White Collar Defense

Our White Collar Defense and Investigations attorneys are among the nation's foremost, and Hueston Hennigan is ranked by U.S. News & World Report/Best Lawyers as a Tier 1 Metropolitan White Collar firm. Chambers & Partners recognized Co-Chairs Brian Hennigan and John Hueston as "Leaders in their field for white collar defense in 2016, and The Recorder awarded Hueston Hennigan "Best White Collar Department" in California for 2016. Also, this same department won recognition as one of the three best white collar departments in the United States two years ago.

Our attorneys have an extraordinary track record of obtaining terminations of investigations before they surface publicly or result in charges, as well as of persuading courts to dismiss indicted cases before they reach a jury. We represent clients facing government investigations and criminal and civil enforcement actions in state and federal courts, and before regulatory agencies, across the United States. We approach each matter aggressively and comprehensively, seeking to understand our client and the facts of their case better than the government, and to achieve the earliest and most complete victory possible.

Our team includes three former federal prosecutors and two fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers. John Hueston is a former lead prosecutor for the Enron trial of Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling. He has been repeatedly recognized as a leading "Band 1" white collar attorney by Chambers USA, where he has been described as "hard-driving, insightful and aggressive." Brian Hennigan similarly has been repeatedly listed as a "Band 1" white collar attorney in Chambers USA, where he has been lauded as "perhaps number-one when you're thinking strategy and relationships in the [U.S. Attorney's Office] and in the community," and "a terrific attorney because of his great ability to communicate with judges and juries." Mr. Hennigan has also been named a Los Angeles White Collar Lawyer of the Year by The Best Lawyers in America. Marshall Camp is a former federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, where he handled a wide range of white collar cases, including the successful trial of one of the largest criminal tax cases in U.S. history. Mr. Camp has been listed as one of the top five white collar defense attorneys under the age of 40 in a national ranking by Law360. While at Irell & Manella, John Hueston, Brian Hennigan, Marshall Camp and Alison Plessman were recognized as members of a "White Collar Group of the Year" by Law360, where they were recognized for obtaining pre-trial dismissals of two high-profile criminal prosecutions, in Nevada and Texas, in a single year.

Drawing on our reputations as experienced trial lawyers and creative problem solvers, our attorneys handle virtually every type of white collar case, including in the areas of securities fraud and insider trading; the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act; False Claims Act and government contractor litigation; criminal tax, antitrust and environmental enforcement; Food, Drug & Cosmetics Act and health care litigation; and many others. Our clients have included leading global corporations in a wide range of industries, business executives and entrepreneurs, educational institutions, medical practices and physicians, lawyers, accountants, professional athletes, and religious leaders. We also have extensive experience conducting internal investigations and formulating corporate compliance programs.

Representative Matters

Our attorneys have achieved significant results in a variety of white collar cases, including the following:

  • Obtained dismissal of all felony federal charges against a subsidiary of Waste Management Inc., America's largest environmental services provider, and two of its managers, on the eve of trial in July 2015.
  • Obtained dismissal of rare corporate murder charges against a the employee of a drug and alcohol rehab corporation, dramatically curtailing the scope of a criminal case that had been touted as groundbreaking prosecution by the California Attorney General.
  • Achieved acquittal of a motion picture studio executive of all charges in a tax evasion jury trial.
  • Won dismissal of a 306-count criminal indictment against a mortgage company executive that had been heralded by the Nevada Attorney General as a first-in-the-nation "robo-signing" prosecution [see "Massive 'robo-signing' prosecution dismissed for misconduct" in the National Law Journal (sub. req'd)].
  • Dismissal of a fraud indictment against an heir of former oil magnate H.L. Hunt after an evidentiary hearing for prosecutorial misconduct, also resulting in a criminal contempt citation against the district attorney of Dallas, Texas. Featured as "Hill Wins, Watkins Loses" in the Dallas Morning News.
  • Won deauthorization and termination without action for a former Goldman Sachs managing director of a lengthy SEC and DOJ insider-trading investigation related to suspected tipping of the Galleon Group.
  • Obtained complete dismissal of felony wiretapping charges based on a successful challenge to the constitutionality of the offense statute.
  • Obtained complete criminal and civil declination, and return of all seized funds, for the president and founder of an integrated circuit design company in connection with a lengthy federal contract fraud investigation.
  • Representing Viceroy Hotel Group in a forfeiture action filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, which is seeking forfeiture of worldwide assets linked to the alleged $3 billion dollar misappropriation of funds from the 1 Malaysian Development Berhad (the Malaysian Development Fund).
  • Declination of a federal criminal investigation of former Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo.
  • Declination of a four-year FCPA investigation of an international motion picture production, with no DOJ or SEC charges brought.
  • Declinations for two former CEOs of separate criminal and SEC stock option backdating investigations.
  • Termination of a lengthy criminal Food, Drug & Cosmetics Act investigation of Edwards Lifesciences without any sanction or civil settlement.
  • Declination of a three-year financial structuring and money laundering investigation of executive at Fortune 500 resort and casino company.
  • Resolution of a tri-state attorney general investigation into alleged false advertising by a Fortune 500 health care company without imposition of fines or penalties.
  • Completion within 60 days of an FCPA investigation into a Fortune 100 company without assessment of any sanctions or fines.
  • Resolution of SEC and FDIC investigations into a former chief lending officer of Downey Financial without charges or personal contribution to global settlement.
  • Declinations of a highly publicized health care fraud investigation for the University of California-Irvine and former individual "targets."
  • Declination for Kaiser Permanente in connection with the Nadia Suleyman ("Octomom") investigations of alleged HIPAA violations.
  • Declination of a nationally publicized, four-year criminal investigation into an Orange County-based government contractor.
  • Served as independent counsel for the County of San Bernardino in connection with a corruption investigation.
  • Represented a Taiwanese auto parts manufacturer in a DOJ criminal antitrust investigation alleging price fixing among the auto parts manufacturers.
  • Represented a corporate criminal defendant in a DOJ criminal investigation alleging horizontal territorial agreements among commercial distributors of mesquite charcoal.
  • Representing an institutional health care provider in an internal investigation of alleged patient safety and standard of care violations and whistleblower retaliation.
  • Resolved federal investigation of alleged celebrity privacy breaches at UCLA without charges or fines.
  • Represented PIMCO senior executive in SEC investigation regarding investor disclosures.