Benjamin Britz advises clients on all aspects of corporate governance including government investigations, shareholder class action and derivative litigation, and corporate compliance matters.
Benjamin has represented clients before all manner of domestic and international enforcement agencies, including the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, UK Serious Fraud Office and the enforcement offices of the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and African Development Bank, among others. His practice particularly focuses on anti-corruption compliance, securities enforcement, and accounting and procurement fraud matters. He has performed internal investigations and due diligence exercises around the globe and across an array of different industries.
Benjamin has particular experience in conducting corporate compliance monitorships and compliance program evaluations, and he has assisted American, European, African and Asian clients in designing, administering and maintaining anti-corruption, integrity compliance, anti-money laundering and corporate governance programs.
Benjamin has also successfully defended numerous clients in multilateral development bank (MDB) sanctions proceedings such as where corruption, fraud or other misconduct in MDB-financed projects is suspected. He also regularly represents companies and individuals in shareholder class-action and derivative litigations.
Prior to joining Hughes Hubbard, Benjamin clerked on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio for Chief Judge James G. Carr.
2015 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll, sponsored by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia
“What is an ‘Instrumentality’ Under the U.S. FCPA? – The Esquenazi Decision Offers Few Practical Answers,” Wipro Legal Bytes (August 2014)
Lead editor of Hughes Hubbard’s FCPA/Anti-Bribery Alerts: Summer 2012, Spring 2011, Mid-Year 2010, Mid-Year 2009, Year-End 2008
Prepares semi-annual updates to “Corporate Governance: Avoiding and Responding to Misconduct,” Law Journal-Seminars Press (July 2007)
“Third Party Due Diligence: A Three-Way Affair,” Seventh Annual Business Ethics Anti-Corruption Compliance & Fraud Prevention Strategies in CEE, SEE & CIS Conference, Prague, March 17 – 18, 2016
“Third Party Relationships: Risk Management and Contract Compliance,” webinar, The Knowledge Group LLC, April 2013
Anti-Corruption and Corporate Compliance
Conducted a multi-year global compliance review on behalf of the corporate compliance monitor appointed by the US Department of Justice, the SEC and the UK Serious Fraud Office for a multinational specialty chemical manufacturer
Reviewed and monitored anti-corruption compliance and internal controls for independent professional ethics and internal compliance experts appointed for a Europe-based inspection company that successfully sought reinstatement as a United Nations registered vendor
Conducted a worldwide compliance systems review regarding use of third-party sales intermediaries for a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company
Current representation of a multinational “supermajor” oil and gas company in connection with a worldwide risk-assessment and compliance audit, in coordination with a compliance monitor
Current representation of a multinational financial services firm in conducting anti-corruption and anti-money laundering mergers and acquisition (M&A) due diligence
Representation of numerous multinational companies regarding their anti-corruption and compliance programs, including the drafting and implementation of new programs and policies, and assessments and improvements to current programs
Day-to-day anti-corruption, corporate governance, political participation and investigative counsel for numerous companies including a world-leading payment processing firm and a US-Europe-based chemical company
Conducted compliance diligence for Brambles Limited in its joint venture with First Reserve relating to their oil and gas containers solutions businesses
Current representation of a large Asian global infrastructure contractor in connection with its establishment and implementation of an integrity compliance program
Successful representation of a New York Stock Exchange-traded company in connection with a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act inquiry related to business in Nigeria and other parts of West Africa, including in connection with an SEC, DOJ and US Senate inquiry
Current representation of a CAC 40 French multinational oil field services company in connection with a worldwide review of activities and coordination with their compliance monitor
Representation of a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company in conducting anti-corruption M&A due diligence
Representation of a multinational banking and financial services company in connection with establishing compliance program for a newly formed joint venture
Conducted an anti-corruption internal investigation for an oil field service company with worldwide operations, with investigative focus on Algeria and implementation of an enhanced worldwide compliance program.
Representation of a Fortune 500 company in connection with Foreign Corrupt Practices Act advice regarding business in China, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Qatar, Central Asia, Nigeria and India, among other countries
Representation of a major US-Europe based oil field services company in various anti-corruption matters related to activities in Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Angola
Representation of a US-based multinational engineering and construction company in conducting anti-bribery due diligence in South America
World Bank Group and Other International Financial Institutions
Successful representation of French consulting companies and individuals in contested proceedings before the World Bank’s Sanctions Board; obtained acquittal on all charges by the Sanctions Board, reversing the decision of the Office of Suspension and Debarment and terminating suspension and proceedings. Decision reported on the World Bank Sanctions Board website: Sanctions Board Decision No. 81 (Sanctions Case No. 215) issued on September 29, 2015
Successful representation of a Norwegian consulting engineering company in a contested proceeding before the World Bank Sanctions Board relating to alleged corrupt conduct in East Africa; secured immediate termination of suspension and proceedings
Successful representation of a major Chinese state-owned enterprise in a contested proceeding before the World Bank’s Sanctions Board relating to alleged fraudulent and corrupt conduct in West Africa; secured the immediate termination of suspension and proceedings
Current representation of a major European manufacturing company in a World Bank sanctions matter, including in respect of meeting conditions of a negotiated resolution agreement
Representation of numerous European and Asian clients in connection with multilateral development bank (MDB) integrity compliance inquiries, audits and negotiated resolutions
Securities Investigations and Enforcement
Representation of aircraft lessor Blackbird Capital I in an $800 million aircraft lease ABS securitization, the proceeds of which will be used by Blackbird to acquire a portfolio of 19 aircraft.
Current representation of a major South Asian information technology company in an SEC inquiry related to potential financial misconduct and auditor independence
Current representation of numerous corporate directors and officers in various formal and informal SEC investigations related to suspected financial misconduct and related corporate governance issues
Successful representation of Cenveo Inc. in an internal investigation for an audit committee related to allegations of financial misconduct
Successful representation of an NYSE-traded company in an SEC insider trading investigation
Class/Derivative and General Litigation Matters
Successful representation of former directors of major staffing industry company in shareholder class action and derivative litigations stemming from financial collapse of the company, including dismissal with prejudice of securities complaint as to all clients
Representation of the trustee of Lehman Brothers Inc. in various unwind litigations relating to the liquidation and bankruptcy of the entity
Successful representation of Greenbriar Equity Group in a shareholder lawsuit related to alleged breaches of fiduciary duty stemming from proposed acquisition
Successful representation of Alstom SA in a federal securities class action relating to NYSE-issued American depositary receipts, and ordinary securities stemming from alleged financial misstatements and omissions