Lisa Vicens regularly represents public companies and their boards in internal and governmental investigations, in particular with respect to anti-bribery and corruption and other cross-border issues. 

She frequently advises on the development of compliance and integrity programs and counsels clients in advance of strategic transactions. Lisa also represents clients in complex litigation matters arising from cross-border disputes. Her litigation practice includes many notable securities actions and high-profile civil cases. She also has an active criminal pro bono practice.

Lisa frequently works on matters in Latin America, particularly enforcement matters involving clients in the region. She has been recognized by Chambers USA for FCPA and The Legal 500 Latin America for Compliance and Investigations, and named among Latinvex’s Top 100 Female Lawyers in Latin America and Global Investigations Review’s Top 100 Women in Investigations.

Lisa joined the firm in 2005 and became a partner in 2015.

Notable Experience

Latin America

  • GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A. in an FCPA investigation before the SEC and DOJ.

  • BNDES in conducting a wide-ranging internal investigation for the Brazilian national development bank of allegations of corruption relating to its financing of transactions with certain affiliates of the Brazilian conglomerate, J&F Investimentos S.A.

  • Petrobras, PGF and current and former officers and directors in securities fraud class action litigation and 29 individual actions in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in connection with Operation Carwash—reportedly the largest corruption scandal in Latin American history.

  • Vale in obtaining a multibillion-dollar LCIA award as a result of misrepresentations and corruption concerning a West African mining project.

  • The former CEO of SQM, a Chilean mining company, in connection with his settlement of an FCPA investigation conducted by the SEC.

  • Special Committee of the Board of Directors of M. Dias Branco in an independent investigation of allegations of bribery asserted by Brazilian authorities

  • Paper and pulp company in a corruption risk assessment involving multiple jurisdictions in Latin America, including Brazil, Chile and Mexico, and the United States.

  • Independent Americas-based pension plan organization, with well over $100 billion in assets under management, as global corruption counsel.

  • Board of a multinational mining company in connection with allegations of corruption and related investigations involving the Company’s officers and Latin American subsidiary.

  • Internal investigation of allegations by the Brazilian authorities of bid-rigging and corruption by its mobile telecommunications subsidiary and related inquiry by SEC.

  • FCPA and corporate governance advice to a Mexican construction company in connection with an investigation by the CNBV and potential investigation by the SEC.

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Enforcement

  • Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG) in civil class action litigation and SEC enforcement matters involving international tax issues.

  • Bank of America in investigations by the SEC, Department of Justice, New York Attorney General and U.S. Congress concerning its acquisition of Merrill Lynch, in particular the payment of bonuses and disclosures relating to Merrill’s losses.

  • Several governmental and internal investigations, including for leading financial institutions, and on a number of federal securities class action lawsuits, including representing IMAX Corporation in SEC investigations into alleged accounting fraud.

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Civil Litigation

  • CARBO Ceramics in a federal securities class action litigation in securing dismissal of the complaint.

  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch in numerous ongoing individual securities actions filed across the country in connection with the issuance and underwriting of mortgage-backed securities.

  • Crédit Agricole group in litigation arising from the Madoff Ponzi scheme.

  • International Flavors and Fragrances in securities class action related to its acquisition of Israeli company Frutarom, arising from improper payments made in Russia and Ukraine.

  • Samarco in a summary judgment in lieu of complaint removed from New York state to federal court based on allegations of default on certain bonds, as well as advising the company’s restructuring of its debt.

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Pro Bono

  • A member of the team that advocated on behalf of Erskine Johnson and succeeded in vacating his wrongful murder conviction.

  • Representing multiple indigent criminal defendants entitled to resentencing in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision making retroactive Miller, which requires that the unique circumstances of each juvenile defendant be considered in imposing a sentence of life without parole.

  • Working with the Giffords Law Center in defending laws in place to save lives from gun violence, including conducting a 50-state survey to address current state status of how a hate crime is defined and penalized and to what extent hate crime offenders are prohibited from the purchase or possession of firearms and why.

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Selected Activities

Board Member, Her Justice

Member, Vance Center Committee, Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice

Member, Committee on Civic Education, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Publications

Second Circuit Rules That International Comity and New York’s ‘Separate Entity’ Rule May Prevent Asset Restraint Orders From Reaching Assets Held at Bank’s Foreign Branches,” (co-authored with Carmine D. Boccuzzi Jr., Joon H. Kim, Mark E. McDonald, Rathna Ramamurthi, Nowell D. Bamberger and Jorge A. Bonilla Lopez) Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo (September 2021)

SEC Enforcement Action Against Poloniex Signals Heightened Scrutiny for Crypto Exchanges,” (co-authored with Jonathan S. Kolodner, Rahul Mukhi & Megan Lindgren) Cleary Cybersecurity and Privacy Watch (August 2021)

The Changing Landscape in Brazilian Investigations Since Lava Jato,” The Guide to Managing a Corporate Crisis, Latin Lawyer, (co-authored with Breon Peace and Jonathan Kolodner) (February 1, 2021) 

Priorities, Trends and Developments in Enforcement and Compliance,” (co-authored with Joon H. Kim, Robin M. Bergen, Matthew C. Solomon and Samuel Levander) Selected Issues for Boards of Directors in 2021 (January 2021)

Out From the Shadows: Examining Accounting Firm ‘Shadow Investigations,’” FTI Consulting podcast Fraud Eats Strategy by Scott Moritz, (with Mark Grover) (November 2020)

SEC Brings Enforcement Action Against Global Brokerage Company, Finding False and Misleading Statements In Connection With Non-GAAP Financial Measures,” (co-authored with Nick Grabar, Robin M. Bergen and Matthew C. Solomon) Cleary Enforcement Watch blog (November 2020) 

DOJ and SEC Release Updated FCPA Resource Guide,” (co-authored with Joon H. Kim, Jonathan S. Kolodner and James Corsiglia) Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo (July 2020)

DOJ Updates Guidance Regarding Corporate Compliance Programs,” (co-authored with Jennifer Kennedy Park, Jonathan S. Kolodner, Andres Felipe Saenz, Nicholas A. LaPalme) Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo (June 2020)

The CARES Act and Mitigating False Claims Act Risk,” (co-author with Breon S. Peace, Jennifer Kennedy Park, Jonathan S. Kolodner, and Charity E. Lee) Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo (April 2020); republished by Pratt’s Government Contracting Law Report (July 2020)

Accountability and Enforcement Under the CARES Act,” (co-author with Joon H. Kim, Jonathan S. Kolodner, and Natalie Noble) Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo (April 2020); republished by The NYU Program on Corporate Compliance & Enforcement, April 6, 2020.

Navigating COVID-19: Best Practices for Managing Compliance Risk,” (co-author with Jennifer Kennedy Park, Amélie Champsaur, Guillaume de Rancourt, and Caroline Hailey) Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo (March 2020)

Q&A: Localising a Global Compliance Programme,” (co-author with Aisling O’Sullivan, Abdus Samad Pardesi, and Adam Turteltaub)  Financier Worldwide, February 1, 2020

DOJ Issues Guidance on Cooperation In False Claims Act Investigations,” (co-author with Jennifer Kennedy Park and Breon S. Peace) Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo (May 2019)

DOJ Updates FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy,” (co-author with Jonathan Kolodner and Lorena Michelen), April 3, 2019, republished by the NYU Program on Compliance and Enforcement, April 10, 2019

Second Circuit Holds General Statements of Regulatory Compliance Cannot Sustain Securities Fraud Claim,” (co-author with Alexis Collins, Roger Cooper, Jared Gerber, and Matthew Slater), Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, March 8, 2019; republished by the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, March 23, 2019

U.S. Criminal Prosecution Based on Panama Papers Hack Raises Novel Legal Issues,” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo (January 2019); republished by The Columbia Law School Blue Sky Blog (January 2019)

Second Circuit Holds That DOJ Cannot Reach Foreign Nationals Not Otherwise Covered by the FCPA Through Conspiracy or Aiding-and-Abetting Charges,” (co-author with Jonathan Kolodner, Jennifer Kennedy Park, and Olivia Renensland), Business Law Today, October 17, 2018 

“Anti-Corruption in Guatemala: A Critical Moment for CICIG” (co-author with David Feinstein), Cleary Gottlieb Enforcement Watch, October 15, 2017

FOIA Disclosure of Federal Compliance Documents?,” (co-author with Abena Mainoo, Jonathan Kolodner, and Charity Lee), Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, July 19, 2018

“Making Disclosures To Auditors Without Waiving Privilege” (co-author with Daniel Queen), Law360, May 5, 2017

“Acting SEC Chair’s Steps to Centralize the Process of Issuing Formal Orders—Are Commentators Drawing the Right Lessons?” (co-author with Matt Solomon), Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, March 13, 2017

“Department of Justice Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Enforcement Initiatives,” Selected Issues for Boards of Directors in 2017, January 17, 2017

“Cleary Explores Appeals Court Split Over SEC Administrative Cases” (co-author with Breon Peace and Darryl Stein), Columbia Law School’s Blog on Corporations and the Capital Markets, January 11, 2017

“The Future of SEC Administrative Proceedings” (co-author with Breon Peace and Darryl Stein), Law360, January 4, 2017

“Changes and Challenges in the SEC’s ALJ Proceedings,” (co-author with Breon Peace and Daniel Queen), Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, November 12, 2016

Events