O’Melveny Worldwide

White Collar Defense & Government Investigations

Facing government scrutiny or industry concerns, companies, boards, and executives trust O’Melveny’s team for timely counsel, actionable information, and results.

O’Melveny Launches National Security Enforcement Task Force
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Facing government scrutiny or industry concerns, companies, boards, and executives trust O’Melveny’s team for timely counsel, actionable information, and results.

O’Melveny Launches National Security Enforcement Task Force
Read More

When companies and executives find themselves under the microscope, they need a team that understands how the government investigates cases, recognizes what is important to each company and individual facing an investigation, and knows how to respond efficiently and effectively. O’Melveny’s white collar defense group draws on a wealth of experience—including inside key federal and state enforcement agencies—to help clients make the right moves.

For decades, we have successfully represented corporations, board committees, and individual officers, directors, and executives in investigations by the US Department of Justice, US Securities and Exchange Commission, Congress, state attorneys general, and other state, federal, and international regulators.

Our team includes former federal prosecutors from DOJ headquarters and US Attorneys’ Offices across the country, as well as from the SEC and the Treasury, Commerce, Labor, and Health and Human Services departments, giving our clients vital insight into governmental decision-making processes. Our strengths include:

  • Coordinated Investigations. Coordinated investigations by various government agencies are increasingly common and routinely lead to parallel criminal and regulatory proceedings as well as civil litigation. We help clients defend against these multi-front onslaughts, preparing efficient, global defense strategies that carefully consider how each proceeding impacts the others.
  • Cross-Border Investigations. We help clients in the US, Europe, Asia, and Latin America navigate government investigations of cross-border activity. Backed by our data-privacy team, we ensure compliance with international privacy rules while conducting interviews and gathering data.
  • Criminal and Civil Trials. We try criminal and civil cases to judgment or verdict in federal and state courts throughout the United States and defend clients in proceedings before arbitral tribunals and governmental agencies in Europe and Asia.
  • Parallel Civil Litigation. Our white collar and civil litigation teams partner to map out coordinated defenses of parallel proceedings, such as civil lawsuits by private litigants.

Our experience covers a broad array of substantive areas, including:

  • Accounting Fraud
  • Anti-Money Laundering
  • Antitrust and Price and Wage Fixing
  • Bribery and extortion
  • Consumer Fraud
  • Crypto Enforcement
  • Cyber Incidents
  • Economic Sanctions and Export Controls
  • Environmental Enforcement
  • False Claims Act
  • Foreign Agent Registration Act
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • Health Care Fraud
  • Obstruction of Justice
  • Ponzi Schemes
  • Products liability
  • Public Corruption
  • RICO
  • Securities Fraud and Insider Trading
  • Tax
  • Trade Secrets
  • Workplace Discrimination and Misconduct
Bank Executives

Represented two former bank executives in an SEC investigation involving allegations that the bank misled investors in its fight against a short seller.

Bird Rides

On behalf of dockless scooter-share company Bird, O’Melveny secured the settlement of a licensing matter with the City of Santa Monica, including dismissal of misdemeanor criminal charges. The settlement allowed the company to continue operating in its home market.

Bumble Bee Foods

Following a DOJ Antitrust Division grand jury investigation that spanned almost two years, O’Melveny negotiated a deal in which the company admitted responsibility for its role in a price-fixing conspiracy and agreed to pay a fine of US$25 million over five years, with no interest, no restitution, no probation, and no imposition of a corporate monitor – a penalty significantly lower than that imposed on Bumble Bee’s principal competitor.

Confidential Individual

Represented individual in federal criminal investigation by US Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles alleging violations of campaign finance laws and Foreign Agents Registration Act, which was resolved with no criminal charges filed.

Former CEO of a blockchain and cryptocurrency company

Guided the resolution of an SEC investigation into a leading blockchain and cryptocurrency company without charges or personal liability for our client, the former CEO. The investigation involved allegations of selling unregistered securities and fraud. The company settled the matter without liability to our client.

Global Automaker

Secured a declination to prosecute from the DOJ following a three-year criminal grand jury investigation of one of the largest global automakers related to whistleblower allegations concerning alleged safety defects and a series of recalls. Most of the relevant witnesses and documents were located overseas.

Jayson Penn

Secured an acquittal for the former CEO of Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, the second largest US chicken producer, in a criminal antitrust case filed in the District of Colorado. The case made history as the first antitrust criminal case to be tried three times, the final time resulting in a full acquittal after a four-week jury trial and just one day of deliberations. Global Competition Review recognized the case as the 2023 “Antitrust Behavioral Matter of the Year.”

Nonprofit Organization

Counseled a national nonprofit organization through multiple congressional investigations over allegations related to the facilitation of fetal-tissue donation. The investigations included a nationally televised hearing, witness interviews, and document productions to four different, simultaneous investigations by House and Senate committees.

Senior Financial Services Executive

Represented a senior financial services executive at trial involving allegations of a criminal conspiracy to rig bids on guaranteed investment contracts. O’Melveny convinced the Second Circuit to reverse the lower court’s criminal conviction.

Thomas J. Barrack, Jr.

Secured acquittal on all counts for billionaire private equity executive Thomas J. Barrack, Jr., after a highly publicized, two-month federal criminal jury trial. Barrack had been charged with acting as an illegal foreign agent, making multiple felony false statements, and obstructing justice.

Consistently ranked by Chambers USA among the leading firms in California, New York, Washington, DC, and Texas for Litigation: White Collar Crime & Government Investigations and among the nation’s leading firms for Corporate Crime & Investigations.

  • “The team achieves strong resolutions for the client.”
  • “O’Melveny & Myers is a talented firm with a big reach and smart ideas.”
  • “The firm has an exceptional network of partners and they have the ability to consult in-house with some of the best minds in the business.” 
  • “They’re my all-purpose go-to. I stick with them because their talent is so good.” 
  • “They have experienced and dedicated attorneys. They are always there for you and they always provide excellent legal advice at a moment's notice.” 

Consistently ranked by The Legal 500 US as a leading firm in the nation for Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense: Advice to Corporates and Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense: Advice to Individuals.

  • “Very strong team. Extremely professional, efficient and business oriented.” 
  • “A truly exceptional team, which is praised for its ‘singular focus on delivering the best representation for clients.’” 

Featured annually in Global Investigation Review’s “GIR 100,” a listing of the world’s top 100 firms handling “sophisticated cross-border government-led and internal investigations and related settlement negotiations or prosecutions of corporates and individuals”