Buckley’s White Collar defense practice helps our clients, both corporate and individual, manage every stage of the government investigation process. We help our clients navigate grand jury investigations and internal corporate investigations, and we defend them in court. We also represent them in parallel civil and administrative litigation frequently related to criminal investigations, including Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement, suspension, or debarment actions, civil False Claims Act (FCA) suits, professional discipline actions, congressional investigations, and shareholder derivative suits. Whether the allegations involve foreign bribery, political corruption, financial fraud, national security, antitrust, environmental crimes, criminal tax or other unique and complex issues, we defend clients in criminal and complex civil matters where bet-the-company sanctions and personal freedom, reputations, and livelihood are on the line.
Over the past three decades, our lawyers have been involved in every significant Department of Justice (DOJ) white collar enforcement initiative, including the Enron and AOL accounting fraud matters — securing an acquittal for an AOL executive in the federal criminal trial and a repudiation of the SEC’s allegations in the companion civil trial; investigations of the major banks for LIBOR and Foreign Exchange rate fixing; Volkswagen for circumventing emission controls, BP for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill; the Japanese auto parts supply and auto shipping industries on criminal antitrust claims, and the Petrobras foreign bribery inquiry. One of our partners successfully defended former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell at trial and before the U.S. Supreme Court in one of the most high profile cases in the past decade; other partners successfully defended individuals at trial in the DOJ’s largest prosecution of individuals under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the largest environmental criminal prosecution; and more recently, defeated the government in a federal prosecution of corruption and fraud in awarding government contracts.
We provide not only strategic guidance, but also intelligent and effective case management and efficient representation. We are committed to obtaining the best possible outcome either by avoiding criminal prosecution or, if need be, defending our clients in court. We have proven time and again that we will take cases to trial and win. We have the size and experience to handle the largest corporate white collar investigations and the most complex and lengthy trials, and our lawyers have substantial experience guiding individuals through the criminal procedural labyrinth.
Members of our team of experienced and talented trial lawyers have been recognized repeatedly over the past several decades by judges and their peers and praised in Chambers for their skill and dedication in representing clients in criminal investigations, and includes Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Board of Criminal Lawyers. Our team features several former DOJ Assistant United States Attorneys, the head of the Civil Division for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the SEC’s Chief of the Office of Market Intelligence and architect of the SEC’s whistleblower initiative, and a former Public Defender Service veteran. Perhaps the highest praise comes from our peers — we are often the first call for other top tier firms when they need to refer a case due to a conflict of interest.
Notable recent work includes the representation of:
- Universal Entertainment Corp. (UEC), a large Japanese gaming manufacturer, and Aruze USA, Inc., in litigation brought by Wynn Resorts Ltd. in Nevada state court, as well as in related parallel matters. In the Nevada litigation, Wynn Resorts alleges that UEC and Aruze USA and others, committed FCPA violations that resulted in breaches of fiduciary duties toward Wynn Resorts, and justified Wynn Resorts taking action to forcibly buy back billions of dollars in shares held by Aruze USA at a sizeable discount. The litigation settled in 2018 just before the commencement of trial with Wynn Resorts paying our clients $2.63 billion
- The former Governor of Virginia at trial and before the U.S. Supreme Court on federal political corruption charges, culminating in the reversal of his convictions
- Numerous Volkswagen executives and employees in the United States and Germany in ongoing international criminal investigations and civil litigation related to the certification and sale of diesel engines in the United States
- The Managing Director and head of Global Finance for an international investment bank in the coordinated LIBOR inquiry by multiple international government agencies, including the DOJ, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, the U.K. Serious Fraud Office, and the German BaFin
- A senior executive of a global oil company in the civil and criminal investigations related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico
- A senior AOL executive in his federal criminal trial and in a separate SEC civil trial for fraud in connection to revenue recognition. He was acquitted by the jury on all charges in both matters
- The former CEO/CFO of an oilfield services company in an SEC enforcement action regarding alleged FCPA violations in Nigeria. Following more than two years of litigation in federal court and extensive discovery, the SEC voluntarily dropped six of seven claims against our client and agreed to a very favorable settlement just before trial in July 2014. The settlement did not include payment of any money damages or restriction on future employment opportunities
- A former principal of a government contracting company in a corruption and fraud trial brought by the DOJ and the U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia; all four defendants who fought the charges were found not guilty by a jury on all charges in 2016
- The owner of a military arms company in the DOJ’s largest FCPA prosecution of individuals; the prosecution involved the first sting operation in an FCPA case using video and wire surveillance and an undercover informant and agents and, after a four-month trial in 2011-2012 ending in a hung jury, all charges were dismissed
- The former Senior Vice President and Controller of Fannie Mae in parallel DOJ and SEC investigations and in related shareholder litigation; the matter involved alleged accounting errors reported in 2004 by the company’s regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which resulted in a $6 billion restatement. Summary judgment and dismissal were granted in the securities fraud class action, completely exonerating our client of the highly-publicized allegations
- The Senior Vice President of W.R. Grace in a prosecution for conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act through the knowing endangerment of the townspeople of Libby, Montana by the alleged release of asbestos contaminating their air and homes. This was DOJ’s largest and longest environmental crime prosecution which garnered national press attention due to the alleged health impact on 300 residents of Libby. The prosecution was initiated nearly 40 years after the alleged conduct concluded. Our client was acquitted on all charges after a three-month jury trial
- The CEO of a Middle Eastern manufacturing company in a joint, multi-jurisdictional investigation by the DOJ and the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office involving the FCPA and U.K. Prevention of Corruption Act, as well as in related civil suits
Excellent white-collar lawyers with a tremendous amount of trial experience.Chambers USA
Congress is considering legislation that would clarify and significantly expand the Securities and Exchange Commission’s disgorgement powers, two years after the Supreme Court curtailed them in ruling that they were penalties subject to a five-year statute of limitations. The decision in...Buckley Commentary & Analysis
Just in time for Halloween, a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit raises the specter that conduct once considered time-barred can return from the dead to haunt defendants in the securities industry. The case, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Gentile, further...Articles
"Apropos of nothing: The possible demise of the Fifth Circuit post-sentencing objection" by Elizabeth R. Bailey
Should the courts penalize criminal defendants on appeal when their attorneys fail to utter magical (but duplicative) words at the end of sentencing? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit continues to require a formal post-sentencing objection to the length of a sentence to preserve...Buckley Commentary & Analysis
Two circuit courts recently concluded that the Supreme Court’s McDonnell decision, which limited the scope of acts that constitute domestic bribery, does not apply in cases alleging bribery of foreign officials. The immediate consequence of the decisions from the U.S. Court of Appeals...Buckley Commentary & Analysis
"A practical guide to depositions in Japan: Make a plan and be flexible" by Lauren R. Randell (American Bar Association)
You need to take or defend the deposition of a witness in Japan. Perhaps the witness is a corporate custodian or a key executive of a party. For whatever reason—the witness’s inability to travel, discovery rules, or simple agreement of the parties—the deposition is taking place in Japan. Now what?...Articles
"Increased government demands for de-confliction will impede internal investigations" by Lauren R. Randell
The Department of Justice recently faced criticism for getting too involved in an internal investigation ostensibly conducted by a company’s external lawyers, with the government telling the company’s lawyers which employees to interview and what questions to ask them. But less attention has...Buckley Commentary & Analysis
"DOJ corporate enforcement guidelines are placing individual defendants between a rock and a whirlpool" by David S. Krakoff, Nadav Ariel, and Bradley A. Marcus (Business Crimes Bulletin)
For companies suspected of wrongdoing, cooperating with Department of Justice (DOJ) investigations and selfdisclosing their misconduct often appears to be their only option to avoid prosecution and reduce large financial penalties. But, these benefits often come at a price, especially to company...Articles
"It may help to oppose discovery stay in parallel proceedings" by David S. Krakoff, Adam Miller, and Bradley A. Marcus (Law360)
Representing a client in parallel civil and criminal proceedings is fraught with peril at every strategic turn. Decisions in each case can significantly affect the other, often in unpredictable ways. One piece of conventional wisdom for attorneys representing such clients is to support motions by...Articles
On April 30, 2019, the Department of Justice Criminal Division released updated guidance on the Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs (the “Guidance”). The Guidance sets forth the non-binding factors that DOJ prosecutors utilize to evaluate a company’s compliance program and consequently...Special Alerts
"Coercive process for material witnesses needs reform" by Preston Burton, Paige Ammons, and Caroline K. Eisner (Law360)
The material witness statute confers incredible power on the government to obtain the arrest and detention of a witness — even though that person is not accused of having committed any crime — simply by showing the court that the person is purportedly “material in a criminal proceeding” and that it...Articles
Hank Asbill’s move to Buckley was named as one of the top 25 biggest lateral moves of 2018 by the American Lawyer. Asbill moved from Jones Day, to join Buckley’s White Collar and Complex Civil Litigation practices. Click here to read the full article .In The News
Lauren R. Randell quoted in Business Insurance article, “DOJ policy shift could trigger increased demand for D&O cover”
Lauren R. Randell was quoted on December 11, 2018 in a Business Insurance article, “DOJ policy shift could trigger increased demand for D&O cover,” which discussed Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s announcement of modifications to the “Yates memo” — the 2016 Memorandum on Individual...In The News
Benjamin B. Klubes quoted in Washington Times article, “Trump gag order sought by attorneys for ex-Senate staffer James Wolfe”
Benjamin B. Klubes was quoted on July 23, 2018 in a Washington Times article, “Trump gag order sought by attorneys for ex-Senate staffer James Wolfe,” which discussed the filing by Buckley Sandler for a gag order on the president. The article stated, “Comments by President Trump have robbed James...In The News
Hank Asbill was quoted on July 19, 2018 in a Law360 article, “Drummond exec, Balch & Bingham partner trial goes to jury,” which discussed the closing remarks during the U.S. v. Gilbert et al. trial. The article stated, “The jury was ready to deliberate by lunchtime Thursday after hearing...In The News
Hank Asbill was profiled on April 24, 2018 in a Law360 article, “Buckley Sandler picks up white collar atty from Jones Day,” which discussed Hank Asbill’s move to Buckley Sandler: “I think that some of the best trial lawyers I know reside at Buckley Sandler, and that’s the kind of work I do and...In The News
Hank Asbill profiled in Law.com article, “Hank Asbill's jump to Buckley Sandler marks fifth recent Jones Day departure”
Hank Asbill was profiled on April 23, 2018 in a Law.com article, “Hank Asbill's jump to Buckley Sandler marks fifth recent Jones Day departure,” which discussed Hank Asbill’s move to Buckley Sandler. The article noted that Asbill, who joined Buckley Sandler’s white-collar and complex civil...In The News
Buckley Sandler Recognized by Chambers USA as an “Exceptional” Financial Services Regulation and White Collar Firm
Buckley Sandler has continued to receive top recognition in the areas of financial services regulation and white collar crime/government investigations from Chambers USA , which ranks the country’s leading firms and lawyers in a range of practice areas based on in-depth client interviews and peer...In The News
On March 30, the SEC announced charges against a Michigan pastor, his company, and business associate (Defendants) for allegedly cheating church members, retirees, and laid-off autoworkers out of approximately $6.7 million by convincing them to invest in a “successful” real estate scheme. The...InfoBytes
OCC Issues Consent Order to U.S. Branch of International Bank, Requires Development of BSA/AML Program
As previously reported in InfoBytes , on March 17 the OCC released its list of enforcement actions taken in February against national banks, federal savings associations, and current and former affiliated individuals. Among those actions is a consent order issued on February 13 against a U.S...InfoBytes
The Legal 500 once again ranked Buckley as a top law firm and recognized it in five categories:
- Corporate Investigations and White Collar Criminal Defense: Corporate – Tier 4
- Corporate Investigations and White Collar Criminal Defense: Individuals – Tier 2 ...
Buckley recognized by Chambers USA as a “first-rate firm” in financial services; “crème de la crème” for White Collar practice
Buckley has once again received top recognition in financial services regulation and white collar crime/government investigations from Chambers USA, which ranks the country’s leading firms and lawyers in a range of practice areas based on research and client interviews.
Benchmark recognizes Buckley Sandler litigation team; David Krakoff inducted into American College of Trial Lawyers
Benchmark Litigation has recognized Buckley Sandler as one of the nation’s top litigation law firms, awarding it a National Tier 1 ranking for its White Collar practice and deeming its District of Columbia litigation team “Highly Recommended” — Benchmark’s highest...Announcements
Buckley Sandler seeks order in James Wolfe case prohibiting further misleading and prejudicial statements by President Trump and others
On behalf of James A. Wolfe, Buckley Sandler filed the following motion for an order restricting the government’s extrajudicial statements.
WASHINGTON, DC (June 13, 2018) — James A. Wolfe served as a dedicated public servant for 35 years, first serving his country as a decorated U.S. Army intelligence analyst, and then for most of his career as a Senate staff member. He was entrusted with the government’s most important classified...Press Releases
Buckley Sandler LLP again has been noted as one of the nation’s top law firms by The Legal 500 in its 2018 rankings, with recognition in five practice areas:
- Financial Services: Litigation
- Financial Services: Regulation
- Corporate ...
Buckley Sandler recognized by Chambers USA as “an excellent firm” with “a fine stable of expert attorneys”
Buckley Sandler once again has received top recognition in financial services regulation and white collar crime/government investigations from Chambers USA, which ranks the country’s leading firms and lawyers in a range of practice areas by researching the firms and interviewing...Announcements
WASHINGTON, DC (April 23, 2018) – Buckley Sandler LLP announced today that renowned trial lawyer Henry Asbill has joined the firm as a partner in its White Collar and Complex Civil Litigation practices. Asbill has obtained outstanding results for his clients for decades. He has successfully...Press Releases
Buckley Sandler is pleased to announce that 11 of its partners have been recognized by their peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America® 2018.
Partners Jeremiah S. Buckley,...Announcements
Buckley Sandler has again been cited as one of the nation’s top law firms by The Legal 500 in its 2017 rankings, with the recognition of four practice areas:
- Financial Services: Litigation
- Financial Services: Regulatory
- Cyber Law (Data Protection and ...
Our White Collar Team
"Congress may restore SEC’s disgorgement power" by Meghann Fogarty Kovler and Mehul Madia
"Night of the living SEC injunction" by Matthew E. Newman and Lauren R. Randell (Law360)
"Apropos of nothing: The possible demise of the Fifth Circuit post-sentencing objection" by Elizabeth R. Bailey