Christopher Steskal is Chair of the firm’s White Collar & Regulatory Defense Group. Chris is an experienced trial lawyer with nearly 25 years of experience litigating both criminal and civil matters. He has handled cases in the areas of securities fraud, unfair competition, trade secret theft, public corruption, FCPA, tax fraud, insider trading, stock option backdating, mail and wire fraud, antitrust, and money laundering, among others. Chris has represented audit committees and companies while leading internal investigations in cases involving accounting fraud, bribery, embezzlement, kick-backs, tax compliance, export compliance, and health and safety issues, among others. Chris also frequently represents companies and individuals before the DOJ, SEC, and other regulatory agencies.
Before joining Fenwick & West, Chris served as a federal prosecutor in San Francisco for six years and prosecuted a wide variety of white collar crimes. He was a member of the Securities Fraud Section and one of the founding members of the Northern District’s Stock Options Backdating Task Force. Chris worked closely with the SEC in San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and elsewhere while conducting corporate fraud investigations. During his tenure as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Chris represented the United States in numerous jury trials, evidentiary hearings and appeals before the Ninth Circuit. He was lead counsel in several stock option backdating investigations involving Silicon Valley companies, investigations of technology companies for revenue recognition fraud, and other corporate fraud investigations.
Honorable James R. Browning, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Honorable Harry L. Hupp, United States District Court for the Central District of California
Chair, Securities Litigation Section, Bar Association of San Francisco
Executive Committee, Northern District of California Chapter, Federal Bar Association
Developing the Next Generation of Leaders in the Securities Litigation Bar, The Bar Association of San Francisco, March 2010
Must A Corporation Disclose Privileged Information To Avoid Prosecution, And If It Does So, Will It Be At The Mercy Of The Plaintiffs' Bar? – Recent Developments In DOJ Policy And Case Law, Fenwick & West Securities Litigation Update, January 21, 2009
DOJ Targets Approximately 20,000 Investors as Co-Conspirators in Criminal Tax Fraud Investigation of UBS, Fenwick & West Litigation Alert, November 19, 2008
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: The Next Corporate Scandal?, Fenwick & West Securities Litigation Alert, January 28, 2008
Insider Trading Is Back, Fenwick & West Securities Litigation Alert, September 4, 2007
Madoff Behind Bars, but Probe Grinds Forward, Associated Press, July 1, 2009
Peter John Schuller, Is Madoff the Tip of the Iceberg?, KQED Radio, June 30, 2009
Tough Post-Enron Regulations No Match for Satyam CEO, Investor's Business Daily, January 8, 2009
Thomas Bron, Greasy Palms: When bribery investigations become public, expect follow-on civil suits, California Lawyer, September 2008
Mid-year Report on Insider-Trading Enforcement, Compliance Week, July 25, 2008
Chris started his law career in the litigation group at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York.