White Collar & Regulatory Defense
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Our White Collar & Regulatory Defense group has unparalleled experience and expertise, and is among the most respected and successful in the United States. We regularly defend Fortune 500 companies and their executives and boards before every major federal and state regulatory enforcement authority and in courtrooms nationwide. We excel at developing creative and successful strategies for responding to and, where possible, preventing government investigations and enforcement proceedings.
We represent large corporate clients in major white collar and regulatory matters as well as individuals in high-profile criminal prosecutions. Our representations include:
- A leading private equity firm in connection with two SEC investigations relating to certain trading activities. The investigations were both terminated without any enforcement action.
- Citigroup Inc.:
- in arguably the most important regulatory decision in the past decade, SEC v. Citigroup, which upheld the ability of corporations to resolve federal regulatory matters without having to admit liability;
- in the successful resolution in May 2017 of a major multi-year, global anti-money laundering (AML) probe. The investigation involved claims that Citigroup’s Banamex USA unit failed to heed red flags concerning thousands of suspicious remittances to Mexico and failed to adequately monitor more than 30 million remittance transactions worth $8.8 billion over a five-year period. Because of Citigroup’s cooperation and the advocacy of the Paul, Weiss team, the bank obtained a non-prosecution agreement and a complete release, avoided the appointment of an independent monitor, and Banamex USA paid a much smaller penalty in contrast to the results achieved by other large financial institutions;
- in connection with an SEC investigation and settlement regarding the marketing of a foreign exchange trading strategy; and
- in a four-year investigation of Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. by several regulators, including the New York Attorney General’s office and the SEC, into overcharges of advisory fees.
- ExxonMobil Corp. and affiliates in climate change-related investigations and suits brought by regulators, including state attorneys general deploying untested liability theories. These matters include representing ExxonMobil in an SEC investigation concerning climate change-related disclosures that was closed with a no-action determination. The firm also won a complete defense verdict in a landmark securities fraud action brought by the New York Attorney General seeking $1.6 billion in damages—the first climate change-related lawsuit to be tried to verdict nationally. Paul, Weiss is also advising ExxonMobil on government tort, shareholder securities, and other climate change-related matters arising in various proceedings worldwide.
- JPMorgan Chase in the favorable resolution of a multi-year investigation conducted by various authorities, including the DOJ and SEC, into whether hiring practices in Asia complied with anti-corruption laws.
- Deutsche Bank AG:
- in multi-regulator, multi-jurisdictional inquiries concerning the setting of numerous Interbank Offered Rates (IBORs) and in related civil litigations. The investigations, and the resulting coordinated settlements with U.S. and U.K. authorities in April 2015, covered conduct in multiple bank offices over a decade;
- in an industry-wide investigation by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission into alleged manipulation of a global benchmark for U.S. Dollar swap rates and swap spreads and in related civil litigation. Deutsche Bank secured a favorable settlement.;
- in connection with the resolution of a multi-year government investigation into the execution of tax shelter transactions for high net-worth individuals. The investigation concluded in 2010, when Deutsche Bank and the government agencies signed a settlement that included a non-prosecution agreement — with no criminal charges filed; and
- in connection with the resolution of an investigation by the SEC into certain business practices of the bank’s units responsible for marketing and pricing structured products. That investigation was closed without any action taken.
- A global financial institution in a complex, high-liability investigation by a group of more than 30 state attorneys general.
- The parent company of a U.S. communications technology firm in connection with a Department of Justice Investigation that concluded with a non-prosecution agreement and no financial penalty.
- 21st Century Fox in government and internal investigations, including the internal investigation of sexual harassment claims against former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes in 2016, and the investigation of claims related to former Fox News TV personality Bill O’Reilly in 2017.
- Merck in connection with the resolution of a complex seven-year DOJ investigation relating to the sale and marketing of the painkiller Vioxx, which was voluntarily withdrawn from the market by the company in 2004. The company pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor count and agreed to a financial settlement.
- Morgan Stanley in defense of regulatory investigations by the SEC, DOJ (Criminal and Civil) and CFTC regarding allegations that 26 of the biggest banks and securities brokers involved in the Treasuries market were involved in bid-rigging auctions for U.S. Treasury securities. We also defend Morgan Stanley in the consolidated multidistrict litigation alleging that the largest financial institutions engaged in the rigging of the $13 trillion market for U.S. Treasury securities. The firm was tapped by all 26 defendants to serve on the defense steering committee.
- Omega Advisers, Inc. and its founder, in the favorable settlement of an SEC case alleging that Omega Advisors and its founder engaged in insider trading and late filings of statements of beneficial ownership. The settlement included no admission of wrongdoing an imposed no industry bar or suspension.
- PJT Partners in connection with an SEC investigation that was successfully concluded with a declination notice.
- SAC Capital:
- and its founder in connection with the resolution of the DOJ’s insider trading investigation and related litigation against the hedge fund and its founder. The government alleged that at least 10 SAC employees engaged in insider trading, and pursued extensive litigation against SAC and many of those individuals. We continue to represent SAC and its founder in ongoing private civil claims related to the government’s now-resolved criminal case; and
- in a global resolution of criminal and civil forfeiture charges.
- UBS AG in the global settlement with the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, the SEC, the IRS and 25 state attorneys general of allegations that UBS employees engaged in bid-rigging in the municipal bond market.
- Multiple China-based global financial institutions in various BSA/AML and sanctions matters, including DFS and New York Federal Reserve investigations and enforcement actions, response to OFAC subpoenas and ongoing training and compliance advice.
- A large private equity fund in a high-profile SEC investigation relating to the treatment of certain fees and expenses.
- An American hedge fund manager, in connection with his successful appeal from an insider trading conviction. The Second Circuit’s decision in the matter represented one of the most significant insider trading decision in decades.
- A former executive at Freddie Mac in an extraordinary victory on behalf of our client when the Securities and Exchange Commission agreed to dismiss the highly publicized securities fraud case brought against him and two other Freddie Mac executives, concerning disclosures regarding subprime mortgages.
- A large technology company in connection with a high-priority investigation by the SEC relating to revenue recognition with respect to the accounting treatment of certain domestic and international transactions. The investigation was terminated without any enforcement action.
- The founder and former CEO of American Realty Capital Properties, in the partial dismissal of a class action and several opt-outs and derivative litigations alleging accounting errors in the company’s public reporting and in connection with various government investigations.
- A hedge fund and its founders in a criminal and SEC insider trading and mismarking investigation.
- A wide range of U.S. and foreign clients in FCPA investigations and with respect to FCPA-related issues in Africa, Asia, Europe, North, Central and South America and the Middle East. Our work includes internal investigations, regulatory enforcement action defense, transactional due diligence and internal training and compliance programs. We have represented numerous corporations in virtually every industry including aerospace, apparel, defense, electronics, energy, financial services, food products, gaming, healthcare, media, manufacturing, metals and telecommunications.