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.


The practice, recognized in Chambers USA, Super Lawyers, and U.S. News & World Report Best Lawyers, is led by Partner Jessica Nall, current Global Vice Chair of the Women’s White Collar Defense Association and Co-chair of the American Bar Association’s White Collar Crime Subcommittee for Northern California.

Senior Partners Douglas R. Young, incoming 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


California Cases to Watch in 2020

Jessica Nall was quoted in the article "California Cases to Watch in 2020" in Law360 .  Jessica commented on two high-profile criminal cases against former technology executives pending in the Northern District of California...

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The Huawei Trade Secrets Prosecution and What It Means for Business

by Jessica K. Nall and Janice W. Reicher [1] As the world watches the political and legal battles between the U.S. government and Chinese telecom giant Huawei unfold in the headlines, many are asking...

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How a Robot Named 'Tappy' Could Cripple Huawei

In the ongoing confrontation between the U.S. government and Chinese telecom giant Huawei, a civil trade secret dispute between two companies that might have resolved without much fanfare in previous years has grown into...

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ABA 34th National Institute on White Collar Crime

Jessica Nall will be speaking at the 34th National Institute on White Collar Crime session, "Updates in Cybercrime: Are We Fighting an Impossible Battle?" Details: Information security has now become an essential part of corporate...

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INSIGHT: Are Your Employees Using Messaging Apps for Business Communications? Understanding Compliance Implications

Employees are using ephemeral messaging apps—where messages “disappear"—but do they? Farella Braun + Martel attorneys lay out legal pitfalls and compliance issues and the digital minefield that arises when employees don’t use company-sanctioned email...

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Novel Libor Sentence Shows Issues Foreign Defendants Face

Jessica Nall was quoted in the Law360 article "Novel Libor Sentence Shows Issues Foreign Defendants Face." In the article, Jessica said that while foreign defendants do face harsher realities than American defendants in the...

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Individual Accountability in the Huawei Trade Secrets Prosecution

In the ongoing legal battle over the alleged theft of American trade secrets by Chinese telecom giant Huawei, one curious aspect is the lack of charges filed against any individual Huawei employees. On February...

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Farella Braun + Martel Ranked Among “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers

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3 Trends in Criminal Trade Secret Prosecution

Criminal trade secret prosecutions are on the rise nationwide and in the Northern District of California, especially cases relating to alleged theft by Chinese nationals and entities. According to a 2017 report by the...

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