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Palmina M. Fava
Palmina M. Fava
Partner — Government Investigations & White Collar Criminal Defense
Partner — Government Investigations & White Collar Criminal Defense

Palmina M. Fava

Palmina M. Fava
New York

The Grace Building
1114 Avenue of the Americas
32nd Floor
New York, New York 10036

Palmina M. Fava

Criminal, Government & Internal Investigations

  • Representing a state-owned energy company in South America in an internal and government investigation of a multi-hundred million dollar alternative energy project 

  • Representing a Silicon Valley-based technology company in internal and government investigations in Latin America, Europe, and Africa 

  • Representing a witness in a government investigation of corruption in Central America 

  • Representing a pharmaceutical company in investigations and compliance matters in Italy, Spain, and China 

  • Represented a commodity industry leader in investigations of fraud in India and Israel; assisted the entity in related litigation

  • Represented a company based in Mexico in an SEC investigation 

  • Represented a Silicon Valley-based technology company in internal investigations in Europe (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, and Germany) related to potential violations of the FCPA; handled the voluntary disclosures of the matters to the DOJ and the SEC; obtained a complete declination from the DOJ and the SEC related to all of the matters (no fines or penalties)

  • Represented a technology company in an internal investigation and in external disputes with business partners related to transactions in the Middle East 

  • Represented a pharmaceutical company in an off-label marketing investigation by the government, including representing and negotiating a settlement agreement of senior sales representatives and managers of the company 

  • Representing Silicon Valley-based technology companies in developing and implementing global compliance programs

  • Representing a technology conglomerate in enhancing its compliance program and conducting risk-based diligence 

  • Representing a multilevel marketing company in developing and implementing a compliance program for its Latin America operations 

  • Representing a private equity fund in anti-corruption due diligence for a $1 billion acquisition in Western Europe 

  • Representing companies based in Korea in developing and implementing global compliance programs 

  • Representing several large financial institutions and private equity funds in transactional due diligence for deals in the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America 

  • Representing an energy company in Brazil in a risk assessment of its business practices and in developing a comprehensive anti-corruption compliance program 

  • Represented pharmaceutical companies in risk assessments of their sales and marketing activities in China, Korea, Thailand, Brazil, Spain, Portugal, and Italy 

  • Represented an energy fund in pre-acquisition anti-corruption due diligence of a billion dollar infrastructure project in Brazil 

  • Represented a pharmaceutical company in an internal risk assessment and analysis of its global anti-corruption compliance program and related processes and protocols; recommended, and assisted in implementing enhancements to the anti-corruption compliance program; analyzed implementation in India, Russia, Turkey, Brazil, China, and the U.K. 

  • Represented a technology company in drafting and implementing a robust global compliance program, including training and due diligence of third parties 

  • Represented companies based in Korea in trade secret litigation; conducted trade secret compliance training for personnel based in Korea 

  • Represented U.S. and Hong Kong-based companies in litigation in the U.S. related to their commercial activities in Hong Kong


  • Fordham University School of Law, J.D. with honors, 1997
  • Georgetown University, B.A. cum laude, 1994
  • Universita di Bologna (Italy), 1993 (Intensive course of study in International Diplomacy)
  • Prior to joining Vinson & Elkins, Palmina practiced for over 20 years at two other large international law firms, based in their New York and Palo Alto offices. She co-chaired the Global Compliance and Disputes practice, served on the Compensation Committee, and held other leadership roles at her former firms.
  • Chambers Global, FCPA (USA), 2024
  • Selected to the 500 Leading Litigators in America, Lawdragon, 2023 and 2024
  • Selected to the 500 Leading Cybersecurity Lawyers in the World, Lawdragon, 2024
  • LatinVex: Latin America’s Top Female Lawyers, 2020–2022
  • Chambers USA, FCPA (New York), 2022 and 2023; Litigation: White Collar Crime & Government Investigations (New York), 2022 and 2023
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (BL Rankings, LLC), Criminal Defense: White-Collar (New York), 2023 and 2024
  • Ethisphere Institute, Attorneys Who Matter List – Specialist, 2014, 2015, and 2017; Rising Star in the fields of FCPA, compliance and ethics, 2012 and 2013
  • Global Investigations Review, member of the team named Most Impressive Investigations Practice and Future Leader in Investigations, 2017
  • Global Investigations Review (GIR) 100, 2020 and 2023
  • New York Times Magazine Top Women Lawyers in New York
  • Fordham Law School, Joseph D. Crowley Award, 1997; Pro Bono Service Award, 1997; Moot Court Distinguished Alumnae Award, 2017
  • Italian Government, Distinguished Service Award Recipient, 1997
  • Burton Award, Distinguished Legal Writing, 2014
  • Kidney and Urology Foundation of America, Woman of the Year Award, 2013
  • Latin Lawyer 250, 2020
  • Legal 500 U.S., Dispute Resolution: Corporate Investigations & White Collar Criminal Defense, 2020–2023
  • Legal 500 Latin America, Compliance and Investigations, 2021 and 2022; “Leading Individual” in Compliance and Investigations, 2023 and 2024
  • Who’s Who Legal: Investigations (USA), 2021, 2024
  • Board of Directors, New Classrooms
  • Vice President and Member: Board of Trustees of the Kidney & Urology Foundation of America
  • Member: Ladies Auxiliary, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion Post
  • New York
  • United States Supreme Court
  • Federal Circuit Court of Appeals
  • the United States District Courts for the Southern District of New York, the Eastern District of New York, and the District of New Jersey
  • Fluent in Italian; proficient in Spanish and Portuguese; working knowledge of French
  • “36th International Conference on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,” December 4, 2019 (speaker)
  • “Crafting and Delivering Effective Upjohn Warnings,” The Anti-Corruption Report, April 18, 2018 (contributor)
  • “Gifts, Third-Party Payments, and Anti-Corruption,” 11th Annual Corporate Counsel Hedge Fund GC and CO Summit, October 4, 2017 (speaker)
  • “Global Anti-Corruption Issues Affecting Wall Street and the Financial Services Industry,” New York City Bar Association October 3, 2017 (speaker)
  • “FCPA in M&A Transactions: Investigations, Post-Acquisition Diligence and Integration,” Strafford Webinar, October 3, 2017 (speaker)
  • “Attorneys Dish on Escobar’s FCA Impact One Year Later,” Law360, June 16, 2017 (contributor)
  • “A Rare Jury Conviction for a Bribe-Taker Proves the Worth of FBI Foreign Corruption Units,” The Anti-Corruption Report, April 26, 2017 (contributor)
  • “DOJ’s Guidance Shows That Compliance Programs Still Matter,” The FCPA Report, March 2017
  • “Tipster’s Win Highlights Importance of Performance Records,” Wall Street Journal’s Risk & Compliance Journal, February 9, 2017
  • “Third Party Due Diligence Post-Unaoil,” Strafford FCPA Seminar New York City, February 1, 2017 (speaker)
  • “Employee Discipline and Internal Investigations After the Yates Memo,” The FCPA Report, November 2016
  • “Privilege and Choice of Law,” American Bar Association treatise on international litigation, August 2016 (co-author of chapter)