White-Collar Criminal Defense

Steptoe’s white-collar criminal defense practice is among the most well-respected and preeminent in the United States.  The group built this reputation by defending some of the nation’s highest profile senior executives, public officials, and corporations in complex white-collar criminal litigation, corporate investigations, and related administrative enforcement and civil litigation matters. 

Our firm has garnered several accolades, including recognition by both Chambers USA and The Legal 500 as a top-ranked practice in this field.  In addition, for the past two years, Law360 rated the practice a “White-Collar Group of the Year.”  Steptoe’s team includes Reid Weingarten, called the “star of the criminal defense bar” by Chambers, and widely recognized as one of the premier white-collar defense lawyers in the country.   In addition, many of our litigators served in government with distinction before joining the firm, including several former US federal prosecutors with extensive trial experience, and a former prosecutor with the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO).  Our lawyers are consistently ranked as top criminal defense attorneys by Chambers, Best Lawyers in America, Euromoney’s Expert Guides, and Super Lawyers.  We provide cutting-edge advocacy and advice, responsively and efficiently.  In many of our cases, our lawyers are hired to replace prior counsel when their efforts at settlement fail and aggressive trial counsel is needed.

Steptoe represents individuals in all aspects of criminal investigations and prosecutions, especially those that generate considerable public attention.  In the past, the firm has defended senior executives from companies such as Enron, Tyco, WorldCom, Rite Aid, ADM, and GSK, and we have represented former cabinet-level US government officials, Members of Congress, the former president of a leading trade union, and the president of a foreign government.  Steptoe is currently defending a BP executive in a criminal case arising out of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and we are conducting an independent investigation for a Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Pilot Flying J regarding allegations that the country’s largest travel center chain and diesel fuel provider defrauded some of its trucking company customers.  

Steptoe represents clients in a wide range of matters including:

In short, when the future of a company hangs in the balance, many of the nation's highest profile senior executives and corporations choose Steptoe to represent them.

Representative Matters

  • United States v. Stevens, 8:10-CR-00694 (D. Md.): Steptoe lawyers successfully represented Lauren Stevens, former general counsel of GlaxoSmithKline, who was indicted on six criminal counts that she obstructed a federal inquiry and made false statements to investigators related to an FDA investigation of the drug Wellbutrin SR.  Steptoe obtained a judgment of acquittal on all charges at the close of the government’s case, with US  District Judge Roger Titus finding that it would have been a “miscarriage of justice” to permit the case against Stevens to go to the jury.
  • United States v. Paul Slough, et al., 1:08-cr-360-RCL (D.D.C.):  Steptoe is defending a former Blackwater security guard in a manslaughter case under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act arising out of a shooting incident in Baghdad, Iraq.  In 2009, we succeeded in having the entire indictment dismissed due to the government’s use of immunized testimony against our client in violation of Kastigar.  Following a remand by the D.C. Circuit, we continue to represent our client in the ongoing investigation and will defend him in the event new charges are filed.
  • United States v. Ofer Paz, et al., Case No. 09-cr-335 (D.D.C.): Steptoe represented Ofer Paz, the president and CEO of an Israeli company that acted as sales agent for companies in the law enforcement and military products industries, and was indicted following the “Show Show” sting operation for allegedly conspiring to violate the FCPA, engaging in money laundering, and committing substantive violations of the FCPA.  Steptoe lawyers obtained a dismissal of the case on the eve of trial.
  • Steptoe defended a DOJ trial attorney in the Public Integrity Section, one of six federal prosecutors involved in the prosecution of Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens on corruption charges.  Following a three-year investigation by a Special Prosecutor appointed to investigate potential obstruction of justice, and a parallel ethics investigation by the Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, our client was cleared of any wrongdoing.
  • Steptoe is representing Autonomy’s former CEO, Dr. Mike Lynch, in an investigation regarding alleged accounting irregularities discovered following the acquisition of Autonomy by Hewlett-Packard. HP booked an $8.8 billion writedown related to Autonomy in November 2012, claiming that certain revenue had been recorded prematurely or improperly. Based on a disclosure to law enforcement authorities by HP, there are parallel investigations underway by the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, the US Securities & Exchange Commission, and the UK Serious Fraud Office.

Noteworthy

  • Ranked in Chambers USA 2013; Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (DC)
  • Ranked in Legal 500 US 2012-2013; Litigation: White-Collar Criminal Defense
  • Named a Law360 "White-Collar Group of the Year" for 2011 and 2012

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