Throughout the United States and global jurisdictions, our white collar crime lawyers provide responsive, practical representation for individuals and corporations across diverse industry sectors, including technology and financial services. We conduct internal and follow-on government investigations and defend criminal prosecutions, regulatory enforcement, and related civil actions.

Drawing from decades of first-hand experience navigating the adverse effects of legal and media exposure, our first priority is to efficiently address pre-litigation allegations and reduce the likelihood of formal charges being made public. In cases where litigation is unavoidable, we employ successful techniques and courtroom experience to litigate indicted cases, aggressively.


Our lawyers use their substantive industry involvement—and credibility among government agencies—to craft workable investigative strategies that offer significant advantages.

From investigations and enforcement actions brought by the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC), and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), we provide clarity and confidence for executives, general counsels, directors, and employees through what are often tense, formidable, and high-risk investigatory processes. In growing areas of public and regulatory concern, such as cyber incursion, trade secret theft, crypto-currency, health care fraud, antitrust, breach of fiduciary duty, and public corruption, our practitioners maintain and apply specific knowledge and proven tactics.

Clients appreciate our thoughtful guidance and surgical precision in conducting defense-minded internal investigations that minimize disruptions and maintain normal operations.

  • We take all necessary steps to ensure that the information gathered and testimonies provided are accurate. We safeguard applicable privileges to the maximum extent and explore all avenues of response.
  • We bolster trust in the investigation and establish that corporate leadership has achieved the best possible outcome for the company and its shareholders.
  • We advise on and assist in disclosing investigation results when appropriate.

Pool Counsel

On the other side of the same coin, we prepare, protect, and defend groups of executives and employees in our role as “pool counsel” in investigations. We guide those persons at the center of the crisis, most of whom have had no prior involvement in white collar crime investigations, and provide support to preserve interests and reputations.

Parallel Investigations and Filings

We develop defenses for criminal matters and civil and administrative proceedings where strategies and tactics used in one action can have severe and unalterable repercussions on the direction and outcome of parallel investigations and filings. Among recent examples, we helped numerous corporate and individual clients successfully navigate securities fraud cases where SEC investigations led to civil enforcement, civil class actions, derivative actions, and grand jury investigations leading to criminal charges.

Diversity and Communication

Our team quickly gets to the heart of the complex substantive issues and important human dynamics at the center of all white collar matters. We do this through building or rebuilding trust—an essential element for conducting and defending investigations into alleged white collar criminal activity and misconduct. The Farella white collar crime team’s ethnic and gender diversity mirrors our clients’ workforces, which increases rapport and facilitates open communication.

Our lawyers are approachable and sensitive to the anxieties, stressors, and challenges facing witnesses to and individuals accused of corporate misconduct. As counselors and defenders, we help clients articulate their understanding of events and provide peace of mind and confidence that everything possible is being done to assist and defend them.

Full-Service Firm

Few areas of the law require a broad spectrum of disciplines than investigating and defending federal and state criminal and regulatory enforcement matters. We frequently draw on the resources and knowledge of other Farella practice areas such as insurance coverage and indemnity, antitrust, environmental, securities transactions and litigation, asset protection, and employment law.

For example, to fund legal defenses our White Collar Group works closely with Farella’s Insurance Recovery Group to resolve disputes and challenges to coverage, and works with the firm’s securities transactions practice to understand and utilize indemnifications to which executives and employees may be entitled.


Attorneys in the practice are recognized in Chambers USA and Best Lawyers in America. Senior Partners Douglas R. Young, president of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and former Assistant United States Attorney William P. Keane, also a Fellow of the College, bring decades of white collar crime experience to client strategy and defense.

Firm Highlights


Chambers USA 2021 Recognizes Farella Braun + Martel Attorneys, Practices

Farella Braun + Martel announces that Chambers USA has recognized 13 lawyers and 6 practice areas in the legal directory’s 2021 edition. Individual Rankings: Tyler Gerking – Insurance: Policyholders Jeffrey Hamilton – Cannabis Law...

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Recommended Practices for Conducting Internal Investigations

William Keane served as the chair of the American College of Trial Lawyers’ Federal Criminal Procedure Committee, which drafted the white paper “ Recommended Practices for Conducting Internal Investigations ” published by the ACTL...

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Jurors, Justice and Technology

Douglas Young, Farella partner and president of the American College of Trial Lawyers, spoke with podcast host Howard Miller about requirements in jury selection and technology for jury and non-jury trials. Listen to the...

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Farella Braun + Martel Attorneys Named to 2021 Northern California Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Thirty-seven Farella Braun + Martel lawyers were named to the Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists of top attorneys in Northern California for 2021. 2021 Farella Northern California Super Lawyers: George Argyris – Estate...

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Douglas Young Receives 2021 Judge Learned Hand Award From AJC San Francisco

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Farella Braun + Martel Shortlisted for Three 2021 Benchmark Litigation Awards

Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel has been shortlisted for three 2021 Benchmark Litigation awards. The firm was shortlisted for “San Francisco Firm of the Year” and in the California White-Collar Crime...

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