Michael G. McGovern
Michael McGovern, co-chair of the firm’s government enforcement practice group, concentrates his practice in the areas of white-collar criminal defense and complex civil litigation, with a particular focus on investigations and prosecutions by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission of alleged violations of the federal antitrust laws, the federal securities laws (including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act), and alleged violations of various health care laws and regulations (including the False Claims Act). Michael has over 25 years of experience representing international and domestic corporations and partnerships, as well as officers, directors, and other individual clients in complex criminal and civil investigations and litigation.
Prior to joining Ropes & Gray, Michael served for over seven years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where he held supervisory positions in both the Organized Crime and Terrorism Unit and the General Crimes Unit. In those capacities, he supervised groups of more than 20 Assistant U.S. Attorneys in grand jury investigations and prosecutions of complex securities fraud, consumer fraud, money laundering, terrorism, and murder cases. Michael also argued more than a dozen appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In 2004, Michael received the Department of Justice’s award for superior performance as an Assistant United States Attorney.
- Lead counsel in representation of multinational company in global criminal investigation of alleged collusion among auto parts suppliers.
- Lead counsel in representation of multinational company in global criminal investigation of alleged collusion among suppliers of electric capacitors.
- Lead counsel in representation of former President of multinational company in global criminal investigation of alleged collusion among providers of ocean shipping services.
- Lead counsel in representation of several senior executives in global criminal investigations of alleged collusion among multinational banks in the setting of LIBOR and other benchmark interest rates and alleged manipulation of FX-related products.
- Lead counsel in representation of former CFO indicted in the Southern District of New York on charges of alleged bid-rigging in the market for municipal bond reinvestment products.
- Lead counsel in representation of hedge funds and other investment management firms in various insider trading investigations by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
Both as a federal prosecutor and as a defense lawyer, Michael has tried numerous criminal cases in federal courts around the country. Michael’s more high-profile trials have included:
- United States v. Kurt Mix (E.D. La.) –Trial and appellate counsel to BP engineer charged by the Deepwater Horizon Task Force with two felony counts of federal obstruction of justice. Helped secure an acquittal on one count and an order granting new trial on the other, which the Fifth Circuit unanimously affirmed on appeal in a published decision. On remand, the Department of Justice agreed to dismiss the remaining felony count in exchange for a no-jail time, minor misdemeanor violation.
- United States v. John A. Gotti (S.D.N.Y.) – Prosecution of Boss of Gambino Organized Crime Family.
- United States v. Michael Silvestri, et al. (S.D.N.Y.) – Prosecution of New York City Police Department Detective on accessory to murder and obstruction of justice charges.
- United States v. Charles Wilson (N.D. Tex.) – Defense at trial of President of Arizona Savings and Loan on bank fraud charges.
- United States v. Admiral John M. Poindexter (D.D.C.) – Defense at trial of National Security Advisor to the President of the United States on false statement and obstruction of justice charges.
- Co-author, “米国司法省による取締り: 最新動向と日本企業が留意すべきリスクおよび対応策 (DOJ Enforcement Actions: Risk and Recent Trends that Japanese Companies Should Be Aware of While Conducting Business in the United States)” jointly authored with partners of Nishimura & Asahi. The book was published by 商事法務 (Shoji Homu Co., Ltd.) as part of the Nishimura Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (May 2016)
- Co-author, “DOJ's prosecutorial zeal led to Deepwater debacle,” The Houston Chronicle (January 5, 2015)
- Co-author, “国際カルテル：米国による日本人引き渡しの可能性 (Extradition of Japanese Nationals: A Growing Threat in U.S. Prosecutions of International Cartels?),” 国際商事法務(Journal of the Japanese Institute of International Business Law) Vol.43, No.3 (March 2015)
- Co-author, “国際カルテルと米国反トラスト刑事取締り(International Cartels and U.S. Criminal Antitrust Enforcement),” Kokusai-Shoji-Homu (January 2013) 国際商事法務 Vol. 41, No. 1 (2013)
- Michael G. McGovern and Steven Goldschmidt, “An Ounce of Prevention, a Pound of Cure: Mitigating the Impact of Dodd Frank's Whistleblower Provisions,”
Bloomberg Law Reports (December 2010)
- Co-author, “Bounty Hunting Under Dodd-Frank," The Recorder (November 2010)
- Michael G. McGovern and Steven Goldschmidt, “Snaring ‘Control Person’ Executives in FCPA Liability: How Sharp Is the §20(a) Saber the SEC Has Been Rattling?,”New York Law Journal (February 8, 2010)
- Speaker, “Cross-Border Government Investigations – How to be Prepared and Considerations that Companies Should be Aware of When Interacting with U.S. and Japanese Regulators” Ropes & Gray and The Japanese Institute of International Business Law, Inc. Co-hosted Seminar, Japan (June 2016)
- Speaker, “DOJ Enforcement Actions: Risks and Recent Trends that Japanese Companies Should be Aware of While Conducting Business in the United States,” Ropes & Gray and Nishimura & Asahi Co-hosted Seminar, Japan (April 2015)
- Co-speaker, “Extradition of Japanese Nationals: A Growing Threat in U.S. Prosecutions of International Cartels?” Ropes & Gray Tokyo Morning Briefing (March 2015)
- Speaker, “The International Criminal Enforcement of U.S. Antitrust and Anti-Corruption Laws,” Presentations in Nagoya and Tokyo (June 2014)
- Speaker, “Developments in U.S. Criminal Antitrust Enforcement – Recent Cartel Cases and Advice for Avoiding Liability,” Ropes & Gray Tokyo Morning Briefing (March 2014)
- Co-speaker, “Developments in U.S. Criminal Antitrust Enforcement – Recent Cartel Cases and Advice for Avoiding Liability,” Ropes & Gray Tokyo Morning Briefing (April 2012)