María González Calvet

Partner

María González Calvet

Partner

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María González Calvet serves as co-chair of the firm’s award-winning global anti-corruption and international risk practice and Latin America practice, co-founder of the firm’s Enforcement Express, and is a former U.S. federal prosecutor and former in-house executive counsel of a Fortune 500 company. With a practice that spans two decades, María is recognized for her significant experience in anti-corruption and other investigative matters in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe, and in every significant business sector.

María has worked with leaders in government, business and finance to conduct a wide variety of investigations and risk assessments. She has also represented companies, portfolio companies and individuals concerning multijurisdictional matters involving corruption, money laundering, financial fraud, health care fraud, tax fraud, environmental violations, executive misconduct, and other alleged criminal and civil misconduct. 

María has conducted internal and government investigations in more than 40 countries around the globe arising from whistle-blower complaints, escalations from audits, and other front-end monitoring, and benchmarking. María works closely with in-house counsel to conduct internal investigations and compliance reviews drawing on her past work in government and the corporate sector to help clients across industries, including aerospace, health care and life sciences, energy, private equity and other investors, and geographies. María works with clients to identify and mitigate risks and implement effective compliance programs.

María serves as a trusted advisor to clients seeking wide-ranging counsel on global and cross-border risk and has particular experience in the following areas:

  • Pre- and post-acquisition due diligence in high-risk markets; including for private equity investors
  • International white collar fraud investigations
  • Jurisdictional questions and challenges that arise from coordinated prosecution by multiple enforcement authorities
  • Transactions and business dealings with government entities and financial institutions
  • Risks associated with consortia and other partnerships 

María is widely recognized as a thought leader in anti-corruption, particularly on risks and enforcement trends in Latin America. As one client noted to Legal 500, 'María is super experienced when it comes to performing internal investigations, speaks perfect Portuguese and Spanish and understands the Latin culture.' María is quoted frequently in the press for her expert commentary and publishes a number of articles for well-known publications, including Law360, The Anti-Corruption Report and Latinvex. Notably, María is a contributor to GIR’s 2021 and 2022 Latin America chapter of “The Practitioner’s Guide to Global Investigations.” María also regularly presents at major industry-leading conferences across the globe, collaborating with TRACE International, Transparency International, Global Investigations Review, Latin Lawyer, American Conference Institute, and the American Bar Association, and hosts webinars, roundtables, and podcasts on emerging issues in anti-corruption and compliance. 

Prior to joining Ropes & Gray in 2018, María served as Executive Counsel, Global Investigations for General Electric where she led and managed government, regulatory and internal investigations for the company’s businesses across Latin America. Earlier in her career, she was a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, Fraud Section, and was a member of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Unit where she led some of the Department’s most important investigations. María is a fluent, native Spanish speaker and an advanced Portuguese speaker. 

Experience

  • Conducted an internal investigation into allegations of improper workplace conduct for a multinational animal-health technology and services company with operations in Spain.
  • Following allegations of insensitive comments and possibly racially charged behavior, investigated and made recommendations regarding a company’s culture with respect to diversity, equity and inclusion.  
  • Secured for Avianca Holdings, S.A., the publicly traded company behind Colombia’s flagship airline, a full declination and closure of the SEC’s and DOJ’s investigations into potential FCPA violations in connection with the provision of free airline tickets and other items of value to foreign government officials around the world.
  • Retained by a U.S.-based oil and gas company involved in an investigation into potential FCPA and other corruption risks arising from business dealings involving a former high-ranking Peruvian energy consultant.
  • Assisting a global transportation networking company with the risk assessment and evaluation of its compliance program for its operations across Latin America.
  • Conducted an internal investigation for a Chilean salmon farming company following accusations that it had been reporting false mortality figures and had caused environmental damage.
  • Retained by a multinational pharmaceutical corporation to investigate many allegations involving their COVID-19 vaccine study site in Argentina.
  • Representing a global pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturer in relation to an ongoing cross-border investigation into bidding practices at government-operated healthcare institutions in Brazil.
  • Conducted an internal investigation for a global medical device and life sciences company following a cross-boarder Customs and Border Patrol seizure. Conducted several interviews with key company personnel based in Mexico while coordinating with U.S. authorities and directing a third-party security consulting firm, operating across languages and jurisdictions.

Publications

  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2022)
  • Chambers Global: Corporate Crime & Investigation – Band 3 (2022)
  • Chambers Latin America-wide: Corporate Crime & Investigations – Band 3 (2022)
  • Chambers USA: Nationwide FCPA – Band 5 (2021) 
  • Global Investigations Review Women in Investigations (2021)
  • Latinvex – Latin America’s Top 100 Lawyers: FCPA & Fraud (2021)
  • The Legal 500 Latin America: Compliance & Investigations (2020-2021)
  • Latinvex – Latin America’s Top 100 Female Lawyers: FCPA & Fraud (2019-2020)

Presentations

Publications

Presentations

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