Sullivan & Cromwell’s Criminal Defense and Investigations Group (CDIG) is recognized as one of the foremost practices in the United States.
Lawyers in CDIG include former federal and state prosecutors, former bank regulatory enforcement counsel, and leading practitioners in banking and securities regulation. They boast extensive trial experience, having collectively handled more than 125 criminal trials in federal and state courts.
The Firm represents clients around the world in a wide range of matters relating to white-collar criminal defense, regulatory enforcement and internal investigations. These representations involve issues relating to:
  • federal and state securities law violations, including insider trading;
  • mortgages and the financial crisis;
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act;
  • healthcare fraud;
  • criminal tax matters;
  • violations of economic sanctions regimes;
  • Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money-laundering; and
  • commodities fraud and market manipulation.

S&C responds to matters handled by virtually every enforcement agency, including the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, federal and state banking regulators, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and other self-regulatory organizations, and state attorneys general and district attorneys.
With investigations taking on an increasingly multinational character, the Firm’s global presence assures clients a comprehensive and seamless defense across multiple jurisdictions.
While S&C has played a leading role in many of the major enforcement investigations or proceedings involving prominent individuals and corporations, the Firm measures its success by the fact that most of its representations remain nonpublic.


Sullivan & Cromwell’s recent experience in criminal defense and investigations includes representations of:
  • several global financial institutions, in their responses to investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), state attorneys general and international bank regulators related to Libor, Euribor and other benchmark interest rates.
  • Barclays, ING Group, HSBC Group and Standard Chartered Bank, in the successful resolutions of multiagency criminal and regulatory investigations relating to their compliance with economic sanctions and/or anti-money-laundering regulations.
  • BP, in the settlement of DOJ and CFTC investigations of alleged commodities manipulation, including entering into a deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ and a consent order with the CFTC.
  • British Airways, in global criminal antitrust investigations of price-fixing of fuel surcharges with respect to cargo and passenger air services.
  • Diageo, in the successful negotiation of an industrywide settlement agreement. The negotiation resolved an industrywide investigation by the New York attorney general into spirits and wine pricing, promotion and other sales practices in New York state.
  • Goldman Sachs Group, its board of directors, and many of its executive officers and employees in matters relating to the prosecution of its former director.
  • Statoil, in its compliance with the deferred prosecution agreement entered into at the time of settlement.
  • Tenaris, a global manufacturer of oil and gas pipe, in the successful resolution of an investigation by the DOJ and SEC, including securing the first-ever SEC deferred-prosecution agreement.