Government Enforcement Defense & Investigations

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Foley’s Government Enforcement Defense & Investigations (GEDI) practice represents companies, boards of directors, and individuals in matters adverse to the government. Our practice group has been a leader in trials, internal investigations, enforcement defense, and compliance for decades. This long tenure has generated deep knowledge, respect from regulators and prosecutors, and favorable results for our clients.

For many years, our attorneys have been recognized by Chambers in Litigation: White Collar Crime & Government Investigations, False Claims Act, and General Commercial Litigation. In the Chambers 2023 guide, our attorneys were ranked both in their respective states and nationally.

“The firm’s signature specialization in healthcare matters is complemented by excellent strengths in False Claims Act cases, FCPA matters and government investigations.”

“At Foley & Lardner, they are experts in investigations and regulatory advocacy. Their legal services are excellent.”

“The lawyers are thorough and knowledgeable, particularly when it comes to matters of complexity.”

Our Approach

In the event of a government enforcement action, our lawyers bring exceptional, long-practiced talent to bear on the response, providing business-driven solutions that measure risk and reward, and consider both cost and benefit. Our team also manages internal investigations effectively and designs programs that are pragmatic and tailored to the client’s actual risk profile. The strength of our experiences, depth of our bench, and broad national and global reach, give our litigators an advantage over other government investigation and trial teams.

In addition to decades of defending clients, many of our lawyers held prominent positions in government agencies including the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and state Attorneys General. From the DOJ, Foley lawyers include a former U.S. Attorney, a former Tax Division deputy, and former fraud deputy chiefs from various Civil and Criminal Divisions of several U.S. Attorney’s Offices. From the SEC, our lawyers have held roles including senior regulatory counsel, senior trial counsel and branch chief (Division of Enforcement), senior counsel for the Division of Enforcement, senior counsel at a Regional Office and member of the Asset Management Unit, and independent consultant and independent monitor. Our partners also include former DOJ/SEC-appointed compliance monitors.

Our in-depth knowledge of and firsthand experience working in government gives Foley a head start when litigating against government departments and agencies. This inside angle helps clients refute allegations of wrongdoing, manage voluntary self-disclosures, and negotiate parallel civil, criminal, and administrative inquiries. We often pair our former government lawyers with our lifelong defense lawyers to provide a broad scope of perspective and insight.

We work in close alignment with our firm’s four sectors, with our experienced litigators teaming up with other regulatory and industry leaders in Foley’s key sector areas of Health Care, Manufacturing, Energy, and Technology. Whether tapping our strong cadre of health care litigators to respond to a government inquiry or conducting an international internal investigation to advise a manufacturing client, our lawyers bring their firsthand experience working for and with government agencies to develop effective mitigation strategies and achieve favorable outcomes for clients.


  • Criminal Antitrust
  • Criminal Health Care Fraud
  • Environmental, Social, & Governance
  • False Claims Act
  • International Trade and National Security
  • Public Corruption
  • Securities Fraud

Criminal Antitrust

When clients are faced with potential antitrust risks, they turn to Foley’s criminal antitrust team which blends the talents and experience of four practice areas in the firm: GEDI, Antitrust & Competition, Labor & Employment, and Transactional practice groups. Our experienced team helps clients identify antitrust issues early and act quickly to limit civil and criminal exposure, which can mean the difference between potential amnesty or leniency, and massive fines, debarment from federal programs, and jail time.

Foley attorneys have deep experience representing domestic and foreign companies and their employees in criminal and civil enforcement matters as well as follow-on civil litigation. We advise companies on grand jury subpoenas and civil investigative demands relating to antitrust issues. We also have experience counseling companies through the DOJ’s complex Leniency Program. When resolving enforcement matters, we consider the likelihood of follow-on civil litigation actions, which often turn into multidistrict, class-action lawsuits.

Criminal Health Care Fraud

In addition to Foley’s robust civil False Claims Act practice, Foley litigators have extensive experience in defending complex cases of criminal health care fraud, including the Anti-Kickback Statute. Foley’s criminal health care fraud team includes former Department of Justice prosecutors of health care fraud, and our team is comprised of some of the most experienced health care fraud litigators in the country.

Environment, Social & Governance

Investors today demand attention to sustainability, environmental policies, diversity and inclusion programming, and corporate governance. Our ESG practice and GEDI attorneys combine forces to help clients develop compliance programs guided by the latest ESG principles to decrease reputational, investigatory, and whistleblower risk; provide guidance on the view of securities regulators regarding ESG disclosures for publicly-traded issuers and institutional investors alike; and defend clients in investigations or lawsuits alleging failure to comply with relevant requirements, non-disclosure of material information, and misrepresentation of ESG metrics or strategies. We also assist clients in navigating conflicting ESG environments where there may be tension among investor, governmental, and company objectives.

False Claims Act

Our team regularly defends and wins False Claims Act (FCA) cases across the country. We often convince the government not to intervene in litigation, scoring victories for our clients before they step into a courtroom. Our lawyers have litigated FCA disputes in nearly every state, and the DOJ well-knows Foley’s reputation for credibility and rigor. Our practitioners routinely are called upon to lead conferences and presentations alongside government officials and regulators, and the group and individuals routinely receive sought-after rankings, including Chambers recognition.

International Government Enforcement Defense & Investigations

International regulations governing companies that operate, source from, or sell abroad have never been more complicated. Our International Government Enforcement Defense & Investigations attorneys are here to help. Our experienced international GEDI team offers the full range of counseling, compliance, and investigation expertise in all major areas in the space, including for antiboycott, criminal antitrust/competition, Customs, economic sanctions, export controls, and other international regulatory matters. Our goal is to help companies identify their international regulatory risk, put in place compliance programs designed to help manage and mitigate that risk, and to help them understand how to operate in an increasingly regulated and interconnected world. And when compliance breaks down, our team of dedicated international regulatory attorneys can conduct efficient and targeted investigations and, if necessary, guide our clients through any necessary governmental disclosures or enforcement actions designed to satisfy regulatory concerns while protecting the company’s interests.

International Trade & National Security

International trade and national security issues pose complex threats to cross-border business. Trade wars and the record number of antidumping, countervailing duty, and Section 337 unfair trade cases can sharply increase the costs and risks of trading goods between countries, as does aggressive Customs enforcement and new rules regarding supply chain integrity and forced labor requirements when importing goods. And new rules and government overview of financial transactions and investments, including mandatory reviews by the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS), raise the stakes for cross-border financial transactions and investments. Our team leverages deep experience in key international trade and national security issues to help your business adapt to the changing global environment and achieve your business objectives.

Public Corruption

Foley offers industry-leading experience and world-class capabilities to deal with large and complex matters faced by individuals or companies when it comes to public corruption. Our attorneys have defended high-profile cases for government officials, politicians, and other notable individuals and companies. We also conduct internal investigations of corruption allegations, including the FCPA.

Securities Fraud

In conjunction with our Securities Enforcement & Litigation practice, we advise and represent our clients in the full range of securities and stakeholder proceedings, including class actions and derivative suits; internal board and committee investigations; statuary actions, including appraisal and books and records proceedings; proxy contests; and SEC and FINRA investigations.

Our attorneys also counsel clients at the various stages of SEC matters, including informal inquiries, formal investigations, settlement negotiations, administrative law judge hearings, and federal court litigation. We regularly defend against claims under the federal securities statutes, including Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933, as well as state law claims.