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William Jacobson


Washington, D.C.

Jacobson William
William Jacobson


Washington, D.C.

Billy focuses his practice on FCPA and white collar enforcement, representing corporates, individuals, and financial institutions. Billy has over 25 years of experience, having served as the Chief Compliance Officer and Co-General Counsel of a global oilfield services company, as a federal prosecutor -- including as Assistant Chief for FCPA Enforcement in DOJ’s Fraud Section, and in private practice. Billy’s expertise both in corporate compliance and corporate criminal defense is a rare combination that serves clients well.

Billy’s practice currently includes the representation of a large international engineering and construction company being investigated for FCPA and UK Bribery Act violations by the DOJ, SEC and UK SFO; the representation of companies facing potential sanctions by the World Bank; serving as compliance counsel for several companies and private equity firms; the representation of individuals in connection with the VW emissions investigation cases; and the representation of several individuals in various FCPA investigations.

Billy recently completed the monitorship of Braskem SA, a large multi-national petrochemical company based in Brazil that settled enforcement actions in 2016. He was appointed as an independent compliance monitor by the DOJ, SEC and the Brazilian MPF. That monitorship concluded successfully and on schedule.

Billy is considered a thought leader in the industry, having spoken extensively on compliance and investigation topics. Billy is widely recognized as a leading FCPA and compliance lawyer, having been ranked by Chambers USA in both the FCPA: Nationwide (USA) and Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (D.C.) categories. According to Chambers USA, clients say Billy has “impressive experience both as in-house counsel and as a government prosecutor, and advises on compliance programs and regulatory investigations.” Another source highlights "the wealth of knowledge he brings to the table," noting: "There's nothing he hasn't seen, and he has the ability to get to the heart of a matter." In 2021, Billy was named by Global Investigation Review (GIR) as one of the 30 Top FCPA Practitioners, among leading lawyers and forensic advisers in the FCPA space.

Noteworthy experience includes advising:

  • Achieving the dismissal of charges brought against an Asian infrastructure company by the sanctions arm of the African Development Bank.
  • Obtaining successful resolutions to cases being pursued against corporates by the sanctions arm of the World Bank.
  • Assisting many companies in different business sectors with regard to a variety of compliance matters, including the establishment of compliance programs, diligence during mergers & acquisitions, compliance audits and risk assessments.
  • Obtaining the termination of an SEC investigation into the accounting practices of a large, multinational oil & gas company.
  • Representing a U.S. state-owned transportation entity in an investigation by the SEC and local prosecutors into the use of allocated funds.
  • Representing an international law firm in a DOJ/SEC investigation into the use of the proceeds of municipal bonds.
  • Representing an international law firm in a DOJ FCPA investigation.
  • Representing a steel company in a U.S. Department of Labor investigation.
  • Representing a large accountancy and consulting firm in a European competition investigation.
  • In a pro bono matter, achieving the dismissal of all charges, after trial, against a protestor charged with rioting in connection with the 2017 Presidential Inauguration.

News & insights

Exterior of a modern high rise building

Publications: 21 OCTOBER 2020

Podcast: The landmark Siemens FCPA case – an inside look

In the latest installment of Billy Jacobson’s podcast series, Anti-corruption conversations,  Billy and Bruce Yannett take an inside look at the landmark Siemens FCPA case.

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Publications: 19 AUGUST 2020

Podcast: How Covid-19 has impacted anti-bribery and corruption compliance and enforcement in Asia and Australia

Billy Jacobson speaks with Hong Kong partner Eugene Chen and Sydney partner Jason Gray about how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted anti-bribery and corruption ( "ABC") compliance and enforcement…

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Publications: 06 AUGUST 2020

Podcast: Brazil’s anti-corruption revolution – an analysis

Billy Jacobson speaks with Luis Wielewicki, partner at Sampaio Ferraz Advogados, about Operation Car Wash (Lava Jato), the massive anti-corruption investigation that ultimately brought about a new…

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Blog Post: 14 JULY 2020

SEC being forced to change its enforcement approach

In a conversation with A&O partner and former SEC Enforcement Official Bill White, Billy Jacobson explores the Supreme Court’s decision in SEC v. Liu decided in late June 2020, and two other recent…

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Washington, D.C.

Allen & Overy LLP
1101 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C.

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Admitted: Bar of the State of New York, 1994

Admitted: Bar of the District of Columbia, 1996


JD., Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C., 1993

B.A., Tufts University, Medford, MA, 1990