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The Expected and Unexpected Compliance Risks from the Coronavirus


Speaker(s): Jessica S. Heim, Matthew J. Jacobs, Michael W. Ward
Recorded on: Jun. 17, 2020
PLI Program #: 302300

Jessica Heim is a Partner in the San Francisco office of Vinson & Elkins LLP and a member of the firm’s Government Investigations and White Collar Criminal Defense practice.  Jessica counsels clients on a wide range of compliance issues and assists them with proactive compliance measures, finding creative ways to develop and implement formal compliance programs and processes and defending those programs to regulators. Jessica’s practice also involves conducting internal investigations, advising and defending clients in government investigations and enforcement actions brought by U.S. or international regulators.  She represents corporations, Audit Committees, and individuals in criminal and internal investigations involving the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, state Attorneys General, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Commerce Department, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, and other government agencies.

Jessica has counseled clients in a range of industries, including banking, food, oil and gas and technology, to name just a few. She has helped clients navigate high-stakes matters involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, antitrust offenses, economic and trade sanctions, securities violations, False Claims Act, and trade secrets.

Jessica graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law and is a member of the Order of the Coif.


Matt Jacobs is Managing Partner of the San Francisco office of Vinson & Elkins and Co-Chair of the firm’s Government Investigations and White Collar Criminal Defense practice. Matt’s practice focuses on advising clients on building robust compliance programs and serving as trusted counsel in internal and government investigations. He advises Boards of Directors, Audit Committees and General Counsels on high stakes matters involving a range of issues, including FCPA, antitrust, trade secrets, and health care.

Matt is a seasoned trial lawyer who has tried more than a dozen criminal and civil cases to verdict. A former federal prosecutor in the Northern District of California with more than 20 years of experience, Matt has prosecuted many high profile cases and is particularly experienced in “bet-the-company” matters. He has extensive experience dealing with the press, first as an award winning journalist, later as the prosecutor responsible for handling media inquiries on behalf of U.S. Attorney (and former FBI Director) Robert Mueller, and now as a legal commentator for news outlets relating to the Mueller investigation and other hot topics.

Matt has tremendous skill in providing business-focused advice to clients regarding appropriate company practice in the midst of alleged misconduct. Matt’s background with the government, coupled with his depth of experience in criminal and civil defense matters, enables him to deliver a unique, well-rounded approach to clients in need of innovative, yet practical and effective solutions.

Matt is a graduate of Stanford Law School and is  Chambers-rated and ranked by the Legal 500.


Mike Ward is a Partner in the San Francisco office of Vinson & Elkins and a member of the firm’s Government Investigations and White Collar Criminal Defense practice.  Mike’s practice is built around implementing best practices in corporate compliance programs to demonstrate companies’ commitments to meeting their obligations.  He has deep experience advising and defending companies, which involves efficiently targeting any wrongdoing at its core and eliminating government misperceptions.

Mike has the rare background of trial experience as a federal prosecutor combined with a business orientation acquired in-house in various companies and industries. Prior to joining V&E, Mike served as chief risk and compliance officer for a Silicon Valley-based networking equipment company where he led a worldwide ethics and compliance program and enterprise risk management program.  He also oversaw a six-year Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation spanning multiple countries, which concluded with a declination from the Department of Justice and a non-bribery civil resolution with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

In his 16 years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the DOJ, Mike led numerous criminal investigations, tried over 50 jury trials, and routinely assessed the effectiveness of corporate compliance programs. He oversaw the prosecution of all categories of federal crimes, including corruption, insider trading, money laundering, bank and government contracting fraud, price fixing, and export control violations. In recognition of his contributions, Mike was recognized with the National Director’s Award for Outstanding Performance.

Mike received his J.D. from George Washington University and is a graduate of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business Executive Program.