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Jessica S. Heim
Jessica S. Heim
Partner — Government Investigations & White Collar Criminal Defense
Partner — Government Investigations & White Collar Criminal Defense

Jessica S. Heim

Jessica S. Heim
San Francisco

555 Mission Street
Suite 2000
San Francisco, CA 94105

start quote symbolWhat I love about my work is being able to counsel my clients through incredibly stressful times. I’m able to bring a calming presence to very intense situations, and I know my clients have particularly appreciated that support in addition to my mounting the strongest and most compelling legal case possible. end quote symbol
Jessica S. Heim

Jessica helps clients—specifically companies, their Audit Committees or individual executives—respond to issues that arise through whistleblower hotlines or government inquiries of every sort. She works with them to conduct internal investigations and advises and defends them in government investigations and enforcement actions, whether brought by U.S. or international regulators. Jessica has counseled clients in a range of industries, including banking, food, oil and gas and technology, to name just a few. She has extensive experience with the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), state Attorneys General, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Commerce Department, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and several other government agencies.

Jessica also assists clients with proactive compliance measures, finding creative ways to develop and implement formal compliance programs and processes and defending those programs to regulators. She has also helped clients navigate matters involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, antitrust offenses, economic and trade sanctions, securities violations, False Claims Act and trade secrets.

As a junior associate, Jessica launched her government investigations and white collar career by helping V&E represent a client in the Bernie Madoff case, one of the largest white collar criminal investigations of the century. Today she handles everything from routine compliance activities to the most high stakes scrutiny a company or executive can face. Jessica serves as the Hiring Partner in the firm’s San Francisco office.

Experience Highlights

  • Represents the Audit Committee of a public oil and gas services company in connection with DOJ and SEC investigations concerning alleged FCPA violations in West Africa and the Middle East and counseling company regarding compliance program 

  • Represents the Audit Committee of a public multinational technology company involved in an investigation before the SEC and DOJ to conduct an independent investigation into the company’s compliance with the FCPA in Russia, China, Hong Kong, India and other countries and counseling company regarding compliance program; following numerous presentations to regulators on Audit Committee’s behalf, DOJ closed its investigation with no action taken against company

  • Represents oil and gas services company in connection with Commerce and OFAC investigations into alleged economic and trade sanctions violations; following voluntary disclosures and presentations to regulators on company’s behalf, both agencies closed their investigations with no action taken against client 

  • Represents an executive of a food company in federal criminal price-fixing investigation by the Antitrust Division of DOJ 

  • Represents a former employee of a pharmaceutical company in connection with a major investigation of potential FCA violations by the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s Office 

  • Represents senior-level banking executive in investigations by the SEC, DOJ, OCC and California AG in connection with alleged securities and consumer fraud 

  • Represents an executive of a major pharmaceutical company in a criminal investigation by the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in connection with a federal price fixing investigation

  • Conducted internal investigation of FCPA compliance for a public multinational technology company regarding sales practices in the Middle East


  • University of California-Hastings, J.D. magna cum laude, 2006 (Fraternities: Thurston Society, Order of the Coif; Co-Editor in Chief, Hastings International and Comparative Law Review, 2005–2006)
  • Barnard College, Columbia University, B.A. cum laude, 1998
  • Selected to the Northern California Rising Stars list, Super Lawyers® (Thomson Reuters), 2016 and 2017
  • Legal 500 U.S., Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense, 2019 and 2020
  • Member: Women In Securities (WISE)
  • Member: Women Corporate Directors (WCD) – Northern California Chapter
  • Mentor: Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Success in Law School Mentoring Program, 2014–Present
  • Member: California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ)
  • Member: Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF)
  • Member: Steering Committee – Young WCC Lawyers (Northern California), ABA Criminal Division
  • Member: American Bar Association
  • Member: Women’s White Collar Defense Association
  • Member: Barnard Alumni Association
  • Member: University of California-Hastings Alumni Association
  • New York
  • California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • Northern, Central and Eastern Districts of California
  • U.S. Bankruptcy, Eastern District of California
  • French (fluent)
  • “Navigating Cross-Border Activity with New Compliance Laws,” The Benchmark Litigation 5th Annual Women in Litigation Forum, June 20, 2019 (panelist)
  • “How to Stay Out of Federal Prison, and Other Helpful Tips,” May 16, 2018 (speaker)
  • “How to Leverage Technology and Avoid its Pitfalls to Conduct an Effective Internal Investigation,” 10th West Coast Conference on FCPA Enforcement and Compliance, September 26, 2017 (panelist)
  • “Government Investigations and Compliance,” Benchmark Women in Litigation Forum – West, June 20, 2017 (speaker)
  • “The UK’s Serious Fraud Office Successfully Chips Away Privilege Protections in the Investigations Context,” V&E FCPA & Global Anti-Corruption Update E-communication, May 24, 2017 (co-author)
  • “The DOJ and SEC’s New Tough Love Program for Corporations and Executives,” V&E Client Presentation, June 3, 2016 (co-presenter)
  • Co-Speaker, Stanford Law School, L.L.M. Corporate Governance and Practice Seminar (February 2015)
  • “Preparing for and Conducting Witness Interviews,” CLEs (January, February & March 2015)
  • FCPA and Anti-Corruption trainings for the Middle East and APAC regions of U.S. companies
  • “Shareholder Suits: You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” Corporate Board Member, January/February 2009 (co-author with Walter Stuart)
  • “France: Banning Legal Pluralism by Passing a Law,” Hastings International and Comparative Law Review, Winter 2006
  • “Get Outta Here! Unhappy Shareholders Are Trying to Eject Entire Boards,” Corporate Board Member, Feature Story, Spring 2001
  • “The Coming Proxy Wars,” Corporate Board Member, March/April 2002
  • “D&O Premiums: Up, Up & Away,” Corporate Board Member, May/June 2002
  • “Bill Ford Appointed a Chief Governance Officer. Should You?,” Corporate Board Member, Jan/Feb 2003