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Matthew J. Jacobs

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Jacobs, Matthew J.

Matt is the founding partner and head of the San Francisco office of Vinson & Elkins, and he has offices in both San Francisco and Palo Alto. A former federal prosecutor in the Northern District of California with more than 20 years of experience, Matt is widely recognized as a leading trial lawyer. He has particular expertise in government investigations and complex commercial litigation.

Matt has a national and international practice representing companies and executives in high stakes matters involving antitrust, trade secrets, health care, and commercial disputes including IP litigation and consumer class actions. Matt is a seasoned trial lawyer who has tried more than a dozen criminal and civil cases to verdict. As a federal prosecutor in San Francisco, Matt prosecuted many high profile cases involving securities, health care and energy. As a defense attorney, Matt has gained a track record of persuading prosecutors to limit or abandon cases before charges are filed, or fighting hard for his clients where no appropriate resolution can be found. Matt is particularly experienced in “bet-the-company” and high profile matters. He has extensive experience dealing with the press, first as an award winning journalist in Louisiana, and later as the federal prosecutor responsible for handling all media inquiries on behalf of U.S. Attorney (now FBI Director) Robert S. Mueller III. As a prosecutor, Matt was the recipient of the Justice Department’s Director’s Award and the FBI’s Director’s Award.

Matt is co-head of the firm’s Government Investigations and White Collar Criminal Defense Practice Group.

Representative Experience
Investigations (Criminal, Governmental, Internal)
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  • Currently representing a major Japanese corporation in one of the largest criminal antitrust investigations ever conducted concerning allegations of price fixing in the manufacture of major consumer parts
  • Currently representing a Chinese corporation in connection with a U.S. Department of Justice investigation and threatened prosecution into the theft of trade secrets involving green energy technology
  • Currently representing a Japanese corporation in connection with a U.S. Department of Justice investigation based on alleged cartel activity concerning a consumer product
Commercial Litigation
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  • Currently representing a Silicon Valley technology company in a commercial dispute over rights to software
  • Currently representing a Japanese supplier in class action multidistrict litigation concerning alleged cartel activities in the optical disk drive market
  • Currently representing a Japanese corporation in class action lawsuits consolidated in multidistrict litigation involving cellphone and laptop batteries.
Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Education and Professional Background
  • Stanford Law School, J.D. 1992 (Order of the Coif; Associate Editor, Stanford Law Review)
  • Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, M.S., with honors, 1985
  • The American University, B.A., cum laude, 1983
  • Judicial clerk to The Honorable Walter J. Cummings, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Chicago
  • Admitted to practice: California, 1994; Illinois, 1993; Supreme Court of the United States, The U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Seventh and Ninth Circuits
Professional Recognition
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  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations, 2015
  • Legal 500 U.S. in M&A antitrust, 2012-2014
  • Recognized as a Bay Area “Super Lawyer,”  2006 - 2012
Activities and Affiliations
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  • Former Adjunct Professor: University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall) (Prosecution and Defense of White Collar Crime)
  • Member and Former Chairman: Steering Committee of the Criminal Justice Panel, San Francisco Bar Association
  • Vice President: San Jose Steering Committee of Federal Bar Association
Publications and Presentations
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  • "Dangerous Curves Ahead: Companion Regulatory Probes," Law360, January 14, 2014
  • "What Companies Don’t Know Can Hurt Them: Dealing With Competitors," Corporate Counsel Section of the State Bar of Texas Newsletter, Winter 2013 (co-author)
  • "DOJ Foreign FCPA Efforts: Antitrust and Compliance," Ethisphere presentation, November 28, 2012 (co-presenter)

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Matthew J. Jacobs
525 Market Street
Suite 2750
San Francisco, CA 94105

Tel  +1.415.979.6990
Fax  +1.415.651.8786

Alternate Office
1841 Page Mill Road
Suite 200-B
Palo Alto, California  94304
Tel  +1.650.687.8214
Fax  +1.650.618.2666


Commercial and Business Litigation

Government Investigations and White Collar Criminal Defense

Intellectual Property Litigation