Received first-tier rankings in the US, Chicago and Washington in the 2021 & 2022 editions of the US News/Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” list