A seasoned trial lawyer, Jennifer Belveal has more than 25 years of white-collar criminal experience leading independent investigations, responses to grand jury subpoenas, and other government enforcement proceedings, crisis management and bet-the-company litigation. She leads the firm’s Government Enforcement Defense & Investigations Practice in Detroit, representing companies, boards, and individuals (including serving as pool counsel for multiple clients) in internal and government investigations, as well as complex litigation involving both civil and criminal allegations.
“She is an impressive lawyer; she has a great demeanor, is hard-working and very smart. She’s the complete package of what a client wants in a lawyer.”
– Chambers and Partners USA
Jennifer is known for finding solutions to difficult and delicate problems. Clients and lawyers in Michigan and nationwide recognize Jennifer as a go-to lawyer for navigating complex uncharted situations. She is a top Detroit trial lawyer and has successfully handled more than 50 trials, arbitrations, and preliminary examinations. She is equally skilled in avoiding formal proceedings and criminal prosecutions, such that many of her most successful matters have never been publicly disclosed.
“Jennifer is highly skilled and competent. She knows how to be a team player and how to think independently. I would not hesitate to collaborate with her or refer a matter to her.”
– Chambers and Partners USA
Jennifer advises clients, and is a sought-after speaker by her peers, on federal and state legal matters across a spectrum of industries, including automotive, manufacturing, financial transactions, securities, health care, public corruption, environmental laws, government contracting, shareholder liability, and data privacy and security. Her civil practice focuses on ESG, contracts, commercial torts, real estate, fraud, and ownership disputes.
Throughout her career, Jennifer has guided other lawyers in legal ethics. She currently serves as the Professional Responsibility Partner for Foley’s Detroit and Salt Lake City offices. In 2018, Jennifer was elected as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, an honorary society limited to one percent of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction, whose public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the highest principles of the legal profession and the welfare of their communities.
Jennifer also serves on the Planning Committee for the American Bar Association’s annual National Institute on White Collar Crime, as Co-Chair of the American Bar Association’s Women in White Collar Subcommittee, Chair of the Michigan Chapter of the Women’s White Collar Defense Association. She previously Co-Chaired the Cambridge Forum on White-Collar Crime & Regulatory Enforcement (2019-2022). Jennifer is very active in the community having served on many legal and nonprofit boards.
- Pool counsel for multiple employees in parallel criminal and civil proceedings conducted by federal and state agencies into environmental emissions from certain automobiles relating to alleged defeat devices.
- Represented lead witness in a high-profile public university scandal.
- Conducting international financial and corruption investigations for manufacturing companies.
- Defended private equity client in civil litigation, resulting in dissolution of TRO and denial of preliminary injunction.
- Represented employee in federal criminal investigation into potential corruption in dealings between an automotive company and the United Auto Workers.
- Conducted internal investigation for automotive supplier regarding theft of intellectual property.
- Represented bank victim in multimillion-dollar fraud by customer, including coordination with prosecuting authorities.
- Represented real estate developer in fraud dispute with partner involving both civil litigation and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation.
- Defended hospital in civil dispute with physician health care group.
- Served, on a pro bono basis, as the designated American Bar Association (ABA) observer during pretrial hearings in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for five detainees accused of planning the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Using her criminal law experience, Jennifer reported on the first live testimony on two key issues in the case – defendants’ motion to suppress their statements based on torture at black sites, as well as defendants’ motion contesting personal jurisdiction.
- Represented the audit committee of a publicly traded out-of-state company in an internal investigation into financial irregularities and national security issues. Guided client through crisis and concluded the matter to the satisfaction of a national auditing firm under a compressed timetable to meet public filing deadlines and avoid negative financial consequences.
- Defended physician in federal health care fraud prosecution.
- Represented Native American company in successfully suing the state of Michigan to remove the imposition of tax-related regulatory action that prevented the client from continuing some of its business operations.
- Represented multiple high-profile individuals and companies in federal criminal corruption investigations in Detroit and New Orleans, resulting in no charges.
Awards and Recognition
- Recognized, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the practice area of Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (2021-2022)
- Selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the field of Commercial Litigation (2017-2024)
- Recognized, DBusiness Top Lawyers (2010 and 2016-2022)
- Selected for inclusion to the Michigan Super Lawyers list
- Only woman, White Collar Criminal Defense (2016-2023)
- Top 50 Women (2020 – 2023)
- Recognized, Who’s Who Legal – Business Crime Defense (2020—2022 )
- Nominated, Inaugural list of Crain’s Detroit Women in the Law (2017)
- Recognized, Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s Women in the Law (2016)
Presentations and Publications
- ABA 38th Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime, Ethics: Cooperation and Competition Between Counsel for Individuals and Counsel for Companies
- OESA Michigan Council, Stewarding ESG in the Mobility Supply Chain
- ABA 37th Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime, The Impact of Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) Issues on White Collar Enforcement
- 5th Annual State Bar of Michigan Business Symposium, White Collar Crime and Regulatory Matters: Top Tips for Managing a Client Crisis
- Cambridge Forum on White-Collar Crime and Regulatory Enforcement, Guardians of the (Privilege) Galaxy: Protecting the Privilege Against the Government and Payors (2021)
- Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) Legal Council Critical Risk Issues for In-House Counsel: Planning for 2020, Internal Investigations and Compliance Programs
- 6th Annual UT Law Government Enforcement Institute, Representation of Multiple Parties: Practical and Ethical Considerations
- ABA 33rd Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime, A Deep Dive Into the Complexities of Representing Multiple Defendants in Investigations
- Co-author, “Multiple Representation of Individuals Acting as Pool Counsel,” Thomson Reuters® Practical Law (2020-2022)
- Co-author, “The Real Danger of Outsourced Government Litigations,” Law 360 (January 7, 2020)