Miller & Chevalier's Cartel Investigation & Litigation practice, led by Kirby Behre and Lauren Briggerman, defends companies and executives in criminal cartel investigations and related litigation. The team, which includes former federal prosecutors, has extensive experience in criminal antitrust enforcement in the U.S.
We represent companies and individuals in the most complex and notable cartel investigations. Our team's recent experience includes representation of a poultry production company in DOJ's widescale investigation into price fixing and bid rigging in the broiler chicken industry, as well as representation of multiple executives in DOJ's numerous investigations into labor market collusion. We also have experience in some of DOJ's largest investigations, including the defense of companies and executives in the multi-jurisdictional investigations of the air cargo, freight forwarding, and auto parts industries, as well as the domestic generic drug industry. Our team has handled cases involving allegations of both domestic and global conspiracies to fix prices, rig bids, and divide markets. We are adept at handling the unique challenges of global investigations, including accessing documents and evidence abroad, interviewing individuals, and navigating privilege and data privacy laws. In particular, we are sensitive to the cultural and language differences that are often involved in conduct that is investigated by regulators in multiple countries.
We are forceful and persuasive advocates. Our goal in each case is to convince government investigators – both in the U.S. and abroad –to not take action against our clients. A vigorous, fact-based defense is at the heart of every case we handle. We also have significant experience navigating the DOJ Antitrust Division's unique policies and practices and at adapting quickly to changing enforcement climates.
Our team has successfully resolved cartel cases on behalf of companies and executives to their benefit without the burden and expense of going to trial. We have convinced the DOJ to drop charges against our clients, negotiated fines far below those imposed in similar cases, and mitigated collateral consequences to our clients, including tax liability. In addition, we have developed strong relationships with select local counsel in the other countries that are investigating the allegations and work seamlessly with them to craft a unified defense across the globe.
For these reasons, our team has been recognized by Legal 500 for its "successful record in defending clients" and "standout representations of executives." The team is "[h]ighly committed and client focused, willing to go the extra mile." In comments to Legal 500, clients reported "[t]he team has tremendous experience representing executives in government investigations with the DOJ antitrust criminal division. They work seamlessly with company counsel and work in a collaborative fashion. No team at any law firm…has as much experience and success . . . ."
- Defending a poultry producer in DOJ's investigation into price fixing and bid rigging in the broiler chicken industry, which is DOJ's largest current cartel investigation and has resulted in charges against two other companies and at least 10 executives.
- Secured a declination to prosecute for a corporate client involved in the DOJ's cartel investigation into the freight-forwarding industry. The investigation required the team to handle the cross-border collection of documents and data in response to subpoenas and document requests from around the globe.
- Defended one of the top 200 largest construction companies in the U.S. in a joint investigation by DOJ's Antitrust Division and the U.S. Attorney's Office in DC for alleged anti-competitive fraud in performing small business set-aside contracts with the government.
- Defended a client in Brazil's investigation of cartel activity in the freight-forwarding industry. As part of the investigation in Brazil, members of our Cartel practice oversaw a team of local lawyers and directed the company's defense in order to ensure the company was taking a consistent approach around the world.
- Obtained a nolo contendere (no contest) plea for a client involved in the DOJ's cartel investigation in the air cargo industry. A nolo plea – under which the company would not contest the facts of the indictment, but also would not plead guilty to the underlying offense – is rare and had not been allowed in an antitrust case for almost 20 years.
- Successfully defended a client against alleged freight-forwarding cartel activity in South Africa, Canada, New Zealand, and other jurisdictions where competition authorities have declined to bring charges.
- Represented a company in one of the European Union's largest investigations into cartel conduct. The team presented evidence and argument in the client's defense through submission of legal briefs and appeared before the European Commission in Brussels for a four-day hearing.
- Representing a senior executive of a food manufacturing company in a DOJ investigation into allegations of improper solicitation, recruitment, and hiring of employees in the meatpacking industry.
- Representing the former CEO of a pork processing company as a third-party witness in a multi-district civil class action alleging price-fixing in the pork industry.
- Representing a foreign executive who was indicted for allegedly participating in a scheme to rig bids and fix prices for fuel supply contracts with the U.S. military.
- Representing a former executive of a defense contractor staffing company in an investigation by DOJ into alleged labor market collusion.
- Representing multiple employees of a banking institution in connection with an investigation by DOJ into alleged "no-poach" employment agreements.
- Representing an executive of a construction materials company in DOJ's investigation into price fixing and bid rigging investigation in the industry.
- Representing numerous pharmaceutical executives in the DOJ's investigation into price fixing in the generic drug industry and the follow-on multi-district civil litigation.
- Represented an executive of a beverage distribution company in DOJ's investigation into price fixing in the industry.
- Successfully defended numerous Japanese executives who were subjects or targets in DOJ's cartel investigation into the auto parts industry, DOJ's largest cross-border cartel investigation in history. Our team coordinated with the company to develop factual narratives and creative legal arguments in defense of our clients and presented them to the government. As a result of this work, in each case, Miller & Chevalier obtained the executives' inclusion into the immunity protections of the company plea agreements, thus protecting them from criminal prosecution.
- Successfully defended from prosecution the CEO of a public company that manufactures construction materials in a price-fixing investigation by the DOJ's Antitrust Division.
- Successfully defended a high-ranking executive in a DOJ investigation into price fixing and bid rigging in the lithium-ion battery industry. The client was on the government's carve-out list, but the Miller & Chevalier team convinced the DOJ not to charge the executive in connection with the investigation.
- Successfully represented a mid-level executive in a DOJ investigation into price fixing, bid rigging, and market allocation in the polyester staple industry. The client was a target of the investigation which yielded guilty pleas from other individual and corporate defendants, but after a coordinated defense declination presentation, DOJ decided not to indict the client, his employer, or other individuals employed by the company.
- Convinced the DOJ not to charge a high-ranking executive allegedly involved in price fixing, bid rigging, and market allocation in the Atlantic shipping trade.
- Represented numerous individuals in U.S. criminal investigations and civil suits arising out of an alleged antitrust conspiracy in the foam industry.
- Represented several former executives with respect to criminal and administrative actions in the United States and abroad relating to an alleged antitrust conspiracy in the power cable industry.
- Assistant to the Solicitor General, U.S. Department of Justice
- Assistant United States Attorney, District of Columbia
- Assistant United States Attorney, District of Columbia
- Director, Office of International Affairs, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
- Trial Chief, Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
- Senior Investigative Counsel, Special Committee on Investigations, U.S. Senate
- Chief, Special Litigation Division, Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
- Senior Adviser for International Issues to SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
- Deputy Director, Office of International Affairs, U.S Securities and Exchange Commission
- Assistant Director, Office of International Affairs, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
- Assistant Chief Litigation Counsel, Division of Enforcement, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
- Assistant Federal Public Defender, Las Vegas, Nevada
- Appellate Deputy Public Defender, Nevada State Public Defender's Office
- Tax Assistant to the Solicitor General, U.S. Department of Justice
- Trial Attorney and Director of Training, Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
- Supervising Attorney, Trial Division, Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
- Staff Attorney, Appellate and Trial Divisions, Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
- Legislative Assistant, U.S. House of Representatives
- Corporate Crime & Investigations: The Elite (USA-Nationwide), 2021 - 2022
- Corporate Crime & Investigations (USA-Nationwide), 2015 - 2020
- Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (District of Columbia), 2011 - 2022
- Brazil Corporate Crime & Investigations (International Firms), 2023
- Corporate Crime & Investigations (Latin America-International Counsel), 2015 - 2023
- Corporate Crime & Investigations (USA), 2016 - 2023
- Corporate Investigations/Anti-Corruption (Global: Multi-Jurisdictional), 2017 - 2023
- Investigations & Enforcement (International & Cross-Border) (USA), 2020 - 2023
Chambers Latin America
- Corporate Crime & Investigations (International Counsel), 2015 - 2023
- Corporate Crime & Investigations (International Counsel), 2023
Global Investigations Review
- GIR 30 Top Global Investigations Practice, 2015 - 2022
- Boutique or Regional Practice of the Year, 2016
- Antitrust: Cartel (U.S.), 2015 - 2022
- Dispute Resolution: White-Collar Criminal Defense – Advice to Corporates (U.S.), 2011 - 2022
- Dispute Resolution: White-Collar Criminal Defense – Advice to Individuals (U.S.), 2011 - 2022
Legal 500 Latin America
- International Firms: Compliance and Investigations, 2021 - 2023
U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms"
- Criminal Defense: White-Collar (District of Columbia), 2010 - 2023
- Criminal Defense: White-Collar (National), 2019 - 2023