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Matthew J. Jacobs
Matthew J. Jacobs
Partner — Government Investigations & White Collar Criminal Defense
Partner — Government Investigations & White Collar Criminal Defense

Matthew J. Jacobs

Matthew J. Jacobs
San Francisco

555 Mission Street
Suite 2000
San Francisco, CA 94105

Matthew J. Jacobs

Experience Highlights

  • Represents the Audit Committee of a public technology company in connection with criminal and civil investigations being conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) 

  • Represented a major Japanese manufacturer in an internal investigation and government investigation regarding an alleged cartel to fix the prices of certain parts

  • Represented a Silicon Valley company in contractual dispute with a major drug wholesaler concerning alleged HIPAA obligations

  • Represents a real estate developer in connection with bid rigging and mail fraud charges stemming from the purchase of properties through foreclosure auctions

  • Currently representing a Japanese corporation in connection with a U.S. Department of Justice investigation based on alleged cartel activity concerning a consumer product

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

  • Has conducted internal investigations of potential Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations around the world, including Russia, China, India, Angola, Nigeria, UAE, Hungary and Saudi Arabia

  • Represents various entities in a nationwide class action alleging collusion in the pricing of various auto parts stemming from one of the largest federal criminal antitrust investigations ever conducted by the DOJ

  • Leads an internal investigation into alleged bribery allegations regarding drilling technology in Africa

  • Currently representing a major Chinese corporation in connection with a U.S. Department of Justice criminal investigation into the alleged theft of manufacturing processes

  • Represents senior executives of pharmaceutical companies alleged to have engaged in improper off-label promotion of drugs

  • Conducted an investigation on behalf of a Board of Directors for financial manipulation of the company’s SEC filings which led to the forced resignation of the CEO of a public Silicon Valley company

  • Represents an executive of a generic pharmaceutical company in connection with a federal price fixing investigation

  • Currently representing a senior executive of a dialysis corporation in connection with alleged False Claims Act violations

  • Currently advising the former CEO of a technology company in connection with antitrust implications of an acquisition and a Department of Justice merger review

  • Represented several major international corporations in significant criminal investigations by the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Justice Department involving the consumer electronics business, which were resolved without criminal charges being filed against clients

  • Represented a senior executive of a pharmaceutical company who was the target of a federal criminal investigation for five years, and successfully persuaded the Department of Justice to close the case without taking action against the client

  • Represented a Special Committee of the Board of Directors of a publicly traded corporation in connection with a criminal investigation, and derivative and class action lawsuits stemming from the company’s stock options practices

  • Represented accountants from a Big Four accounting firm in connection with an international money laundering investigation

  • Represented the former partner of a major New York law firm in connection with a tax investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice

  • Represented various officers and directors of publicly traded companies in connection with investigations and derivative lawsuits of the stock options practices of those companies

  • Represented a major metals company in connection with a criminal environmental investigation under the Clean Air Act

  • Represented a former senior executive of an educational software company in connection with a federal bribery investigation regarding the supply of products to a public school district; the investigation was resolved without charges being brought against the client

  • Represented a publicly traded company in negotiating privilege issues in connection with the criminal trial of a former Chief Executive Officer

  • Conducted an internal investigation of alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by a Chinese subsidiary of a U.S. company

  • Represents a major foreign manufacturer in a major class action that alleges collusion in direct and indirect sales of optical disk drives

  • Represents a Japanese corporation in a major class action that alleges price fixing in cellphone batteries

  • Currently representing a technology company in a lawsuit concerning the use of health care data

  • Represented officers and directors in several derivative and class actions regarding the handling of compensation issues

  • Represented major consumer electronic companies in class actions by direct and indirect purchases, where the class members alleged that they paid higher prices due to internal cartel activity

  • Represented a pharmaceutical company in connection with class action lawsuits based on alleged securities fraud

  • Represented a former officer of a health care company in the successful dismissal of a securities fraud lawsuit

  • Represented a cloud computing company in litigation with a competitor and customer in a copyright infringement lawsuit

  • Advised a Chinese company in connection with product liability cases alleging the misuse of their products resulted in deaths and injuries


  • 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
  • Appointed to federal Criminal Justice Act panel for the Northern District of California
  • Appointed by Chief U.S. District Judge to serve on selection committee for bankruptcy judge
  • Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of California, 1998-2004
  • Judicial clerk to The Honorable Walter J. Cummings, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Chicago
  • Chambers USA, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (California), 2015–2021
  • Legal 500 U.S., Antitrust, 2012–2015, 2018 and 2020; Dispute Resolution: Corporate Investigations & White-Collar Criminal Defense, 2015–2021
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (BL Rankings, LLC), Commercial Litigation (San Francisco), 2020–2022
  • The National Trial Lawyers, Top 100 in Criminal Defense, 2020
  • Legal 500 Latin America, Compliance and Investigations, 2021 and 2022
  • Global Investigations Review (GIR) 100, 2020
  • Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America, 2021
  • Selected to the Northern California Super Lawyers list, Super Lawyers® (Thomson Reuters), 2006−2019
  • Finalist for appointment as U.S. Attorney, 2008
  • Former Adjunct Professor: University of California, Berkeley School of Law (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
  • Barrister of McFettridge Inn of Court
  • Appointed to federal Criminal Justice Act panel for the Northern District of California
  • Appointed by Chief U.S. District Judge to serve on selection committee for bankruptcy judge
  • Former chair of Communications Committee and member of Standards Committee of Olympic Club, nation’s oldest athletic club
  • California
  • Illinois
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Seventh and Ninth Circuits
  • “Is Your Compliance Program Ready for DOJ and Delaware Courts’ Scrutiny?,” Association of Corporate Counsel San Francisco Bay Area Chapter Webcast, May 13, 2020 (speaker)
  • “36th International Conference on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,” December 4, 2019 (speaker)
  • “Revised SEC & DOJ Guidance-What It Means For You,” 9th Annual Ernst & Young US LLP Integrity & Compliance Seminar, November 14, 2019 (speaker)
  • “Satisfying Fiduciary Obligations to Investigate Without Breaking the Bank,” NACD Northern California Chapter Private Dinner with VE, April 18, 2019 (speaker)
  • “FCPA Enforcement and Multi-Jurisdictional Coordination: Key Updates on Evolving Policies, Priorities and Expectations,” 13th Forum on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Houston Hosted by American Conference Institute ACI, January 30, 2019 (moderator)
  • “Preparing for and Managing Risks Involved with Cross-Border Investigations,” V&E Houston Office, September 20, 2018 (panelist)
  • “How to Stay Out of Federal Prison, and Other Helpful Tips,” May 16, 2018 (speaker)
  • “What You Don’t Know About Competition Law Can Hurt You: An Update on Key Antitrust Issues,” V&E Houston Office, December 5, 2017 (speaker)
  • “Pilot Program No Longer: DOJ Makes FCPA Pilot Program Permanent Policy,” V&E FCPA & Global Anti-Corruption Update E-communication, November 30, 2017 (co-author)
  • “Expectations vs. Reality of the Pilot Program One Year Later: How Companies are Changing Their Approach to Voluntary Self-Disclosure and How this is Affecting the Outcome of Investigations,” 10th West Coast Conference on FCPA Enforcement and Compliance, September 26, 2017 (panelist)
  • “Annual SEC DOJ Enforcement 2017 Update,” June 6, 2017 (speaker)
  • “The DOJ and SEC’s New Tough Love Program for Corporations and Executives,” V&E Client Presentation, June 3, 2016 (co-presenter)
  • “Best Practices for Managing Government and Internal Investigations,” September 18, 2015 (co-presenter)
  • “Dangerous Curves Ahead: Companion Regulatory Probes,” Law360, January 14, 2014
  • “DOJ Foreign FCPA Efforts: Antitrust and Compliance,” Ethisphere presentation, November 28, 2012 (co-presenter)
  • “Supreme Court Rules that Sixth Amendment Jury-Trial Protection Applies to Criminal Fines: Factors that Enhance a Fine Beyond the Statutory Maximum Must be Proved Beyond a Reasonable Doubt,” V&E Litigation Update E-communication, July 11, 2012 (co-author)
  • “Chinese Vitamin C Producer Becomes the First Chinese Company to Settle a U.S. Cartel Class Action Case,” V&E Insights E-communication, May 30, 2012 (co-author)