A partner in the Litigation Department, Staci Yablon is an experienced litigator who has successfully guided international financial institutions and global corporations through complex commercial disputes, securities litigation, white collar and regulatory matters, and government and internal investigations. Staci advises her clients on a wide range of issues, including collusion/antitrust laws, alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and economic and trade sanctions.
A large portion of Staci’s practice involves representation of leading financial institutions in litigations and government investigations. She has helped these clients navigate investigations conducted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control. In addition, she also advises clients on compliance-related matters, and on economic sanctions and anti-corruption matters in connection with potential mergers and acquisitions; and provides counsel on compliance matters, including enhancements to compliance programs that can help clients avoid government investigations or mitigate potential liability.
Financial Services Industry
- Goldman Sachs
- and its affiliates in a putative class action in which the client and almost a dozen other defendants are alleged to have manipulated the final auction price used to settle CDS contracts;
- in a securities fraud case relating to large bond offerings in Southeast Asia;
- as joint defense liaison counsel in a massive antitrust MDL of nearly 50 nationwide class actions related to the treasuries market;
- in a putative antitrust class action in which the bank and several others are alleged to have conspired with certain trading platforms to stifle competition in the stock loan market; and
- in a proposed antitrust class action in the Southern District of New York in which the City of Philadelphia alleges that a number of major banks conspired to artificially inflate the interest rates for a type of tax-free municipal bonds called Variable Rate Demand Obligations (VRDOs).
- A trading platform in the defense of multiple litigations, arbitrations and an EEOC proceeding alleging myriad unrelated claims, including discrimination, breaches of fiduciary duty, and contract-based claims.
White Collar, Regulatory Defense and Investigations
- One of the largest energy and natural resources companies in conducting a global anti-corruption risk assessment to identify any exposure to corruption-related risk, including exposure to liability under the FCPA, and in helping the client enhance compliance training and protocols;
- A global investment bank and its affiliates in regulatory investigations and follow-on class actions in which the client and other financial institutions and parties are alleged to have colluded to restrain competition in the multibillion-dollar global market for interest rate swaps;
- Rafael Ramirez, the former U.N. Ambassador to Venezuela, former Minister of Energy for Venezuela and former head of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), in successfully vacating a $1.4 billion (USD) default judgment in the Southern District of Texas in a private civil litigation regarding alleged corruption at PDVSA;
- Kleiss & Co., a manufacturing company, in responding to administrative charges for alleged violations of Export Administration Regulations related to orders and shipments from its U.S. manufacturer;
- An international Fortune 500 company in connection with an investigation conducted by the SEC (and a parallel investigation by the DOJ) regarding alleged FCPA violations;
- Zoltek Companies in an investigation by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of violations of U.S. sanctions laws;
- A variety of middle-market companies in connection with potential acquisitions, including providing FCPA and trade/economic sanctions advice on potential deals, assisting in due diligence and the creation of new comprehensive compliance policies;
- An employee from an international bank in connection with an investigation conducted by the DOJ and other international regulatory agencies regarding practices surrounding the foreign exchange markets;
- An international bank in connection with an investigation conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s office regarding the bank’s alleged involvement in tax shelters and in various tax-related civil litigations;
- A special committee of the Board of Directors in connection with an investigation conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office;
- An education company in connection with an investigation by the N.Y. Attorney General’s office;
- A health company in connection with an investigation by the SEC regarding allegations of earnings management;
- A government agency in connection with the monitoring of several insurance brokerage companies in the wake of a multi-state investigation of alleged wrongdoing and the resulting settlement agreements; and
- The Special Litigation Committee of a global data management company in connection with its investigation into the company’s stock options practices.
Staci has also worked on several pro bono matters, including the representation of a death row inmate in his habeas proceedings, a New York dance studio in its attempt to reopen amidst COVID requirements, and an elderly woman in an Article 78 proceeding.
PUBLICATIONS & SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
- “Anti-Bribery / Anti-Corruption Compliance,” National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) webinar, February 24, 2020.
- “Trade Lessons From The ZTE Saga,” Law360, June 21, 2018.
- “Inside DOJ’s New Policy On Coordinated Enforcement,” Law360, May 11, 2018.
- “When a Civil Enforcement Action Turns Criminal,” New York Women’s Bar Association (NYWBA) Criminal Law and Federal Practice Committee, April 19, 2018.
- “Improve Compliance Programs to Avoid Government Investigations,” Today’s General Counsel, April/May 2017.