The world’s largest law firm leverages its global footprint to help navigate high-stakes investigations across continents.
Dentons is the largest law firm in the world by number of lawyers, and it utilises its global breadth – with investigations practitioners in over 30 countries – to make sure companies facing cross-border probes get access to lawyers based in the jurisdiction where the investigation is focused.
Its US white-collar practice has an impressive roster of former government officials, boasting seven former assistant US attorneys and two former district attorneys. They include partner Maxwell Carr-Howard in Washington, DC, a former federal prosecutor in New Mexico.
Partner Judith Aron in Berlin, a GIR Women in Investigations nominee for 2021, co-chairs the firm's Europe compliance practice and has a decade of experience working in Russia. She now specialises in anti-corruption and export control investigations. Elsewhere in Europe, former HM Treasury lawyer Roger Matthews joined the firm in 2019 to head up the firm's UK sanctions offering in London.
Energy industry investigations specialist Zaeem Soofie has been CEO of Denton's South Africa office since March 2020. The firm prizes its African, Latin American and Caribbean practices, and now also has a presence in New Zealand following a combination with a local firm.
In the past year, the firm has made some notable market moves across the world. In Milan, criminal lawyer Pasquale Annicchiarico joined as a partner along with two senior associates from his former eponymous boutique. In the US, partner Mark Califano, who works in both DC and New York, joined from investigations firm Nardello. It also promoted a new partner in Kansas City, Jacqueline Whipple. Its New Zealand affiliate acquired investigations partners David Campbell and Hayden Wilson, and its combination with an Angolan firm meant Emanuela Vunge joined as a partner in Luanda.
There were also some departures recently. In Chicago, partner Rachel Cannon left the firm in June 2021 for Steptoe & Johnson. Costa Rica partner Carolina Muñoz departed in October 2020 to establish her own boutique; in Barbados, partner Yoshodra Rampersaud left to go in-house at private equity firm JBK Capital.
Dentons has been handling corporate investigations across continents.
The South African office led an investigation into a company over potentially suspicious transactions in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya following its investment in a South African business. The firm then advised on potential reporting obligations.
It acted for a Swiss-headquartered multinational prosthesis maker in an investigation conducted by Brazil’s antitrust authority and a local São Paulo agency into alleged bribery practices and bidding fraud. The firm won a fine reduction from the antitrust authority, while negotiations with the São Paulo agency are ongoing.
The firm carried out an internal investigation in 2020 into corruption allegations at the Middle Eastern subsidiaries of a global healthcare company in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.
In 2019, DC partner Maxwell Carr-Howard was lead counsel for German medical equipment supplier Fresenius as it faced parallel investigations from the SEC and DOJ into alleged FCPA violations, leading the investigation, remediation and negotiation efforts at all stages. The case took nearly seven years to resolve after Fresenius self-reported the conduct in 2012, before ultimately agreeing a $231 million joint settlement with the DOJ and the SEC. The company is currently under a monitorship that hit delays because of the pandemic but is still expected to end in 2022.
Dentons has prominent investigations partners located in 17 jurisdictions: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, the UK and the US.
Dentons represents big-name clients in a range of sectors including Japanese car manufacturer Toyota and healthcare company Fresenius.
The firm has a history of advising on a range of investigations matters.
In 2014, Dentons helped Image Sensing Systems secure declinations from both the DOJ and the SEC over possible FCPA violations. The company self-disclosed potential wrongdoing to the DOJ and SEC after learning that Polish authorities were conducting an investigation into the conduct of two employees at Image Sensing Systems' Polish subsidiary. Dentons represented the company in proceedings before Poland's public prosecutor and advised – along with Greene Espel – on an FCPA internal review of company operations. Image Sensing Systems named Dentons as its outside counsel in a press release announcing the DOJ and SEC declinations.
RBS instructed Dentons in a legal challenge brought by a property company that sued the bank for disclosure of an internal investigation into allegations of systematic lending fraud conducted by Clifford Chance. In 2015, the High Court of England and Wales ruled that documents from Clifford Chance's investigation were protected by legal privilege. The court's ruling affirmed that legal advice is not solely confined to advising on matters of law but can also extend to relevant factual briefings.
Dentons advised former Panther Energy Trading trader Michael Coscia (alongside several other law firms, including Kobre & Kim) who, in 2016, became the first trader ever to be convicted of spoofing at a US trial. Coscia failed to secure a retrial in 2019 despite telling the court he had obtained evidence that showed his trading patterns matched those of “hundreds” of other traders.
Global Compliance and Investigations
Reducing risk and enhancing compliance, while expediting the flow of business
What makes us different to other firms?
Whether you need to design an effective compliance system which advances your business, rather than one that binds it up in bureaucracy, conduct an efficient and effective investigation, or quickly remediate misconduct to get back to ethical business operations, our Global Compliance and Investigations team is right where you are, with 205 locations across 81 countries.
Our team is where you are. We speak your language and understand your culture. Our investigative teams combine our sophisticated global experience with the on-the-ground familiarity of lawyers steeped in the local business community. We understand the nuances of the challenges that our clients are navigating, and we have extensive experience with regulators around the world—including the United States Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as regulators and prosecutors across Europe, Russia, the UK, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Plus, because we don’t have to parachute a team in or rely on translators, we can do this work faster, with deeper insight, building a stronger defense, and at a more competitive cost.
We have a cross-practice team that is diverse in experience and background and which includes former prosecutors from around the world, litigators who provide criminal defense, as well as specialists in corporate governance, securities, mergers and acquisitions, public procurement, data privacy, export controls, international trade, banking and finance, employment, and competition. Our lawyers’ corporate, transactional, and trade compliance experience are key differentiators from our competitors, and pair well with our members who have a law enforcement background. This diversity in practice ensures we design compliance programs that take into account the whole of our client’s business goals while also helping our clients avoid the type of tunnel vision that can solve one problem while unintentionally creating another.
Our compliance teams collaborate to serve you better. To deliver the full power of our global footprint, we work together closely and are in constant collaboration with colleagues around the world to solve our client’s problems and share knowledge and practical experience from each of our jurisdictions. As a result, we don’t just build compliance programs based on the FCPA or the UK Bribery Act, we use our local insight and business focus to design straightforward compliance programs that reduce risk while advancing business efficiency across the globe. Our tightly integrated collaborative team allows us to keep our clients abreast of global trends and changes in the regulatory environment.
At our core, we are innovative. The diversity of our team’s practices, the range of cultures we share, and the multitude of jurisdictions where we operate all combine to encourage us to find innovative solutions that reduce cost and solve our client’s challenges, effectively and efficiently. We have designed compliance and investigation tools that effectively reduce data privacy risk while advancing global engagement without undermining confidentiality or privilege. We have developed comparative law trackers on anti-bribery and corruption and risk assessment to help our clients deal with the complex web of regulations around the world. And we use artificial intelligence to reduce the cost of our data review while also speeding our review and advancing our understanding of events. For further information on these tools, please visit Whistleblowing, Antibribery and Bribery Risk Tool, or ask us for a demonstration of our other solutions such as our Whistleblowing Line.
Prevention, investigations and remediation - think Dentons Global Compliance and Investigations