Bruce E. Yannett is Deputy Presiding Partner of the firm and Chair of the White Collar & Regulatory Defense Practice Group. He focuses on white collar criminal defense, regulatory enforcement and internal investigations. He represents a broad range of companies, financial institutions and their executives in matters involving securities fraud, accounting fraud, foreign bribery, cybersecurity, insider trading and money laundering.
He has extensive experience representing corporations and individuals outside the United States in responding to inquiries and investigations. Mr. Yannett’s practice also encompasses complex litigation, including derivative cases, shareholder actions and commercial disputes.
Chambers Global 2019 recognizes Mr. Yannett as a Band 1 practitioner for FCPA matters, and Chambers USA 2018 recognizes Mr. Yannett as a Band 1 practitioner for both white collar criminal defense and FCPA matters. Clients praise his work as “excellent” and describe him as a “very strong communicator and litigator” and a “leading light in the field,” noting that “he has real gravitas about him,” giving him the “immediate respect of everybody in the room.” In a similar vein, The Legal 500 US calls him a “superstar,” Lawdragon recognizes him as one of the 500 leading lawyers in America, and Benchmark Litigation names him a “Litigation Star.” Further, in selecting Debevoise as “Litigation Department of the Year” in 2014, The American Lawyer stated that Mr. Yannett’s work on the groundbreaking Siemens FCPA internal investigation, which spanned 34 countries, and settlement with U.S. and German authorities, “cemented his credibility with regulators” on subsequent matters.
Mr. Yannett joined Debevoise in 1986. In 1987 and 1988, he served on the team of lawyers selected by Lawrence Walsh to investigate the Iran/Contra matter, acting as an Associate Counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel.
From 1988 to 1992, he served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, where he was lead trial counsel in 20 jury trials ranging from bribery to murder. He also served in the Transnational and Major Crimes Unit, where he conducted investigations related to international terrorism, money laundering and sanctions violations. Mr. Yannett returned to Debevoise in 1992.
He is a member of the American Law Institute. Mr. Yannett is on the Board of Advisors for the New York University Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement. He previously served as co-chair of the ABA Litigation Section’s Task Force on Attorney-Client Privilege and as co-chair of the ABA’s Criminal Litigation Committee.
He is admitted to appear before the Second, Fifth, Tenth and D.C. Circuits, the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and the District of Columbia.
Mr. Yannett has written and lectured extensively on issues relating to white collar criminal defense and regulatory enforcement. He is an editor of the firm’s monthly FCPA Update and a current member of the Editorial Board of Global Investigations Review.
Mr. Yannett co-authored a chapter on the FCPA in Defending Corporations & Individuals in Government Investigations, published in 2011 and 2013 by West.
Mr. Yannett’s recent publications also include a chapter titled “UK vs. US: an Analysis of Key DPA Terms and their Impact on Corporate Parties” in “The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Business Crime 2019 9th Edition,” Global Legal Group (2018); a chapter titled “Beginning an Internal Investigation: The US Perspective” in “The Practitioner’s Guide to Global Investigations,” Global Investigations Review (2016); a chapter titled “Crisis Management” in “Successful Partnering Between Inside and Outside Counsel,” Thompson Reuters Westlaw and the Association of Corporate Counsel (April, 2015); “DOJ Officials Encourage Companies to Cooperate Against Potentially Culpable Individuals,” “Just Blogs” section of Main Justice (October, 2014); “DOJ Proposal Shows Focus on Individuals in Corporate Crime,” Law360 (September, 2014); “U.K. Financial Conduct Authority Imposes Fine on Besso Limited,” Financial Fraud Law Report (May, 2014); “Anti-Corruption Compliance in 2013: Post-Guidance and Signals for the Future,” Financial Fraud Law Report (February, 2014); “Russian Anti-Corruption Compliance Concepts Are Familiar,” Law 360 (January, 2014); “Brazil Enacts Long-Pending Anti-Corruption Legislation – Part Two,” Business Crimes Bulletin (January, 2014); and “The Government’s $48 Million ATM Withdrawals: Is It Time To Start Sweating Again?,” Financial Fraud Law Report (January, 2014).
Mr. Yannett received his B.A. magna cum laude from Brown University in 1980, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and earned his J.D. cum laude from New York University Law School in 1985, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif and was the Executive Editor of the New York University Law Review. From 1985 to 1986, he served as a law clerk to the Hon. Edward Weinfeld of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
- Defending Companies and Executives
- Société Générale in securing a deferred prosecution agreement and first coordinated resolution between the DOJ and France’s Parquet National Financier regarding claims of potential corruption of foreign officials in Libya.
- A global financial institution in a DOJ investigation of potential FCPA violations involving its private equity arm, resulting in the DOJ declining prosecution and closing its investigation.
- A Fortune 100 company in civil and criminal investigations regarding possible FCPA violations, resulting in both the DOJ and SEC closing their investigations without bringing any charges or seeking any penalties.
- Royal Dutch Shell as global anti-corruption counsel and coordinating counsel of a criminal prosecution relating to alleged violations of anti-corruption laws.
- Former CEO of Valeant Pharmaceuticals in government investigations and civil securities class actions and other litigation relating to the company’s restatement and sales practices.
- Former CEO of Hewlett-Packard Company, in securities class actions, derivative litigation and regulatory inquiries arising from HP’s acquisition of Autonomy.
- Former CEO of Bank of America in governmental enforcement action and civil litigation.
- Large financial services company in New York Attorney General investigation of possible securities laws and Martin Act violations.
- Lead trial counsel for leading financial services company in multi-billion dollar securities fraud class action resulting in very favorable settlement for client on eve of trial.
- Global manufacturing company in an SEC investigation into possible FCPA violations.
- Large financial services company in investigation by DOJ of mail fraud violations.
A foreign engagement partner of a Big Four auditing firm in a two-week Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) disciplinary hearing, trial and appellate proceeding.
- One of the largest privately held Swiss companies in corruption investigations in the US, Brazil and Switzerland.
- The owners of a South American construction company in U.S. investigations related to the Lava Jato investigations in Brazil.
- Four separate Swiss banks in the DOJ’s program designed to encourage Swiss banks to cooperate in the DOJ’s investigations of the use of foreign bank accounts to commit tax evasion.
- Artemis and its chairman and controlling shareholder in connection with an investigation of several French banks and other companies and individuals. A civil resolution was reached and no criminal charges were filed.
- Former Chief Financial Officer of AOL Time Warner in an SEC investigation into AOL’s advertising revenues.
- Conducting Internal Investigations
- Rolls-Royce in an internal investigation and coordinated resolutions with UK, U.S. and Brazil investigating authorities relating to bribery and corruption involving intermediaries in a number of overseas markets.
- Global financial services firm in an internal investigation and government investigations into the practices of its foreign currency traders.
- A professional services firm in investigating a whistleblower complaint alleging corruption relating to Mexico.
- The Boards of Trustees of The Lawrenceville School and Deerfield Academy in independent investigations of allegations of improper adult-student sexual conduct.
- A Swiss mining company in a compliance review of the use of third-party intermediaries.
- Siemens’ Audit Committee in a worldwide investigation into possible corrupt payments to government officials leading to an early settlement with the U.S. and German authorities.
- New York University School of Law, 1985, J.D.
- Brown University, 1980, B.A.
- New York
- District of Columbia
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