María González Calvet
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.