Richard Smith

Richard Smith

Partner, Washington, D.C.

“I regularly advise corporate entities, their executives and employees in connection with grand jury investigations, civil and criminal trials and hearings, transnational regulatory investigation and enforcement proceedings, federal and state criminal prosecutions, criminal antitrust investigations and prosecutions, and False Claims Act and Healthcare Fraud investigations."

Overview

Professional experience

Education and qualifications

Published works

Overview

  • Richard is a versatile and highly experienced lawyer, a seasoned white-collar defense attorney and a well-regarded trial lawyer. His practice focuses on complex litigation, white collar criminal defense, due diligence, risk assessment, corporate governance, creation and review of anti-corruption policies and procedures, antitrust and competition, and U.S.-centric and transnational corporate internal investigations for public and private companies. 
  • Richard has extensive experience representing corporate entities, their executives and employees in connection with grand jury investigations, civil and criminal trials and hearings, transnational regulatory investigation and enforcement proceedings, federal and state criminal prosecutions and criminal antitrust investigations and prosecutions. He also has experience representing in such civil matters as breach of contracts, tortious interference of business relationships, business conspiracy, fraud, and criminal conversion.
  • Richard has conducted many internal investigations into alleged violations of the Foreign and Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and other violations of law for corporate entities and negotiated the largest FCPA settlement to date. He has represented senior executives in criminal and civil FCPA investigations being conducted jointly by the Department of Justice (DOJ) Fraud section and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Richard has experience defending civil RICO cases.
  • Before joining Linklaters, Richard gained considerable practice both in private practice and for the government. He was the Principal Deputy Chief for Litigation of the Fraud Section of the US Department of Justice (DOJ), Criminal Division where he supervised the litigation activities of all trial attorneys in the investigation, indictment, and trial of criminal cases, including FCPA matters. He tried over 25 jury trials in federal court as well as 50 state courts trials.
  • While at the DOJ, Richard tried the first cases prosecuted under the Sarbanes-Oxley statute and was instrumental in executing a new strategy to investigate and prosecute corporate fraud matters. For five consecutive years, Richard received the "Special Achievement Award" recognizing his work at the DOJ.
  • He previously worked for six years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Texas, where he conducted long-term grand jury investigations, prosecuted and tried numerous complex white collar and public corruption cases, and successfully argued four cases before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. He began his career trying criminal cases as an assistant state attorney in Jacksonville, Florida. 
Richard has conducted internal investigations into alleged violations of the FCPA and other violations of law for corporate entities.

 

Experience highlights include:
  • Retained by Odebrecht, S.A. to:

- conduct an internal investigation into allegations of bribery of a public official and collusion in connection with IDB-financed and competitively-bid development infra-structure project and represented the company before the Inter-American Development Bank.  Negotiated a resolution that limited debarment to small number of subsidiaries and negotiated the payment of US$50m monetary penalty.

act as a Co-Lead counsel in connection with the civil and criminal investigations flowing from the Petroleo Brasileiro (“Petrobras”) bribery scandal (“Lava Jato”), the largest corruption scandal in the history of Latin America. Secured a global resolution of the company’s criminal liability in the U.S., Brazil, and Switzerland which allowed it to continue operating despite allegations which constituted an existential threat.

  • Transocean: conducting FCPA investigation and negotiating settlements with the DOJ and SEC.
  • Weatherford International Ltd: leading an investigation in relation to Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations.
  • GlobalSantaFe Corp. (GSF): conducting an internal investigation in regards to charges of bribery and other violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

He has represented senior executives in criminal antitrust, criminal and civil FCPA investigations being conducted jointly by the DOJ Fraud Section and the Securities and Exchange Commission in such matters as:

  • the JP Morgan Princeling investigation: represented a number of the company’s employees during DOJ and SEC FCPA investigation of allegation concerning the award of prestigious jobs to relatives and friends of Chinese government officials to win banking deals.
  • Hyperdynamic: represented the in-country manager during the DOJ and SEC investigation of the company’s subsidiary in the Republic of Guinea for alleged bribe payment and failure to implement or maintain a system of adequate internal accounting controls
  • Former global chief compliance officer: representing in the DOJ’s investigation of Novartis into alleged FCPA violations in Greece
  • conducted internal investigations related to multi-lateral development bank financed projects and represent companies before the World Bank, International American Development Bank and the International Japanese Cooperation Agency
  • A former executive of Trelleborg in the Marine Hose Cartel investigation.
  • A director of an Italian company during testimony before the Antitrust Division of the DOJ: representing in relation to an investigation of allegation of price fixing and cartel activity.

Richard has defended civil matters, civil RICO and False Claims Act cases. 

  • successfully defended Sasol North America, Inc. in federal and state court civil RICO cases in Washington, DC and Lake Charles, Louisiana
  • Retained by a major American media company: to represent it in a copyright infringement case. Negotiated a resolution of the matter.
  • Halifax Hospital Medical Center: negotiating a US$85m settlement with the DOJ to resolve a False Claims Act lawsuit alleging Stark self-referral law violations and improper physician compensation arrangements
  • An American corporate entity and its Chairman of the Board: defending in a suit by the corporate entity’s former President and Chief Executive Officer for alleged wrongful termination seeking millions in damages and all allowable cost.
  • National Football League Players Association (NFLPA): represented in a number of investigations and arbitration proceedings, including allegations brought by Colin Kaepernick; the Ray Rice matter; the Miami Dolphins’ bullying investigation; and the New Orleans Saints’ “Bountygate” scandal and arbitration.
  • An American healthcare company: representing in qui tam health care fraud litigation and parallel criminal investigation for alleged violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute.
  • A former senior executive of a Hyperdynamic subsidiary in New Guinea: representing in a DOJ and SEC investigation into alleged FCPA violations.
  •  Food produce industry company: representing before the United States Attorney’s Office and the DOJ Civil Division and Fraud Section in relation to False Claims Act allegations.

Professional experience

  • Richard served as counsel to the Director of the Executive Office for the U.S. Attorneys where he served as the attorney-advisor to the Attorney-General's advisory committee and represented the interests of all U.S. attorneys.
  • Richard is director, The University of Florida Foundation National Board and a member of the Board of Trustees, The University of Florida Law Center Association, Inc.
  • Richard is also a Fellow of Litigation Counsel of America which is the Trial Lawyer Honorary Society.
Awards
  • Named among Savoy magazine’s “Most Influential Black Lawyers”, 2018.
  • Honored by The University of Houston Law Alumni Association with the 2018 Dean’s Award, recognizing exceptional alumni of the University of Houston Law Center.
  • Selected for Membership of the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys as one of the "10 Best Attorneys" for the District of Columbia, 2017-2018.

Education and qualifications

  • Richard earned his LL.M. in Health Law from the University of Houston Law Center, where he was awarded the Dean’s award, and his J.D. and from the University of Florida College of Law.
  • Richard holds a Juris Doctor from University of Florida College of Law and obtained his undergraduate degree in political science from Alabama A&M University. He also holds a master’s in political science University of Florida and a LL.M in Health from University of Houston Law Center.

Published works

  • Co-author, “Expatriation Tax Next on IRS Crypto Enforcement List”, Law360, October 28, 2019
  • Co-contributing editor and co-author, “Employee Rights 2019 United States”, Global Investigation Review, May 2019
  • Co-contributing editor and co-author, “Employee Rights 2018”, Global Investigation Review, May 2018
  • Richard is a regular speaker at industry events. These include speaking at the University of Houston Law Center’s “Juneteenth Virtual Town Hall: Racism and What To Do About It”, June 18, 2020

Richard is often called on by the national media for comments. Among others, he has appeared on CNN, 20/20 and has been quoted in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and Birmingham News.