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Michelle J. Shapiro

Michelle is a partner in the Government Enforcement & White Collar group in Boston.
Michelle Shapiro, Partner at Arent Fox

Michelle focuses on all aspects of white collar criminal defense, including government and internal investigations, as well as global corporate compliance counseling. She is also a member of the firm's Business Compliance & Integrity Monitorships team.

Client Work

For nearly 20 years, Michelle has represented companies and individuals through all phases of investigations, criminal prosecutions and enforcement actions by the US Department of Justice (DOJ), US Attorney’s Offices across the country, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), state attorneys general offices, the US Department of Commerce and the World Bank, among others. Among her proudest achievements are non-public resolutions of government and internal investigations without charges, media coverage or significant business disruption for her clients.

A key component of Michelle's practice is counseling global companies on how to prevent and detect violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and other applicable anti-corruption laws. She helps organizations design, enhance and implement customized compliance programs to address their particular risk profiles, assists with third-party screenings, conducts pre-acquisition anti-corruption due diligence and advises on remediation efforts and other ongoing compliance obligations.

Michelle has extensive experience defending government inquiries and conducting internal investigations related to alleged corruption, money laundering, tax fraud, health care fraud, securities fraud, accounting fraud, computer crimes and related concerns. She has conducted transnational internal investigations involving issues in Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Vietnam and elsewhere. She frequently tackles complex and often conflicting data privacy and attorney-client privilege regimes.

Some of Michelle’s noteworthy representations include:

  • Global health care company: Represented in connection with a wide range of FCPA-related matters. This entailed, among other aspects, conducting internal investigations in numerous jurisdictions; advising on extensive enhancements to the company's global compliance program, including coordinating local legal advice in more than 50 countries; and conducting compliance due diligence on proposed business transactions and third-party relationships around the globe.
  • Global health care company: Represented in connection with an internal investigation into multiple whistleblower reports alleging corruption and other types of unlawful conduct by employees of its Algerian subsidiary.
  • High-profile trader: Represented in connection with ongoing investigations by the DOJ and the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) into conduct related to US residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) trades.
  • Former CEO of a publicly traded pharmaceutical company: Represented in FCPA investigations conducted by the DOJ and the SEC; no enforcement action was brought against the client.
  • CEO of a US military and law enforcement equipment company: Represented a CEO who was indicted for trying to bribe African officials in an undercover sting operation that resulted in the largest single prosecution of individuals in the history of FCPA enforcement. After two years of pre-trial litigation, the DOJ voluntarily dismissed all charges.
  • President of a global security firm: Represented a client who was charged with fraud in connection with US-sponsored rebuilding efforts in Afghanistan. The client ultimately pled guilty and was sentenced to probation, despite a DOJ request for significant jail time.
  • Global engineering firm: Represented in connection with an investigation by the World Bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency into alleged fraudulent and corrupt practices by an Indian subsidiary. The matter was ultimately settled on terms favorable to the client.
  • Hedge fund: Represented in connection with DOJ and SEC investigations into possible insider trading. No enforcement action was brought against the client.
  • Money broker: Represented in connection with a multi-jurisdictional international investigation into alleged manipulation of LIBOR. No US enforcement action was brought against the client and a favorable disposition ensued abroad.
  • Criminal defendant: Represented the lead defendant in an alleged US$400 million criminal accounting fraud case brought in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas.
  • Public company board chair: Represented in investigations, pertaining to stock options backdating, conducted by the company, the DOJ and the SEC.
  • Major health care company: Represented in connection with pre-acquisition anti-corruption due diligence in China and Russia.
  • Former bank executive: Represented in investigation into an illegal tax shelter.
  • Senior marketing officers: Represented the officers of a public pharmaceutical company in an off-label marketing and anti-kickback investigation by the DOJ. No enforcement action was brought against the clients.
  • Chief technology officer: Represented the CTO of an Internet company charged in connection with the then-largest alleged federal criminal consumer fraud in the nation. Obtained a favorable plea agreement negotiated after a successful motion to sever the client's trial from that of co-defendants.
  • Web hosting company: Represented in connection with a DOJ investigation of alleged copyright infringement.
  • Former board chairman: Represented the former chair of the board of a technology company in DOJ and SEC investigations of alleged stock options backdating. No charges were brought against the client, although others were prosecuted.

Previous Work

Prior to joining Arent Fox, Michelle practiced white collar criminal defense at a large multinational law firm and a white collar litigation boutique in Manhattan, NY.

Publications, Presentations, and Recognitions

In 2017, Michelle was selected in Crain's New York Business list of "Leading Women Lawyers in New York City."  She is also a frequent speaker and author on white collar criminal issues.

Publications and Presentations:

  • Interview "Comparing Global Anti-Corruption Laws to Create a Synthesized Compliance Program," The Anti-Corruption Report, Vol. 7, No. 3, February 7, 2018
  • "New Magnitsky Sanctions Expand Enforcement Authority," Law360, January 9, 2018
  • Co-author, "New Global Magnitsky Sanctions expand anti-corruption enforcement authority," January 5, 2018
  • Workshop co-leader, "How to Support Your Business Development, Sales and Marketing Heft within the Confines of Compliance," American Conference Institute's 11th Advanced Forum on FCPA & Anti-Corruption for the Life Sciences Industry, New York, June 26-27, 2017
  • Panelist, "Hot topics for global financial institutions: Multi-National Government Investigations,"  New York, NY, 2015
  • Panelist, "How to Identify What is the Ideal Reporting Structure for Your Audit, Ethics, Legal and Compliance Team," American Conference Institute's 7th Chicago FCPA Boot Camp, Chicago, IL, June 16, 2015
  • Moderator, "Sanctions Compliance Challenges Facing Financial Institutions," ABA Section of International Law, New York, NY, May 19, 2015
  • Co-author, "Anti-corruption compliance lessons from the Avon settlements," The FCPA Report, Vol. 4, No. 1., January 14, 2015
  • Quoted in, "Foreign Official' definition clarified," LEXPERT, October 2014
  • Co-author, "11th Circ. Leaves Room For Debate Over FCPA 'Instrumentality'," Law360, May 20, 2014
  • Co-author, "Importance Of FCPA Due Diligence In Cross-Border M&A," Law360, March 4, 2014
  • Moderator, "Cross Border and Multi-National Investigations," Women, Influence & Power in Law, Washington DC, October 3, 2013
  • Speaker, "Africa: Now Open for Business," October 1, 2013
  • Speaker, "Global Anticorruption Seminar - Compliance and Enforcement in Canada, the US and the UK," September 26, 2013
  • Co-author, "Anti-Bribery and Corruption Laws," Reuters, May 22, 2013
  • Co-author, "Africa - Open for Business," Law360, April 19, 2013
  • Co-author, "Intended Loss' Means...Intended Loss," Law360, November 7, 2011
  • Author, "FCPA + UK Bribery Act = Greater Global Exposure," Complinet, Thomson Reuters, January 28, 2011

Professional Activities


  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • American Bar Associations, Criminal Law Committee
  • Federal Bar Council
  • Member, White Collar Subcommittee of the Women in the Legal Profession Committee of the New York City Bar Association

Activities and Affiliations:

  • Co-Chair of the Development Committee of the Women’s White Collar Defense Association
  • Member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Committee on Women in the Legal Profession, White Collar Crime Subcommittee
  • Law360 White Collar Editorial Advisory Board, 2014-2015