David W. Simon


David W. Simon focuses his practice on conducting domestic and international internal investigations to preempt or mitigate actions taken by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other enforcement agencies. He successfully defends companies and senior executives in enforcement actions and litigation with the government, and he delivers practical regulatory advice and builds effective corporate compliance programs to help avoid enforcement actions in the first place.

David is experienced in guiding corporate boards and company management through challenging government enforcement matters, and he understands that corporate compliance problems are fundamentally business problems that require business-centric solutions.

Global Problems, Global Solutions

David is a defense lawyer who is adept at assembling and leading global teams of professionals to provide solutions to the potentially catastrophic financial and reputational threats presented by a government enforcement action. He has substantial experience dealing with U.S. regulators, and he understands their expectations.

In the course of helping companies successfully manage crises arising outside of the United States, David has conducted investigations all over the world and has built deep relationships with top-caliber business-oriented enforcement attorneys, forensic accountants, and other professionals in virtually all economically significant countries. David is a founding director of the Concilium Global Compliance, Investigations & Enforcement Defense Network, an alliance of business crimes and compliance lawyers around the world that provides integrated investigations, defense, and compliance solutions to cross-border problems.

FCPA and Global Anti-Bribery & Anti-Corruption Defense

The FCPA and global anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws are a major focus of David’s defense, investigations, and counseling practice. David is an FCPA lawyer who has handled dozens of bribery investigations and enforcement defense actions for companies around the world and in a variety of industries.

David is an FCPA/anti-bribery/anti-corruption authority who writes, speaks, and is quoted on hot topics in the field.

Practical, Actionable Compliance Advice

To help his clients avoid compliance trouble in the first place, David provides practical, experienced-based advice and counsel and helps companies develop and implement effective corporate compliance programs. Companies choose David because his approach is to craft reasonable and pragmatic compliance solutions that can be implemented effectively, consistent with the expectations of the regulators but without undue disruption to the company’s operations and while respecting the practical realities of their business goals.

Government Enforcement Defense

David also has extensive experience leading teams representing clients in international sanctions matters, in antitrust matters (particularly in the health care industry), and in conducting False Claims Act and environmental law investigations and defending enforcement actions and litigation.

Extensive India Experience

David has particularly deep experience leading investigations and enforcement actions arising out of India and advising companies and their India operations on compliance with applicable laws. Through this experience, David has developed a deep understanding of India and the risks posed to companies doing business there; he is adept at developing India-specific risk mitigation strategies and navigating cross-border enforcement actions and litigation.

Sherbir Panag, of the New Delhi-based Panag & Babu, describes David’s India experience as follows:

“David Simon’s understanding of India goes beyond the surface, to a deeper appreciation of its business, culture, and legal system. This depth allows his advocacy and counsel to be more grounded in the practical realities of the Indian subcontinent. Over the past decade, David has helped our clients navigate complex regulatory and commercial disputes in the United States, earning the trust of our clients, who view him as their go-to U.S. counsel. I have also had the pleasure of acting as co-counsel to FCPA internal investigations that David has led in India, and on each occasion, I have been impressed by his remarkable solution-oriented approaches as well as the respect he commands from law enforcement and clients alike.”

David is a thought leader with respect to India-specific compliance issues and has published extensively and spoken frequently on India compliance and governance issues.

Representative Experience

FCPA and Global Anti-Bribery & Anti-Corruption Defense

  • Conducted an internal investigation for a publicly traded company in the health care diagnostics industry into allegations that its Philippines distributor paid bribes in connection with certain government sales. He guided the company through the termination of the distributor and the deployment of enhanced compliance procedures and controls.
  • Led the team representing a publicly traded U.S. manufacturing company that discovered suspicious payments to an agent made by its Peru subsidiary. The investigation led to discovery of a number of additional compliance issues, including suspicious payments in China, sales to Cuba, and additional Peru bribery allegations. David helped the company navigate through the complex landscape this presented, including defending U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and Peruvian government investigations.
  • Lead FCPA counsel for an independent compliance monitor engaged by a financial institution, as mandated by its FCPA settlement agreements with the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In this role, David advised the organization in his review and assessment of the company’s compliance anti-bribery policies, procedures, and internal controls, and he reported to the regulators on his findings and conclusions.
  • Conducts international compliance due diligence for a large industrial conglomerate that regularly acquires companies based in and operating all around the world. He helps the company identify and value global compliance risks to inform purchase and valuation decisions, and he assists in developing compliance integration and remediation plans for newly acquired businesses.
  • Served as lead appellate FCPA counsel for Carlos Rodriguez in the landmark case U.S. v. Esquinazi, Case No. 11-15331, the first federal appeals court case to address the meaning of the FCPA’s “foreign official” element.

Government Enforcement Defense

  • Represented two construction company executives who received target letters from a U.S. Attorney’s Office, indicating the office believed the executives had participated in a fraudulent scheme involving disadvantaged business set-aside contracts with various governmental entities. David persuaded the office to decline to bring any criminal charges against the executives and negotiated a civil settlement between the United States and the company that allowed a successor company to continue operations. The executives describe their experience with David as follows:

“When our business and personal lives were unexpectedly investigated by the DOJ, we sought out the best legal representation we could find. That search led us to retaining the legal services of Dave Simon. He was a calming and confident influence as he navigated us through countless obstacles, each time achieving results that exceeded our expectations. His legal skills cleared our names and gave us back a future we thought might be slipping away.”

  • When St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington, West Virginia, sought to merge with the other major hospital system in the city, Cabell Huntington Hospital, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission challenged the combination on antitrust grounds. David led the team representing St. Mary’s in the defense of the FTC investigation and enforcement action and in the negotiation of a political solution with the West Virginia Attorney General, which allowed the merger to proceed.
  • Defended an industrial company in a grand jury investigation into potential criminal violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and persuaded DOJ to close the investigation without bringing any changes against the company.

Awards and Recognition

  • Named a 2023 “Criminal Defense: White Collar Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers
  • Peer review rated as AV Preeminent®, the highest performance rating in the Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ system
  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® (2014–2024) in the field of Criminal Defense: White-Collar Law
  • Recommended by The Legal 500 for his work in Dispute Resolution: Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense
  • Recommended and recognized as a “Thought Leader” by Who’s Who Legal in the category of Business Crime Defense – Corporations 2023, and as a “Global Leader” in the category of Business Crime Defense – Corporates 2022
27 November 2023 Manufacturing Industry Advisor

Leveraging the International Labor Organization’s Forced-Labor Indicators to Eradicate Forced Labor from Supply Chains

The United States Customs and Border Protection prioritizes enforcing rules against the use of forced labor and human trafficking.
12 October 2023 Article

Implications of DOJ’s New Safe Harbor for Disclosing Misconduct Uncovered During M&A Transactions

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco recently announced that the Department of Justice is adopting a new safe harbor policy to incentivize corporations to voluntarily self-disclose criminal misconduct discovered during merger and acquisition transactions.
17 August 2023 Honors and Awards

Foley Attorneys Recognized in 2024 Best Lawyers in America

Foley & Lardner LLP proudly announced today that 236 of the firm’s attorneys across 20 U.S. offices have received recognition in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America©.
07 June 2023 Manufacturing Industry Advisor

What Every Multinational Company Should Know About . . . Supply Chain Integrity

Both enforcement agencies and consumers increasingly are focused on manufacturers’ supply chains. Human rights enforcement frameworks increasingly have real teeth.
24 May 2023 Manufacturing Industry Advisor

What Every Multinational Company Should Know About … Anti-Corruption

The international trade and regulatory environment never has been more difficult for multinational corporations to navigate. For companies that operate, source from, or sell goods, software, or services across borders, legal complexities abound.
23 May 2023 Events

Whistleblowers, Internal Investigations, and Compliance Design in the United States, Germany, and Austria

Partner David Simon will join a panel titled “The Significance of Whistleblower Protections and Incentives for Internal Investigations in the U.S. and Germany” during a daylong conference held at the University of Illinois.