Charles E. Duross

Partner | Washington, D.C. | (202) 887-1576
(202) 887-1576

Charles (Chuck) Duross serves as global co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Investigations + White Collar Defense Practice Group and is a co-leader of its FCPA and Global Anti-Corruption practice. With more than twenty-three years of experience principally focused on white-collar cases, Chuck’s practice has an emphasis on complex white-collar criminal matters, including internal corporate investigations, representing special committees, compliance counseling, due diligence regarding third parties and business transactions, and defense of clients before government enforcement agencies and multilateral investment banks. Chuck has handled cases and overseen investigations in dozens of countries. As a veteran trial attorney, Chuck has a proven track record in the courtroom in high-profile, high-stakes trials. Dubbed “Mr. FCPA” in The Washington Post, Chuck is routinely recognized in various rankings and publications, including Chambers Global, Chambers USA, and Legal 500 as a leading attorney in white-collar criminal defense, with a particular specialty in FCPA and foreign corruption cases.

Representative Experience

  • Serving as the DOJ-appointed independent corporate compliance monitor for a large South American company in the wake of a multi-jurisdictional resolution of one of the largest bribery schemes in history
  • Representing a leading U.S. company in a high-profile multi-jurisdictional government-facing bribery investigation in Africa
  • Representing multinational European company in a high-profile bribery investigation involving multiple jurisdictions
  • Representing a major manufacturing company in an emissions-related investigation
  • Representing a technology company before DOJ and SEC regarding a whistleblower employee alleging FCPA violations
  • Representing a Japanese company before DOJ and SEC in an FCPA investigation
  • Representing a leading U.S. company before DOJ regarding allegations of improper hiring issues
  • Represented former telecom executive before DOJ and SEC regarding conduct in China
  • Representing a former executive regarding allegations of misconduct in Latin America
  • Secured declinations on behalf of multiple corporate clients and individuals before DOJ and SEC
  • Secured a victory for a Chinese company before the Sanctions Board of the World Bank
  • Lead an internal investigation for a leading South American company concerning bribery allegations in Asia
  • Conducted pre-investment and pre-acquisition enhanced FCPA/anti-corruption due diligence in numerous multi-billion dollar deals in Africa, Asia, and Latin America
  • Assisting numerous companies, from start-ups to Fortune 50 corporations, with drafting codes of conduct and compliance procedures, conducting risk assessments, gap analysis and compliance benchmarking, and enhancing existing compliance programs
  • Go-to outside FCPA and anti-corruption legal and compliance counsel to leading Global 500 multinational corporations across industries and regions

Chuck previously served as a Deputy Chief in the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), where he led the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Unit and was in charge of all of the DOJ’s FCPA investigations, prosecutions and resolutions in the United States. Chuck is internationally recognized for his leading role in developing and implementing the government’s FCPA enforcement strategy, and he is widely credited with developing the current enforcement regime. Under his leadership, the FCPA Unit resolved more than 40 corporate cases resulting in approximately $1.9 billion in monetary penalties and prosecuted dozens of business executives and money launderers. As the head of the FCPA Unit, Chuck oversaw countless voluntary disclosures, decided which matters would be declined, administered DOJ’s FCPA Opinion Release Procedure and was responsible for interviewing, selecting and reviewing the work of nearly 20 independent corporate monitors.

In investigating and prosecuting transnational bribery cases, Chuck worked with every major U.S. Attorney’s Office and law enforcement agency in the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), law enforcement counterparts around the world and numerous multi-lateral development banks, including the World Bank. For example, Chuck worked with the Australian Federal Police, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris, Indonesia’s Anti-Corruption Commission, the Tokyo Public Prosecutor’s Office, Mexico’s Procuraduría General de la República, Norway’s Økokrim, the Swiss Attorney General’s Office, Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission, and the United Kingdom’s City of London Police, Crown Prosecution Service, Metropolitan Police and Serious Fraud Office.

While in the Fraud Section, Chuck led the development of a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) template for FCPA cases, which formed the basis for a DPA template later adopted for use by the entire Criminal Division, and he also led the effort to update and restructure the enhanced compliance components used in resolving FCPA cases. As a recognized expert, Chuck was consulted by UK officials prior to the adoption of legislation permitting deferred prosecution agreements.

Chuck’s tenure was also marked by his efforts to make FCPA enforcement more transparent and compliance with the statute more understandable to the business community. Working closely with his counterparts at the SEC, Chuck was one of the principal authors of the DOJ and SEC’s joint publication A Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which followed a series of consultations with business and compliance leaders. The Guide has received wide praise from the business community, compliance and ethics professionals and private practitioners, and has been described as a “landmark document,” an “FCPA hornbook,” and a “must-read for compliance officers.”

Chuck also served as DOJ’s principal representative to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Working Group on Bribery for many years and helped develop the OECD’s acclaimed Good Practice Guidance on Internal Controls, Ethics and Compliance. Besides his involvement in the OECD Phase 1 of Russia and Phase 2 of South Africa, Chuck’s leadership during the OECD Phase 3 of the United States earned him the Assistant Attorney General’s Exceptional Service Award, the Criminal Division’s highest award for employee performance.

Prior to being appointed Deputy Chief, Chuck served as Assistant Chief of the FCPA Unit from October 2008 to April 2010, and as a line prosecutor with the Fraud Section from December 2006 to October 2008. Beyond FCPA enforcement, Chuck has supervised and tried all manner of white-collar cases, including healthcare fraud, mail and wire fraud, money laundering, public corruption, securities fraud and tax evasion. A veteran trial attorney, Chuck is a recipient of the prestigious Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award, the second-highest department-wide award for employee performance, as one of the lead prosecutors who secured the conviction of Congressman William Jefferson following a nearly nine-week trial.

Chuck has been recognized for his work on FCPA matters by Law360, the Legal 500 US, the Washington Post, Washington Business Journal, and also by Chambers USA where a market commentator praises him as “a sage counselor, who is calm under pressure and solutions-oriented.” Who’s Who Legal also recognizes Chuck for his investigations work. In recognition of his contributions to the firm’s “Top Ten International Anti-Corruption Developments” monthly newsletter, Chuck has also been repeatedly honored with JD Supra’s “Reader’s Choice Top Author” award.

Chuck earned his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School in 1996 and his B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Michigan in 1993. After beginning his career as a litigation associate at an international firm in 1996, he joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida in 2001, where he prosecuted a variety of white-collar cases, including bank fraud, embezzlement, mail and wire fraud, money laundering, securities fraud and trademark violations. Chuck rose to the position of Deputy Chief in the Major Crimes Section in Miami before moving to Washington, D.C., in 2006 to join the Fraud Section. Chuck has been an adjunct professor for seven years at Georgetown University Law Center, where he has taught trial advocacy, has been a guest lecturer at Harvard Law School’s Program on the Legal Profession, University of Pennsylvania Law School, and the University of Michigan Law School and Ross School of Business. As an internationally recognized expert on transnational bribery, white-collar crimes, and compliance issues, Chuck is a sought-after speaker, and he routinely speaks at conferences across the United States and around the world. He is admitted to practice in Michigan and the District of Columbia.

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