Overview

Joan has more than 25 years’ experience handling complex criminal and civil litigation, primarily domestic and international white-collar defense for companies involving anti-corruption, financial frauds, government contracting, false claims, securities and commodities violations, and trade compliance matters. She has tried scores of cases at the state and federal levels and handled more than 40 appeals in state and federal appeals courts. Joan also conducts domestic and international internal investigations for corporate clients to determine if legal and regulatory violations were committed and defends companies and individuals in negotiation and litigation with U.S. government agencies.

With her extensive experience in global corporate compliance, Joan routinely advises senior management and boards of directors on best practices for compliance with U.S. and international legal requirements and regulations and the consequences of law enforcement inquiries, including the development of a defense strategy, government disclosures, disciplinary actions, and the enhancement of compliance policies and procedures and internal controls. She has handled matters around the world for companies in the manufacturing, life sciences, mining and extraction, financial services, transportation and logistics sectors and assisted them in conducting global risk assessments and audits, developing and implementing compliance programs, creating remediation plans and developing emergency/crisis management strategies. Joan has been recognized multiple times by the National Association of Corporate Directors as one of the most influential professionals in corporate governance.

Before joining Thompson Hine, Joan was a partner at Baker McKenzie for more than ten years, where she served as practice chair of the Compliance & Investigations group and as the Washington, D.C. office litigation chair. Before entering private practice, she held several high-profile government positions, including serving as senior counsel to the Deputy Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice, where she advised on complex criminal litigation, including corporate frauds such as falsely inflating revenue, insider trading and accounting schemes, and managed the operation of the president’s Corporate Fraud Task Force. She also developed the Department’s corporate charging and monitorship policies. Joan also held a variety of positions in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Michigan, including First Assistant and Chief of the Criminal Division, and she was a criminal prosecutor in Chicago at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. Additionally, she worked as a senior trial attorney in the Division of Enforcement at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission where she prosecuted investment frauds involving the commodity futures markets.

Experience

Examples of Joan’s experience include:

  • Representing the special committee of a Fortune 100 manufacturing company’s board of directors in connection with a six-year global investigation involving the company’s agents and distributors, which was resolved with a guilty plea by a subsidiary.
  • Representing a technology company involved in processing mortgage-related documentation for major financial institutions during the financial crisis in connection with a highly publicized investigation by federal and state authorities.
  • Obtaining a favorable settlement with the U.S. government for one of the world’s largest snack food companies following a multi-year overseas investigation of one of the company’s subsidiaries.
  • Serving as co-lead counsel for a publicly traded Latin American petrochemical company in an investigation by two federal agencies of FCPA violations in Brazil.
  • Securing a favorable settlement with the SEC for a major beverage company following an investigation of a foreign subsidiary’s distribution channel activities.
  • Achieving a settlement with multiple law enforcement agencies for a Latin American aerospace manufacturer in a multijurisdictional investigation of is operations in Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. The matter was selected and cited as a landmark case in U.S. and international publications.
  • Obtaining a declination of charges by the U.S. government for a professional infrastructure and environmental services company in connection with allegations of corruption involving a recently acquired foreign subsidiary.
  • Securing a declination of charges by the U.S. government for a software company in connection with activities within the company’s foreign distribution chain.
  • Representing a former executive of a major financial institution in civil litigation before a federal banking agency involving allegations of unsafe and unsound business practices.
Publications
Presentations
  • Panelist, “Setting the Stage: Government Investigation in High-Tech Industries,” Bloomberg Law In-House Forum West, 2019
  • Panelist, Sanctions, Export Control and National Security Conference, Global Investigations Review, 2019
  • Panelist, “Anti-Corruption Issues When Doing Business in Latin America,” The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and International Anti-Corruption Developments, PLI, 2019
  • Speaker, “Enforcement Developments in Latin America,” PLI, 2018
  • Panelist, Developments in Brazil Conference, Latin America American Conference Institute, 2017
  • Panelist, Transparency International Corporate Forum, 2017
  • Speaker, “The SEC Whistleblower,” Corporate Counsel Webcast, 2017
  • Speaker, “The Role of the General Counsel in the Remediation Process,” Corporate Counsel Seminar, 2017
  • Speaker, Ethisphere Roundtable, 2017
  • Speaker, NACD Roundtable, 2016
  • Speaker, Compliance Seminar, District of Columbia Bar, 2016
  • Panelist, American Conference Institute FCPA Panel, 2016
  • Presenter, SEC Whistleblower Program, ABA, 2016
  • Speaker, National Association of Real Estate Investment Managers Political Donations/Lobbying Compliance Seminar, 2016
  • Speaker, “Voluntary Disclosures in Corporate Investigations,” ABA Panel, 2016
  • Speaker, Leading Minds of Governance Forum, NACD, 2016
Distinctions
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2021 in the field of Criminal Defence: White-Collar Crime
  • Top 5 Global Investigations Practice (as D.C. chair of Baker McKenzie’s Compliance & Investigations practice), Global Investigations Review (2016 & 2017)
  • 100 Most Influential People in Corporate Governance and the Boardroom, National Association of Corporate Directors (2016 & 2017)
  • Elite FCPA Practice (as D.C. chair of Baker McKenzie’s Compliance & Investigations practice), Global Investigations Review (2016)
  • Deal of the Year, Latin Lawyer (2016)
  • Department of Justice Director’s Award
  • National Award from the Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Professional and Civic

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association
NewsEvents