W. Warren Hamel chairs Venable’s Investigations and White Collar Defense Practice. Warren conducts internal investigations and aggressively defends individual, corporate, and nonprofit clients in a wide range of white collar and environmental criminal defense and civil enforcement litigation.
Clients also seek his advice on compliance and internal controls, including information governance, managing whistleblower issues, FCPA compliance, and Sarbanes-Oxley–related matters. Before joining Venable in 2002, Warren served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland, and was chief of Environmental Crimes and Enforcement for that office.
Warren has extensive experience investigating and litigating cases involving mail and wire fraud; bank fraud; fraud on federally funded programs; the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA); the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and False Claims Act (FCA); and the full panoply of federal and state environmental laws.
He has led internal investigations for a broad range of clients, including, most recently, a U.S.-based financial services and insurance company, an India-based generic pharmaceutical company, and the South American subsidiary of a major U.S.-based retailer.
Warren’s clients have also included attorneys and major law firms that face particularly complex challenges as they navigate government investigations while protecting client privileges and meeting their confidentiality obligations.
In addition to the demands of managing a national practice, recent investigations and enforcement actions have taken Warren to locations in Europe, South and Central America, Singapore, Africa, and India.
Warren has also represented print and broadcast media in libel cases, reporter’s privilege cases, and press access matters in federal court, and has acted as pre-publication advisor to media companies worldwide.
He has also counseled clients on creating and implementing records and information management programs as part of the full suite of policies that are best practices in information governance.
- Assistant United States Attorney, United States Department of Justice, District of Maryland
- Represented an individual foreign national in a DOJ investigation of potential FCPA violations for bribery associated with port maintenance contracts in Panama
- Working with Venable’s legislative practice, conducted an internal investigation into companies providing oil logistics support services to energy companies in Nigeria, in response to a U.S. Senate subcommittee inquiry and a Department of Justice (DOJ) shadow investigation into potential bribery and FCPA violations, resulting in no DOJ action
- Advised an international media corporation on the creation and implementation of a comprehensive FCPA compliance program, including creating policy, training employees, and implementing compliance and audit systems
- On behalf of a major U.S. insurance and banking company, conducted an internal investigation of an alleged failure to alert board of substantial compliance risks, including potential retaliation claims
- Represented an individual in a tax fraud investigation by IRS and DOJ, resulting in a favorable outcome after plea negotiations and a contested sentencing
- Represented a law firm in a federal grand jury investigation of alleged unlawful immigrant visa submissions to the State Department. The government closed the investigation, with no action taken against the law firm
- Represented a large nonprofit in a qui tam case; investigation resulted in dismissal of the complaint; client settled separate retaliation claims with the relator, and audit claims with the federal grant-making agency
- Represented a home inspection company in parallel federal and state criminal investigations of allegations of improper lead paint testing and certification. Matter closed with no criminal charges
- J.D. Columbia University School of Law 1985
- M.A. University of Sussex, UK 1982
- B.A. magna cum laude Princeton University 1980
Bar Admissions : Maryland
Court Admissions :
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
- U.S. Supreme Court
Clerk Experience : Honorable Francis D. Murnaghan, Jr. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit 1985-1986.
Professional Memberships and Activities :
- Member, American Bar Association
- Member, Board of Advisors for the BNA White Collar Crime Reporter
- Member, Federal Bar Association
- Member, Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference
- Member, The Trial Law Institute, LCA
- Member, Maryland State Bar Association, Environmental Law Section
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