For more than 40 years, we have represented individuals and companies in some of the most significant criminal, regulatory, and congressional investigations in the United States.

The American Lawyer calls Zuckerman Spaeder, “a haven for clients in trouble,” and for good reason: we are one of the most highly recognized white collar defense and government investigations law firms in the United States today.

With almost half of our partners having served as former prosecutors and public defenders, Zuckerman Spaeder has helped hundreds of clients navigate investigations, respond to government inquiries, and work to minimize or avoid enforcement actions and litigation. In several instances, we've effectively steered our clients through such regulatory scrutiny, avoiding significant penalties and securing declinations. When going to trial is unavoidable, our attorneys are courtroom-ready and bring decades of experience.

Many of our clients face legal challenges on multiple fronts: criminal, regulatory, congressional, and civil. We approach the difficulties that arise from such parallel proceedings with well-planned strategies, conducting each proceeding in a manner that considers its impact on the other.

We also understand the impact these investigations have on our clients’ day-to-day commercial and professional activities. For businesses, the impact on reputation and finances can be significant; for individuals, the toll on their lives and families can be extraordinary. Our approach takes these factors into account in seeking resolutions that achieve our clients’ goals and objectives.

Congressional investigations

We represent clients involved in all manner of congressional investigations. We approach these investigations with a focus on mitigating and the accompanying risks, including Congress’ using its authority to make criminal referrals, the potential for parallel proceedings brought by federal agencies or civil litigants, and more. 

Often, we are able to craft strategies that allow our clients to cooperate in ways that do not negatively impact their businesses or lives. Our deep bench of former public servants know their way around the Hill. If there is a risk of civil liability or criminal charges, our litigation experience is invaluable in helping our clients avoid exposure.

Internal investigations

Conducting a comprehensive, methodical, and efficient internal investigation can be critical in first providing an analysis of the issue under investigation, and if necessary, securing an advantageous result with prosecutors and regulators. We investigate allegations quickly, discreetly, and with minimum disruption. 

Our attorneys have years of experience in interacting with regulators of all types, and many of our attorneys served as prosecutors and in senior positions in the U.S. Department of Justice, federal agencies, and Congress. That experience can be invaluable in directing internal investigations that anticipate the concerns and goals of government agencies, prosecutors, and enforcement officials and resolving them in a way that avoids escalation and further exposure.

Regulatory investigations

In today’s complicated regulatory environment, companies and their employees must be vigilant to act in accordance with regulations and respond quickly and appropriately. Investigations by regulatory agencies can suck up valuable time, resources, and energy and disrupt an organization for years. These complex issues require sophisticated counsel that can resolve investigations effectively and efficiently. Whether facing a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) or on the road to a corporate integrity agreement (CIA), our team is prepared to guide our clients through the process.

We have successfully represented clients in investigations brought by the Department of Justice (DOJ), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), Department of State, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Treasury, and the Department of Commerce, in several instances resulting in complete declinations. We also have significant experience in handling matters before key state agencies.

False Claims Act (FCA)

With major financial penalties, exclusion from government programs, and even prison time on the table, False Claims Act investigations carry incredibly high stakes. We have particular experience in qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, which entices whistleblowers to file suit on behalf of the government in exchange for significant monetary rewards. FCA and qui tam investigations can trigger civil or criminal litigation, and often parallel investigations. 

With almost half of our partners having served as former prosecutors and public defenders, we help our clients navigate the risks and often resolve FCA and qui tam issues before they go to trial.

To read more about our experience and capabilities related to the FCA, click here.

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)

We represent companies and individuals facing FCPA investigations and prosecutions, conducting internal investigations to identify possible violations, evaluating potential disclosures, and working with the government to avoid charges. In addition to representing clients in criminal investigations and prosecutions, our attorneys also manage parallel proceedings initiated by the SEC and other government agencies.

When prosecution cannot be avoided, our attorneys defend against government enforcement actions and take FCPA cases to trial. Our team includes seasoned litigators, former prosecutors, and leaders in the white collar defense bar.


The firm has appeared before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on behalf of corporate and individual clients in numerous investigations, including Enron, AOL/Time Warner, Freddie Mac, and the mutual fund industry investigation.

While we vigorously contest government investigations, in many cases we have worked with SEC staff to facilitate their understanding of a case and help them arrive at a decision that allows our client to avoid a public enforcement action.

Corporate compliance and board advice

In an ever more complicated regulatory environment, companies must be vigilant to their compliance obligations and respond quickly when correcting oversights. We work with clients to identify and mitigate the risks of potential enforcement actions by working to ensure their compliance policies and procedures reflect best practices and are tailored to the specific risks our clients face. We’ve regularly drafted FCPA, OFAC, and other compliance policies for our clients.  

Following the completion of internal investigations, our attorneys design and implement compliance programs and provide business counseling and guidance. To help prevent future problems for a client, Zuckerman Spaeder, as part of our representation, will thoroughly assess the policies and procedures of the area under investigation. We create and execute effective internal compliance programs to address the risks under the governing laws.