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Maria Lapetina's practice focuses on advising clients on internal and government investigations, complex cross-border litigation, and regulatory compliance. She frequently conducts internal investigations on behalf of audit committees and special committees concerning potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, and allegations relating to potential accounting and disclosure irregularities and instances of potential insider trading. She has represented clients, including multinational companies, financial institutions, international development banks, and technology companies in connection with investigations before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and numerous other domestic and foreign regulatory agencies. 

Ms. Lapetina's compliance practice focuses on the design and implementation of risk-based internal compliance programs for a wide range of companies. She designs and performs compliance audits and due diligence in connection with mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and other strategic partnerships. She also advises companies on the design of safeguards and other measures to mitigate compliance risks arising from business transactions and third-party engagements. 

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Lapetina worked as counsel for an Am Law 200 firm where she regularly represented multinational companies, financial institutions, international development banks, and their officers and directors in connection with investigations before the SEC, DOJ, FINRA, and numerous other domestic and foreign regulatory and government bodies. Previously, she was also a litigation associate at a leading white collar boutique and at an Am Law 100 firm.

Ms. Lapetina is fluent in Spanish and regularly conducts legal matters in both English and Spanish.

Representative Engagements
  • Represented a Latin American sports marketing and production company in connection with DOJ and other investigations pertaining to allegations of bribery, fraud, and money laundering arising out of the FIFA scandal and related civil actions.
  • Represented senior executives in connection with the DOJ's widespread investigation into allegations of bribery and corruption involving the Venezuelan state-owned oil and gas company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA).
  • Represented five current and former executives of a diagnostics company, including the CEO and former CFO, in connection with an SEC investigation into the company's COVID-19 related disclosures.
  • Conducted an independent cross-border investigation on behalf of a global medical device company based on whistleblower reports and allegations of corruption in local government tenders and potential misconduct by third parties. 
  • Conducted cross-border investigation into alleged improper payments to government officials on behalf of a major technology company.
  • Conducted a workplace misconduct investigation into allegations of harassment and retaliation by members of senior leadership.
  • Represented global technology company in the design and implementation of its anti-corruption compliance program for its U.S. operations and Chinese joint venture in anticipation of an initial public offering.
  • Represented one of Latin America's largest industrial conglomerates in connection with internal and government investigations relating to the cuadernos scandal in Argentina.
  • Represented the head equities trader of a multinational investment bank in connection with investigation by foreign regulator that the bank's trading had violated local securities laws as well as follow-on U.S. investigations by FINRA and the SEC.
  • Represented the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to enforce loan guarantees extended by Argentine affiliates of a Brazilian-based borrower. Obtained a favorable outcome on summary judgment for more than US$168 million.
  • Represented the CEO of a U.S. broker-dealer indicted on 15 counts in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) for FCPA violations arising from bond trading for a Venezuelan bank.
Rankings and Recognition
  • Latinvex Latin America's Top 100 Female Lawyers: FCPA & Fraud, 2021 - 2023; Arbitration & Litigation, 2020 - 2023
State Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • New York (inactive)
  • North Carolina
Court Admissions
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
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