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Matteson Ellis

Matteson Ellis has extensive experience in international anti-corruption compliance and enforcement, including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). He is often called upon by companies to conduct independent internal investigations into potential FCPA violations. He has worked on anti-corruption matters in multiple capacities, including prevention, detection, remediation, defense and enforcement. Mr. Ellis focuses particularly on the Americas, having spent several years in the region working for a Fortune 50 multinational corporation and a government ethics watchdog group. He is multilingual and is a frequent speaker on corruption matters in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina and other Latin American markets.

Mr. Ellis has worked with U.S. and non-U.S. companies on all facets of FCPA compliance and enforcement, including legal analysis, internal investigations, third party due diligence, transactional due diligence, anti-corruption policy drafting, bilingual compliance training, compliance audits, corruption risk assessments, voluntary disclosures to the U.S. government and resolutions with the U.S. government. He has performed complex, independent and on-site internal investigations in over 20 countries throughout the Americas, Asia, Europe and Africa.

Mr. Ellis has also investigated fraud and corruption and supported administrative sanctions and debarment proceedings for The World Bank and The Inter-American Development Bank. Mr. Ellis is ranked in Band 1 of Chambers Global 2016 and Chambers Latin America 2015, was selected as a "Rising Star" in Ethisphere Institute's Attorneys Who Matter and was named one of Latin America's top 100 lawyers by Latinvex, which recognized him as "the leading expert on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Latin America." According to Chambers, he "is totally focused on Latin America," and clients say, "he is exceptional; we hold him in very high esteem." He has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and numerous other publications on topics related to his areas of practice.

Representative Engagements|View All

  • For a $29 billion global private equity firm focused on oil and gas and alternative energy sectors that has dozens of portfolio companies throughout the world, we have assisted the firm with mapping the portfolio according to corruption risk and implementing anti-corruption compliance oversight strategies for these companies, including compliance audits. We have worked directly with some of the portfolio companies to conduct third party due diligence, acquisition due diligence, bilingual trainings, compliance program enhancements, and compliance audits of venture partners. 
     
  • For a Latin America-based mining company (the largest exporter in its country), we conducted a formal assessment of its anti-corruption compliance program and worked with the company to implement compliance enhancements. We also conducted two internal investigations into allegations of improper dealings with local communities, and assisted the company with devising remediation strategies.
     
  • For companies awarded oil and gas exploration blocks in Mexico's historic energy sector opening, we provided assistance with the development of anti-corruption compliance programs tailored to Mexico risks as their operations expanded internationally for the first time.
     
  • Mr. Ellis was retained by an Am Law 100 firm to serve as an expert witness on an FCPA matter in an international arbitration based in Europe. 
     
  • We represented an energy services company in a World Bank sanctions proceeding, successfully convincing the World Bank to reverse a debarment and allow the company to argue the case on the merits.
Government Experience
Corporate Experience
Rankings and Recognition
  • Chambers Global: Fraud & Corporate Investigations (Latin America-wide), 2015 - 2016
  • Chambers Latin America: Fraud & Corporate Investigations (Latin America-wide), 2015 - 2016
  • Ethisphere Institute's Attorneys Who Matter (Rising Stars), 2015
  • Ethisphere Institute's Attorneys Who Matter (Specialists - Private Practice), 2014
  • Global Investigations Review: 40 Under 40, 2014
  • Latinvex: Latin America's Top 100 Lawyers, 2014 - 2015
  • Who's Who Legal: The International Who's Who of Investigations Lawyers, 2014 - 2015
  • Latin Lawyer Anti-Corruption Survey: Top Lawyer, 2013
  • Legal 500: Litigation: International Trade, 2013
Professional and Community Involvement
  • Co-Founder and Board of Trustees Chairman Emeritus, The School for Ethics and Global Leadership, Washington, DC
Bar Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • Texas
  • New York
  • New Jersey
Court Admissions
Clerkships
Foreign Languages
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
Education
  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, cum laude, 2004
  • M.S., Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, 2004
  • B.A., Dartmouth College, 1997