• J.D.
    Georgetown University Law Center
    cum laude
  • M.S.
    Georgetown University School of Foreign Service
  • B.A.
    Dartmouth College
Portuguese, Spanish

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. In Chambers Latin America, he is described as "one of the best compliance lawyers I have ever worked with, not just for his knowledge of the field, but also his accuracy and decisiveness in implementing compliance matters in complicated markets."

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 2018 and Chambers Latin America 2018, 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.

  • 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.
  • Chambers Global: Corporate Investigations (Latin America-wide), 2015 - 2018
  • Chambers Latin America: Corporate Crime & Investigations (Latin America-wide), 2015 - 2019
  • Latinvex: Latin America's Top 100 Lawyers, 2014 - 2018
  • 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
  • Who's Who Legal: The International Who's Who of Investigations Lawyers - Future Leaders, 2018
  • Who's Who Legal: The International Who's Who of Investigations Lawyers, 2014 - 2015
  • Co-Founder and Board of Trustees Chairman Emeritus, The School for Ethics and Global Leadership, Washington, DC
Bar Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Texas
Speaking Engagement

Matteson Ellis and Ann Sultan will be speaking at the Society for Corporate Compliance and Ethics's (SCCE's) 17th Annual Compliance & Ethics Institute on October 21-24, 2018 in Las Vegas. 

Las Vegas, Nevada


In this blog post, Matteson Ellis and Leah Moushey analyze the local terms used to describe bribery throughout Latin America as a whole and in 18 individual countries, as identified in Miller &