Hartley M.K. West, co-chair of the Enforcement and Investigations practice group, is a high-stakes trial attorney with extensive experience in cross-border government enforcement defense and asset forfeiture matters. Ms. West frequently advises multinational corporations, privately held companies, and executives facing investigations into alleged violations of fraud, corruption, trade secret, antitrust and money laundering laws. She also conducts internal investigations and reviews on behalf of companies, their boards of directors, and audit committees, as well as representing clients in fraud-related civil litigations – including false labeling actions, securities class actions and shareholder derivative suits – and founder disputes. She has handled matters involving the US DOJ, SEC, CFTC, FTC, and numerous State Attorneys General, as well as government enforcement counterparts across Asia and Europe. 

Ms. West is consistently recognized as a leading lawyer across legal publications. Ranked in Chambers USA in the White Collar Crime and Government Investigations category, she is described as “a brilliant trial attorney and a great strategist” and “incredibly intelligent, hard-working and very savvy.” The Legal 500’s client testimonials describe Ms. West as “accomplished," "one of the top professionals in her field,” “extremely knowledgeable,” “a great strategist,” and “what makes this practice unique given her deep experience and hands on approach.” She has been named among the top Women in Investigations by Global Investigations Review and awarded “California Lawyer of the Year” for Criminal Law. Her cases have been featured in Wall Street Journal reporter Katherine Blunt’s book California Burning (2022), CNBC’s “American Greed” documentary Burned by Greed (2021), Pete Crooks’ book The Setup: A True Story of Dirty Cops, Soccer Moms, and Reality TV (2015), and NPR’s “This American Life” (2011).

In addition to her trial and investigations expertise, Ms. West has briefed and argued dozens of cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

From 2002 to 2017, Ms. West served in the Department of Justice as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California, including as Deputy Chief of its Economic Crimes and Securities Fraud Section. She also clerked for the Honorable John T. Noonan Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Prior to joining Dechert, Ms. West served as a partner at another international law firm.

    • Obtained Deferred Prosecution Agreement for Board Chairman charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California with honest services fraud corruption in connection with benefits provided to San Francisco city official in relation to local real estate development.
    • Represented Fortune 50 multinational oil and gas corporation in investigation into alleged bid rigging by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Korea Federal Trade Commission.
    • Represented CEO of a cryptocurrency mining company in charges by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey and the U.S. SEC into an alleged multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme.
    • Represented the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of media company in investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), securing declinations by both.
    • Won a four-week patent infringement jury trial on behalf of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Australian government’s science agency and inventor of Omega-3 producing canola.
    • Represented political campaign consulting company and CEO in investigation into alleged campaign finance violations by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
    • Represented CEO of a publicly traded computer and software technology company in defending against securities fraud investigation by the SEC.
    • Represented CEO of generic pharmaceutical company in price-fixing investigation by the U.S. DOJ Antitrust Division.
    • Represented independent directors of the Board of a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company in internal investigation of whistleblower allegations regarding misrepresentations to the market and mismanagement by CEO.
    • Represented an executive of a multinational commodity trading company in a U.S. DOJ investigation into alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and money laundering.
    • Represented former management of a large consumer electronics company in an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California into allegations of securities fraud and false labeling.
    • Represented an executive of a ZTE Corporation subsidiary in connection with an indictment by the
    • U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia for alleged visa fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy with the purported goal of unlawfully obtaining and maintaining J-1 visas for Chinese nationals.
    • Defended a Bay Area waste management company executive in a corruption, fraud, and money laundering prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California.
    • Represented the former CFO and Corporate Controller of a publicly traded construction company in an investigation by the SEC arising out of misrepresentations in accounting financials, and the former CFO in multiple civil securities fraud suits and shareholder derivative actions (in Delaware and California).
    • Represented the former Chief Financial Officer (CFO), General Counsel, and Chief Administrative Officer of a large consumer electronics company in investigations by the SEC and multiple State Attorneys General into alleged securities fraud and other violations.
    • Represented Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit, a Chinese semiconductor manufacturer, in challenging a decision by the U.S. Department of Commerce to include it on the Entity List.
    • Represented Taiwanese semiconductor company in internal investigation into alleged trade secret theft.
    • Represented independent members of the Board of Directors of a publicly traded packaging company in an internal investigation arising out of alleged sexual misconduct in the workplace by an executive.
    • Represented member of upper management of biotech company in insider trading investigation by the SEC, securing declination within hours of client proffer.
    • Represented Fortune 50 multinational corporation in internal investigation into alleged false statements in marketing materials.
    • Represented independent members of the Board of Directors of a publicly traded transportation technology company in an internal investigation and management review.
    • Represented Airbnb in relation to multiple matters where the company sought to pursue legal claims against booking guests who had unauthorized parties that resulted in violent crimes, including shootings, and other events resulting in numerous injuries.
    • Represented a former manager at Cisco Systems, Inc. in an insider trading action against him by the SEC.
    • Represented former management of Google, Inc. in antitrust litigation brought by the U.S. DOJ.
    • California White Collar Crime & Government Investigations - Chambers USA (2021-2022)
    • Women in Investigations - Global Investigations Review (2021)
    • Top Women Lawyers - Daily Journal (2021)
    • Award for Excellence - Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity & Efficiency (2017)
    • Better Government Award - Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (2016)
    • California Lawyer of the Year Award - California Lawyer (2014)
    • Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service (2009)
    • Director's Award for Superior Performance - U.S. Department of Justice Executive Office for United States Attorneys (2003)
    • Compensation Clawback Crackdowns – An Emerging Enforcement FocusFCPA Professor, November 7, 2022
    • Why (and How) Public Companies and Traders Should Prepare for Regulatory Scrutiny Post-COVID-19 - Co-author, Corporate Counsel (April 2020)
    • Board Investigations of #MeToo Allegations: What 'Weinstein Clauses' Mean for Sexual Harassment Investigations - Co-author, Wall Street Lawyer (December 2018)
    • Mitigating the Risks of Bribery: Lessons From Recent Trends in Latin America and Asia - Co-author, The Federal Lawyer (January/February 2018)
    • Cross-Border Criminal Investigations Just Became More Complicated - Co-author, The Recorder (September 2017)
    • 6th Annual San Francisco Economic Outlook: Geopolitics, China, and the future of tech - Panelist, UCLA Anderson Forecast (November 2023)
    • 10th Anti-Bribery & Anti-Corruption Compliance China Summit 2023: U.S. Government Law Enforcement Response: from the Criminal Investigation of Trade Secrets and Cross-border Cooperation between Governments - Keynote Speaker, AntiCorruption-Global (October 2023)
    • 2022 Global Enforcement Series: The Penalty Phase: Developments in Sentencing, Forfeiture, and Clawbacks – Women’s White Collar Defense Association (December 2022)
    • 2022 Global Enforcement Series: Views from the Top - Moderator, Women’s White Collar Defense Association (April 2022)
    • Women in Investigations Network Sanctions Panel - Moderator, WIIN (April 2022)
    • National Institute on Blockchain & Digital Currency: Enforcement Actions Panel - Moderator, American Bar Association (September 2020)
    • No Collusion? Developments in Public Corruption Cases - Panelist, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (June 2020)
    • Tips and Trends: The Impact of COVID-19 on White Collar Litigation and Investigations - Panelist, Women's White Collar Defense Association (April 2020)
    • Bimonthly Criminal Antitrust Update - Panelist, American Bar Association (April 2020)
    • Views from West Coast DOJ and SEC Leadership on Current Priorities and Recent Developments -Panelist, American Bar Association "CLE in the City Series" Convention (August 2019)
    • Views from the Top: Hot Topics and Trends in White Collar, Securities, and Antitrust Enforcement - Master of Ceremonies, Federal Bar Association, Northern California Chapter (2011-2021)
    • Crypto-Currency: Hot Topics and Trends in Criminal and Regulatory Enforcement - Moderator, Bar Association of San Francisco (September 2018)
    • Antitrust Investigation in Asia - Moderator, Innoxcell Conference (October 2017)
    • Landmark Criminal Trials: Contrasting Cases for Corporate and Individual Prosecutions - Panelist, Environmental Trials Conference, Law Seminars International (October 2017)
    • Environmental Crimes - Speaker, Fidler Institute on Criminal Justice, Loyola Law School (March 2017)
    • Environmental Crimes and Appellate Advocacy - Faculty, U.S. Department of Justice National Advocacy Center (2016)
    • Women in Investigations Network, Co-Founder, Co-Chair
    • Women’s White Collar Defense Association, Northern California Chapter, Secretary
    • Federal Bar Association, Criminal Law Section, Chair (2017- 2019), Vice Chair (2013-2017)
    • Federal Bar Association, Northern District of California Chapter, Executive Committee
    • American Bar Association, White Collar Section, Member
    • Bar Association of San Francisco, Criminal Justice Section, Executive Committee
    • California Women Lawyers, Member
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Honorable John T. Noonan Jr.