Christopher Conniff, co-leader of Ropes & Gray’s securities & futures enforcement group, is an experienced trial lawyer who advises clients in the areas of white collar criminal defense, regulatory enforcement, internal investigations and complex commercial matters. Chris has developed a particular specialty in the banking, private equity, health care, hedge fund and sports industries, and has helped clients navigate investigations in the areas of securities fraud, insider trading, money laundering, public corruption, health care fraud, FCPA violations and criminal antitrust. Chris is a Chambers-recognized lawyer who is applauded for his skill navigating the “ins and outs of government investigations” and being able to get to the heart of every matter quickly. His practice also includes regular counseling on crisis management, corporate compliance, and international risk. More recently, Chris has been advising life sciences companies and asset managers on insider trading risk related to COVID-19 vaccine research and development. Chris is co-chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee and leads its Sports Industry Initiative.
Prior to joining Ropes & Gray, Chris was an assistant United States attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he successfully investigated and prosecuted cases charging a wide array of federal offenses, and argued appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. While at the USAO, Chris led the team that prevailed in the highly publicized prosecution of more than 30 members and associates of the Gambino Organized Crime Family of La Cosa Nostra, including the Family’s Acting Boss and Underboss. Chris’s other significant cases include a first-of-its-kind prosecution of two founders of a publicly traded payment services company charged with money laundering in connection with their transfer of billions of dollars from United States customers to overseas internet gambling companies.
- Represented multiple executives in the DOJ’s investigation into alleged manipulation of diesel emissions outputs by various automobile manufacturers.
- Represented numerous executives in connection with a DOJ and SEC investigation into accounting fraud by publicly traded real estate developer.
- Represented a Swiss trust company in connection with the DOJ’s investigation of a billion dollar theft from the Malaysian Sovereign Wealth Fund (1MDB).
- Represented at initial trial son of former New York State Majority Leader Dean Skelos on public corruption charges. Conviction later reversed by the Second Circuit.
- Represented financial advisor in connection with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Paul Manafort.
- Represented multiple hedge funds in connection with insider trading investigations by the DOJ and the SEC.
- Represented a senior trader at a global financial institution in connection with an SEC and DOJ investigation into mismarking of a derivatives product.
- Represented executives at a global financial institution in connection with an SEC investigation into the firm’s handling of its ADR accounts.
- Represented numerous clients in joint U.S. and UK-based investigations into the alleged manipulation of various benchmark rates, including LIBOR, FX and ISDA Fix.
- Representing a not-for-profit non-sectarian hospital in a public corruption investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York.
- Represented a fixed income asset manager in connection with an SEC investigation into alleged cross-trading of RMBS securities.
- Advised a not-for-profit home health care provider in the industry-wide sweep focusing on managed long term care plans in New York.
- Defended a major medical device company in connection with alleged FCA claims, including obtaining a summary dismissal of a qui tam action filed in federal court in the Southern District of Texas.
- Defended a major pharmaceutical company in a wide-ranging criminal investigation into off-label promotion and fraudulent marketing.