Nicholas M. Berg
A creative and accomplished litigator, Nick Berg focuses his practice on anti-corruption investigations and other international risk issues, SEC enforcement matters, and complex litigation in state and federal courts around the country. Clients rely on Nick for his innovative, efficient, tireless advocacy and, as they tell The Legal 500, his “outstanding understanding of the complexities of investigations spanning multiple jurisdictions.”
Nick has substantial experience advising clients in a broad array of industries in connection with government and internal investigations involving the FCPA, the U.K. Bribery Act, export control and economic sanctions laws and regulations, and other international risk issues. He has also spent well more than a decade representing clients in federal securities fraud and consumer class actions, private equity disputes, and transaction-related litigation and arbitrations.
In addition, Nick routinely advises clients in connection with SEC and Special Committee investigations involving allegations of accounting errors and misstatements, insider trading, fraud, embezzlement, and bribery.
Beyond his commercial practice, Nick is deeply committed to pro bono work, having litigated the first civil rights case under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in East v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, et al.—an action that successfully addressed the disparate impact on people living with HIV from insurers’ anticipated rejection of federal Ryan White funds.
Anti-Corruption & International Risk Investigations and Compliance
- Advised a U.S.-based multinational medical device company in an industry-wide FCPA investigation involving countries across Europe, Asia, and South America, as well as in connection with anti-corruption related internal investigations and compliance issues.
- Spearheaded internal investigations for an oil & gas company regarding potential FCPA violations in the Middle East and Latin America.
- Represented a Fortune 500 company in connection with FCPA investigations in multiple jurisdictions, including Europe and Latin America.
- Served as anti-corruption and international risk counsel to large, publicly traded companies in the private equity, healthcare, oil & gas, and technology sectors, among others..
- Developed and implemented anti-corruption and international risk compliance programs for multinational companies in high-risk industries.
- Advised clients across industries regarding anti-corruption, trade sanctions, and export control due diligence in connection with joint ventures, mergers, acquisitions, and other key business partner relationships around the world.
- Conducted an investigation on behalf of the Special Committee of the board of a publicly-traded Fortune 50 company related to allegations of financial fraud and improper revenue recognition.
- Successfully represented the CFO of a publicly-traded company in connection with charges of accounting fraud.
- Received numerous enforcement declinations from the SEC in connection with representation of individuals and corporations under investigation for financial fraud and insider trading.
- Represented a large hedge fund and several affiliated investment funds in expedited bankruptcy litigation that centered on Energy Future Holdings’ multiple attempts to sell the hedge fund’s interest in Oncor, a regulated utility company in Texas, and emerge from long-running Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Secured extremely favorable decisions in connection with two contested, multi-billion dollar transactions, which ultimately paved the way for a topping bid that provided creditors with significantly higher recoveries.
- Successfully represented a major shareholder of a public company in shareholder litigation before the Delaware Court of Chancery. Secured an injunction for our client requiring the Company to reinstate a record date and annual meeting date and prohibiting the Company from moving forward with a strategic transaction until approved pursuant to a proper process. After our client gained control of the public company in a proxy contest, the litigation team also successfully defended the new board members from a preliminary injunction brought by a billionaire shareholder to force a new board election.
- Secured dismissal of a federal securities fraud class action and successfully defended that dismissal on appeal on behalf of a biotechnology client related to alleged misstatements regarding its pivotal developmental product and the product’s chances of FDA approval.
- Successfully moved to dismiss a private equity company from putative federal class action lawsuits related to the closure of a subsidiary of one of its portfolio companies, a for-profit law school.
- Obtained dismissal of a consumer class action against a major hospital system related to its billing and collection practices.
- Part of the trial team that represented a class of adolescents suffering from mental illness, who were confined at the Iowa Boys State Training School and were subjected to excessive and punitive use of solitary confinement and mechanical restraints. Ropes & Gray along with co-counsel, Children’s Rights and Disability Rights Iowa, litigated the case in a two week trial in the Southern District of Iowa.
- Featured, “Ropes & Gray Boosts Latin America Business,” Latinvex (January 27, 2021)
- Quoted, “Vitol Settles First CFTC Action Involving Foreign Corruption, Defers Prosecution With DOJ,” The Anti-Corruption Report (December 16, 2020)
- Co-author, “The Controversial Conviction of the Citgo 6: a New Wave of Anti-Corruption Enforcement in Venezuela?” Ropes & Gray Alert (December 4, 2020)
- Quoted, “J&F Investimentos’ FCPA Settlement Sheds Light on DOJ Policies and Acquisition Integration,” The Anti-Corruption Report (October 28, 2020)
- Co-author, “Safeguarding Foreign Investments During A Pandemic,” Law360 (April 30, 2020)
- Cited, “Iowa juvenile detention facility ordered to fix treatment issues,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (April, 16, 2020)
- Co-author, “COVID-19 Lands in Latin America: Mitigation Strategies for Increased Corruption Risk,” The Anti-Corruption Report (April 15, 2020)
- Co-author, “Delaware Court Rules that Oracle’s Special Litigation Committee Must Turn Over Privileged Documents to Shareholder Plaintiff,” The Corporate Governance Advisor (March/April 2020)
- Co-author, “The New Class Action Frontier Under Illinois Privacy Law,” Law360 (January 16, 2020)
- Quoted, “Samsung Heavy Industries Resolves Petrobras-Related FCPA Charges With a Split Fine,” The Anti-Corruption Report (December 11, 2019)
- Co-author, “Bribery: Costa Rica Enacts Corporate Criminal Liability,” Latinvex (October 30, 2019)
- Co-author, “Firing on All Cylinders: What to Expect in the PDVSA Investigation and How Companies Should Respond,” The Anti-Corruption Report (May 1, 2019) (Part 2 of 2)
- Co-author, “Firing on All Cylinders: U.S. Enforcement Efforts Against Venezuelan State-Owned Oil Company PDVSA,” The Anti-Corruption Report (April 17, 2019) (Part 1 of 2)
- Quoted, “New Anti-Corruption Focus In Mexico May Include Medtech Scrutiny,” Medtech Insight (January 16, 2019)
- Quoted, “Eletrobras’ Many Facets: Victim, Wrongdoer, State-Owned Entity, Issuer and More,” The Anti-Corruption Report (January 9, 2019)
- Co-author, “AMLO in Office: A New Dawn in Mexico’s Fight Against Corruption?” Ropes & Gray Alert (January 8, 2019)
- Quoted, “Lessons on Preventing Top-Down Corruption From the Petrobras Settlement,” The Anti-Corruption Report (November 14, 2018)
- Quoted, “State-Owned Entity, Victim and Perpetrator: The Special Case of Petrobras,” The Anti-Corruption Report (October 31, 2018)
- Quoted, “Petrobras Finally Inks Deal With SEC and DOJ to Resolve Allegations of Systemic Bribery,” The Anti-Corruption Report (October 17, 2018)
- Profiled, “Rising Legal Stars,” Latinvex (September 20, 2018)
- Featured, “How the Continued Political Fallout From the Odebrecht Scandal Is Affecting Anti-Corruption Efforts in Latin America (Part Two of Two),” The Anti-Corruption Report (June 13, 2018)
- Featured, “How the Continued Political Fallout From the Odebrecht Scandal Is Affecting Anti-Corruption Efforts in Latin America (Part One of Two),” The Anti-Corruption Report (May 30, 2018)
- Co-author, “Supreme Court Rules on Securities Act Class Actions,” Insights: The Corporate & Securities Law Advisor (April 2018)
- Quoted, “Perspectives from the Field: At the Crossroads of Public and Private International Law,” ABA Section of International Law “International Law News” (Spring 2018)
- Co-author, “Keys To Corporate Social Responsibility Compliance: Part 4” Law360 (March 29, 2018)
- Co-author, “Keys To Corporate Social Responsibility Compliance: Part 3” Law360 (March 28, 2018)
- Co-author, “Keys To Corporate Social Responsibility Compliance: Part 2” Law360 (March 27, 2018)
- Co-author, “Keys To Corporate Social Responsibility Compliance: Part 1” Law360 (March 26, 2018)
- Co-author, “Difficult Choices: Self-Reporting in Light of New DOJ FCPA Policy on Presumption of Declination,” Bloomberg BNA’s White Collar Crime Report (December 22, 2017)
- Quoted, “US DoJ Won’t Prosecute Many Self-Reported FCPA Violations,” Medtech Insight (December 19, 2017)
- Co-author, “Anti-Corruption In Mexico: Reasons For Cautious Optimism,” Law360 (November 29, 2017)
- Co-author, “2nd Circ. Throws Wrench Into FCPA Enforcement,” Law360 (August 11, 2017)
- Co-author, “How Brazil's Corruption Crackdown Affects Health Care,” Law360 (May 17, 2017)
- Co-author, “Alien Tort Statute Returns To Supreme Court,” Law360 (April 13, 2017)
- Quoted, “Defenders Of Obama-Era Rules Face Tough Path To Court,” Law360 (March 10, 2017)
- Co-author, “SEC's Focus On Financial Reporting: Recent Cases And Trends,” Law360 (November 30, 2016)
- Co-author, “Ropes & Gray Discusses SEC Whistleblower Enforcement and Severance Agreements,” Columbia University Law School “Blue Sky Blog” (Sept. 21,2016)
- Co-author, “Mexico moves forward: Sweeping new anti-corruption regime, presidential apology,” The FCPA Blog (Aug. 30, 2016)
- Quoted, “Could Johnson Controls Have Prevented the Flagrant Circumvention of Its Revamped Compliance Program?” The FCPA Report (July 27, 2016)
- Co-author, “Recent Trends in Securities Class Action Lawsuits Filed Against,” Bloomberg BNA “Securities Regulation & Law Report” (July 18, 2016)
- Co-author, “Navigating Anticorruption in Latin America,” Bloomberg BNA Corporate Law & Accountability Report (July 8, 2016)
- Co-author, “Top 10 Anti-Corruption Red Flags In Latin America,” Law360 (July 6, 2016)
- Co-author, “E se fosse a ‘Car Wash’?” Valor Econômico (May 30, 2016)
- Co-author, “Measure Twice: Compliance in the time of falling commodity prices,” Penn Energy (May 25, 2016)
- Quoted, “Panama Papers To Provide Fertile FCPA Hunting Ground,” Law360 (May 9, 2016)
- Co-author, “Effective FCPA Compliance Strategies in the Wake of the Panama Papers,” The FCPA Report (May 4, 2016)
- Cited, “Com "lava jato", empresas brasileiras viram foco de advogados estrangeiros,” (April 7, 2016)
- Co-author, “DOJ Puts Companies With Venezuelan Ties In Its Crosshairs,” Law360 (March 7, 2016)
- Co-author, “Corruption Risks in International Clinical Trials: Navigating Between Anti-Bribery Laws and Local Circumstances,” Bloomberg BNA Medical Research Law & Policy Report (January 6, 2015)
- Co-author, “What Happens In Latin America No Longer Stays In Latin America,” Law360 (November 30, 2015)
- Co-author, “Game changer: Confronting the new SEC whistleblower paradigm (part 3)-- Practical Guidance,”Inside Counsel (October 20, 2015)
- Quoted, “Cert Denial Could Lead to SOX Insider Cases: Lawyer,” Securities Law Daily (October 6, 2015)
- Quoted, “Supreme Court Rejects Government's Plea To Close Insider-Trading Loophole,” Forbes (October 5, 2015)
- Quoted, “Feds To Rethink Insider Trading Strategy After Newman Snub,” Law360 (October 5, 2015)
- Co-Author, “Inside National Futures Association Cybersecurity Guidance,” Law360 (October 2, 2015)
- Co-author, “Game changer: Confronting the new SEC whistleblower paradigm (part 2),” Inside Counsel (August 21, 2015)
- Quoted, “Securities Cases To Watch In The 2nd Half Of 2015” Law360 (July 9, 2015) (Subscription required)
- Quoted, “The Biggest Securities Cases Of 2015: Midyear Report,” Law360 (June 30, 2015) (Subscription required)
- Co-Author, “Confronting the new ‘game changer’ SEC whistleblower paradigm,” Inside Counsel (June 11, 2015)
- Co-author, “Make No Mistake: The “New Normal” of Aggressive Anti-Money Laundering Enforcement Against Financial Institutions,”Bloomberg BNA “Corporate Law & Accountability Report” (May 1, 2015)
- Co-author, “Brazil Continues to Ramp Up Anti-Corruption Enforcement,” Law360 (March 30, 2015)
- Member, “Securities Editorial Advisory Board,” Law360 (2015)
- Co-author, “Must Judge Rakoff recuse himself from hearing Financial Crisis cases?”WestlawNext (2014)
- Co-author, “SEC’s Continued Use of Administrative Forum Irks Critics, Raises Sticky Constitutional Questions,” Bloomberg BNA “Corporate Law & Accountability Report” (December 2014)
- Co-author, “A New Anti-Money Laundering Enforcement Paradigm: Questions & Lessons From JPMorgan’s Deferred Prosecution,”Bloomberg BNA White Collar Crime Report (February 21, 2014)
- Co-author, “Rare Guidance on FCPA’s Reach over Foreign Nationals,”Law360 (February 27, 2013)
- “Two Recent Decisions Provide Rare Guidance on the FCPA's Reach Over Foreign Nationals,” (February 26, 2013)
- Co-author, “Securities Fraud Enforcement (Without the Fraud): The Rise of Negligent Securities Fraud Under §§ 17(a)(2) and (3) of the 1933 Securities Act,” Securities Regulation & Law Report (March 2012)
- Co-author, “U.K. escalates anti-corruption efforts,”The National Law Journal (March 2010)
- “Turning a Blind Eye to Innocence: The Legacy of Herrera v. Collins,”American Criminal Law Review (2005)
- Panelist, “Investigative Challenges – privilege, privacy, self-reporting considerations,” GIR Regional Spotlight: Latin America (December 10, 2020)
- Keynote Speaker, “Internal Investigations in Multiple Jurisdictions,” LEC Experience LATAM 2020 (August 27, 2020)
- Co-panelist, “Not Business as Usual, but Compliance as Usual in Latin America,” Cafecito con Ropes & Gray Virtual Roundtable Series (April 2020)
- Co-panelist, “Crisis Management: Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Concerns for Latin America Businesses,” Cafecito con Ropes & Gray Virtual Roundtable Series (April 2020)
- Speaker, “The Impact of Recent FCPA Cases Involving Latin America on Compliance in Brazil,” TRACE Anti-Bribery Workshop (September 26, 2019)
- Speaker, “Anti-Corruption Issues in Latin America,” Practicing Law Institute’s FCPA Forum (April 2019)
- Speaker, “FCPA Disclosures Under the New DOJ Policy: The Newest, Increased Multi-Jurisdictional Enforcement Risks and Their Impact on Your Self- Disclosure Calculus,” 9th Midwest Anti-Corruption Forum (June 26, 2018)
- Speaker, “Roundtable Discussion: Anti-Corruption Initiatives in Mexico,” Ropes & Gray, Von Wobeser y Sierra and ICC México (September 18, 2017)
- Speaker, “Mexico’s New (and Unique) Anti-Corruption Regime: What’s Been Accomplished and Where Will Mexico Go From Here,” ABA’s Section of International Law, International Anti-Corruption Committee call (June 1, 2017)
- Speaker and Panel Chair, “Latin America’s Anti-Corruption Moment: Brazil’s Operation Car Wash and Other Legal Breakthroughs in the Region,” ABA’s International Law Spring 2017 Meeting (April 25-29, 2017)
- Speaker, “The Shifting Anti-corruption Landscape,” Law Bulletin’s 10th annual White Collar Crime & Corporate Governance Conference (April 19, 2017)
- Presenter, “The Changing U.S. Political and Enforcement Environment and the Impact on Compliance,” ICC Mexico, Mexico City (November 29, 2016)
- Presenter, “SEC Enforcement Update,” ACS Financial Accounting and Reporting Update: Chicago (November 2016)
- Speaker, “What You Need to Know to Protect Your Business after the Panama Papers: A Cross-Practice Discussion,” Ropes & Gray Webinar (June 29, 2016)
- Speaker, “Midwest Anti-Corruption Compliance Forum: Latest Insights on Risk-Based Third Party Compliance Programs, Investigations and Enforcement,” American Conference Institute (June 27-28, 2016)
- Panelist, “Lava Jato Investigation and the U.S. Perspective,” Demarest Advogados, São Paulo, Brazil (May 23, 2016)
- Presenter, “FTI Breakfast Roundtable,” Chediak Advogados, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (May 20, 2016)
- Presenter, “Designing an Effective and Efficient Anti-Corruption Compliance Program,” Brazilian Institute of Petroleum, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (May 20, 2016)
- Speaker, “Financial Accounting & Reporting Update,” Accounting Conferences & Seminars (November 2015)
- Presenter, “New Challenges Under Dodd-Frank,” ACS - Revenue Recognition Conference (September 13, 2012)
- JD, cum laude , Dean's List, Georgetown University Law Center, 2005; American Criminal Law Review
- BS (Political Science), Dean's List, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2000
Admissions / Qualifications
- Illinois, 2005
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- The Best Lawyers in America (2021)
- Chambers Latin America-wide: Corporate Crime and Investigations – Notable Practitioner (2020)
- Latinvex - Latin America's Top 100 Lawyers (2019-2020)
- llinois Super Lawyers (2019-2020)
- Latinvex Latin America Rising Legal Star (2018)
- The Legal 500 Private Practice Powerlist: Mexico Specialists (2018)
- Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and the Chicago Lawyer’s “40 under 40” (2017)
- Illinois Rising Star (2017)
- The Legal 500 Latin America (2016)
- Emerging Lawyer, Leading Lawyers (2015)