John WF Chesley

John Chesley is a litigation partner in Gibson Dunn’s Washington, D.C. Office. He focuses his practice on white collar criminal enforcement matters and government contracts litigation. He represents corporations, audit committees, and executives in internal investigations and before government agencies in matters involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, procurement fraud, environmental crimes, securities violations, antitrust violations, and whistleblower claims. He also has significant trial experience and appears regularly in courts and administrative tribunals, particularly before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals.

Mr. Chesley has been named one of the “world’s leading young investigations specialists” by Global Investigations Review “40 Under 40,” as well as a “Rising Star” in the Government Contracts field by Law 360. He also has been recognized as a “Rising Star” by Washington DC Super Lawyers.

A representative sampling of reported client engagements include:

United States & SEC v. Hewlett-Packard Co. et al. – Negotiated a successful resolution of FCPA claims brought by DOJ and the SEC, including no criminal disposition for the parent issuer, no compliance monitor, and a substantially reduced financial settlement;
Raytheon Co. v. United States – Won a $59 million judgment after a three-week trial before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in a dispute with the Government concerning pension costs and successfully defended the trial court’s judgment on appeal to the Federal Circuit;
In the Matter of Theodore W. Urban – Successful trial defense of the former General Counsel of a broker-dealer charged with failing to supervise a broker, culminating in an acquittal on all charges;
SEC v. General Electric Co. – Obtained a declination of criminal prosecution by DOJ in an FCPA investigation arising out of the Oil-for-Food Program and negotiated a favorable settlement with the SEC;
The Allied Defense Group, Inc. – Obtained declinations of criminal and civil enforcement action by DOJ and the SEC in a joint FCPA investigation arising from the arrest of a former employee in the 2010 “FCPA Sting” as well as the dismissal of a federal employment lawsuit brought by the former employee;
United States v. John Ferro – Obtained dismissal of all charges stemming from an unconstitutional search and seizure; and
United Parcel Service, Inc. v. Bureau of Safety & Regulation – Obtained the reversal of an administrative occupational safety and health citation in the Court of Appeals of Michigan and then successfully defended the Court of Appeals’ decision before the Michigan Supreme Court.

A representative sampling of confidential client engagements include:

Representation of a major defense contractor in multiple litigated proceedings before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals;
Successfully persuaded the SEC not to bring charges, post-Wells notice, against the CFO of a mining company in connection with allegations of FCPA violations;
Representation of a defense contractor in a Procurement Integrity Act investigation being conducted by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, as well as suspension and debarment proceedings before the Naval Office of Acquisition Integrity;
Representation of a Big 4 accounting firm in a Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations inquiry into international taxation matters;
Representation of a major multi-national in connection with SOX whistleblower claims raised by an attorney formerly employed by an Indian subsidiary;
Representation of a defense contractor in an internal review of compliance with export laws, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations;
Representation of a defense contractor before the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Defense Contract Audit Agency, and SEC in connection with SOX whistleblower claims raised by the contractor’s chief compliance officer;
Representation of a defense contractor in a grand jury investigation arising from allegations of improper political contributions;
Representation of a real estate development firm in a grand jury investigation arising from alleged violations of the Clean Water Act;
Representation of a senior chemical company executive in connection with criminal antitrust investigations in the United States and Canada and collateral, multi-district civil litigation in the United States; and
Buy- and sell-side representation of numerous clients across a multitude of industries in connection with pre-acquisition FCPA due diligence reviews.

Mr. Chesley publishes and speaks regularly on legal developments, particularly involving the FCPA. In addition, he is frequently quoted in print publications such as Bloomberg BNA, Compliance Week, Corporate Counsel, Global Investigations Review, Law 360, The FCPA Report, and SEC Today and has appeared as a legal commentator on the Fox News Channel.

Mr. Chesley graduated with honors from the Georgetown University Law Center in 2005, where he attended classes while working for the National Criminal Enforcement Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division. He received his undergraduate degree with honors from the University of Maryland in 2001 and also is a former police officer.

Mr. Chesley is a member of the bars of the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia and has a Secret security clearance.

Good to know

Areas of Practice 1) Antitrust and Competition, 2) Government Contracts, 3) Labor and Employment, 4) Securities Enforcement, 5) Securities Litigation and 6) White Collar Defense and Investigations
Law School Georgetown University Law Center,, J.D. 2006
Education University of Maryland, B.A., 2001
Bar Member / Association District of Columbia Bar Association, Maryland State Bar Association
Most recent firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
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