Latham & Watkins
Latham & Watkins, one of the world’s most profitable law firms, combines a formidable FCPA practice with deep expertise in all aspects of corporate law. The FCPA team sports a list of star lawyers, many with résumés listing a procession of former government positions.
Alice Fisher, whose practice focuses on corporate investigations and enforcement matters, served from 2005 to 2008 as the assistant attorney general in charge of the DOJ’s criminal division, where she oversaw enforcement of the FCPA.
Working alongside Fisher is Kathryn Ruemmler, co-chair of the firm’s white-collar defence and investigations practice, who returned to the firm in 2014 after serving for almost six years in President Barack Obama’s administration, first in the Justice Department as the principal associate deputy attorney general, and later in the White House as the president’s chief lawyer. Earlier in her career as a Justice Department prosecutor, Ruemmler was deputy director of the Enron Task Force.
Barry Sabin, an 18-year veteran of the Justice Department, served with Fisher in the criminal division, where he was chief of the counterterrorism section.
The firm also has no shortage of securities regulatory experience. Partner William Baker III served as associate director of the SEC’s division of enforcement for 15 years, where he was involved in the agency’s enforcement action against telecommunications company WorldCom.
Douglas Greenburg, the local chair of Latham’s litigation and trial department, was an attorney in the SEC’s enforcement division.
Other prominent FCPA practitioners in Latham’s Washington office include Nathan Seltzer, Kevin Metz, Jonathan Su, Kevin Chambers, Eric Volkman – a GIR 40 under 40 lawyer – and Brian Kowalski, who has risen to become an integral member of the team since his election to the partnership at the age of 33.
An early example of Latham’s work in the FCPA realm is the firm’s representation of engineering and construction contractor Willbros Group, which agreed to pay US$22 million to settle foreign bribery charges brought by the DOJ and SEC in 2008.
More recently, Latham has represented life sciences company Bio-Rad Laboratories in settlements totaling US$55 million with the DOJ and SEC in 2014; and US animal feed company AgFeed Industries in an FCPA investigation that was resolved in 2014 when the SEC charged the company with reporting false revenues.
The firm also advised Willbros and Bio-Rad, along with oil and gas services company Weatherford in FCPA-related shareholder litigation, and conducted an internal investigation on behalf of the audit committee of US drilling services company Parker Drilling’s board of directors, which resulted in criminal and civil settlements totaling US$11.6 million.
Latham has secured DOJ declinations for a number of companies, including for Eli Lilly in connection with a long-running probe into alleged foreign bribery violations from 1994 to 2009 in four different countries. The US pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly agreed to a related US$29.3 million settlement with the SEC in 2012.