Image: Jay Darden

Jay Darden

Partner, Litigation Department


John S. (Jay) Darden is a partner in the Investigations and White Collar Defense practice at Paul Hastings, and is based in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. 

Mr. Darden has practiced law for 25 years, both as a defense attorney and a federal prosecutor. He was recently named “MVP for White Collar” by Law360 (2023), and Mr. Darden has repeatedly been recognized in Chambers-USA, Chambers-Global, and Legal500/Latin America, where clients have described him as:

  • a very sophisticated and strategic lawyer
  • great in front of boards
  • great ability to distill a complex situation into something that the client can manage effectively

Mr. Darden is listed in Who’s Who Legal: Investigations, and has been named as a Washington D.C. “Super Lawyer” every year since 2013.

Mr. Darden’s clients are typically companies, as well as executives and individuals, that are targets of high-risk investigations by the U.S. government for all manner of white-collar criminal and civil allegations, including bribery, false books-and-records, inadequate internal controls, securities fraud, insider trading, accounting fraud, embezzlement, healthcare fraud and false claims, anti-kickback violations, tax fraud, export violations, false statements, and campaign finance violations.  Mr. Darden also conducts internal investigations for clients into these same types of allegations.

Over the last several years, Mr. Darden has defended a number of clients in investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Mr. Darden’s public, high-profile FCPA representations have included: ABB Ltd. (Switzerland); Braskem S.A. (Brazil); Embraer (Brazil); Alstom S.A. (France); TechnipFMC plc (U.K.); and Orthofix (U.S.). Mr. Darden also has been successful in obtaining DOJ and SEC declinations for FCPA-related clients, some of which are public and some of which are not. Mr. Darden is included among the top lawyers with the most FCPA representations. 

Mr. Darden also provides clients with anti-corruption compliance advice and represents companies in connection with both DOJ/SEC-appointed monitorships and self-monitorships.

Mr. Darden also assists companies by coordinating U.S. investigations with parallel corruption investigations by foreign authorities. Paul Hastings’ experience in this area is unmatched.

In part based on Mr. Darden’s FCPA work, over the last several years Paul Hastings has received numerous recognitions in the legal press, including “Most Important Development of the Year” by Global Investigations Review (2023), “Compliance Group of the Year” by Law360 (2023, 2022, 2020), “White Collar Group of the Year” by Law360 (2022, 2021), “Most Impressive Investigations Practice of the Year” by Global Investigations Review (2021, 2017), and “Global Dispute of the Year/Latin America” by The American Lawyer (2017).

As a prosecutor at DOJ, Mr. Darden served as an Assistant Chief of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, where he worked on healthcare fraud and anti-kickback violations, FCPA, bank fraud, insurance fraud, money laundering, and false statement matters. During his time at DOJ, Mr. Darden tried multiple cases to verdict. In addition, he trained prosecutors and federal agents in healthcare fraud matters at the Justice Department’s National Advocacy Center. For his work as a prosecutor in healthcare fraud matters, Mr. Darden received the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service.

Prior to attending law school, Mr. Darden worked on Capitol Hill for three years as an aide to former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia.


  • University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1999 (Managing Editor of the Virginia Law Review)
  • Washington and Lee University, B.A., in Politics, cum laude, 1993


In Private Practice

  • Lead and co-lead counsel in defense of multiple publicly-traded companies in high-profile FCPA resolutions of DOJ, SEC, and overseas investigations involving conduct in the Bahamas, Brazil, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Germany, Ghana, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, and other countries.
  • Lead and co-lead counsel conducting internal investigations for multiple public and non-public companies into possible FCPA violations in Argentina, Brazil, China, Qatar, Malaysia, Mexico, Thailand, Venezuela, and other countries.
  • Lead and co-lead counsel securing declinations from DOJ and/or SEC in FCPA investigations involving conduct in Afghanistan, Brazil, China, and other countries.
  • Lead and co-lead counsel representing companies based in the U.S., Brazil, France, and Switzerland in connection with worldwide anti-corruption compliance monitorships and self-monitorships imposed as part of the resolution of FCPA investigations.
  • Lead counsel representing numerous executives and employees individually in DOJ and SEC investigation of alleged FCPA violations.
  • Lead counsel representing founder of private company in investigations by DOJ and the Department of Commerce (BIS) for alleged export violations.
  • Lead counsel representing a reporter subpoenaed by the DOJ for testimony and documents identifying confidential sources.
  • Lead counsel representing employees of private equity company in DOJ and SEC investigation of alleged accounting fraud.
  • Counsel to board of directors of a publicly-traded company in connection with DOJ and SEC investigations of alleged FCPA violations in Mexico.
  • Co-lead counsel representing a company under investigation for alleged violations of the False Claims Act.
  • Co-lead counsel representing the board of directors of a hospice company under investigation for alleged violations of the False Claims Act.
  • Lead counsel representing a current executive of a pharmaceutical company under investigation for alleged violations of the False Claims Act based on kickbacks and off-label marketing.
  • Lead counsel representing a former executive of a hospital company under investigation for alleged violations of the False Claims Act.
  • Lead counsel representing current and former executives of a dialysis company under investigation for alleged violations of the False Claims Act.
  • Counsel in defense of a hospital and physicians in a federal civil False Claims Act case alleging fraudulent Medicare billings and whistleblower retaliation.
  • Co-lead counsel representing a congressional campaign committee in connection with the DOJ’s and the Federal Elections Commission’s (FEC) investigations of embezzlement by a former campaign treasurer.
  • Counsel representing a member of Congress in an investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE).
  • Counsel in defense of a former controller of a publicly-traded company in an accounting and securities fraud investigation.
  • Co-trial counsel in a civil fraud and conspiracy action against corporate and individual defendants resulting in an $8 million jury verdict in favor of client.

In Government

  • Lead counsel in the prosecution of worldwide FCPA violations by a non-U.S. company resulting in corporate deferred prosecution agreements, corporate guilty pleas, combined criminal and civil penalties of $185 million, and a three-year monitorship of the parent company’s FCPA compliance program and related internal controls, and books and records.
  • Co-lead counsel in an investigation of allegations of fraud in connection with post-disaster claims under the National Flood Insurance Program.
  • Lead prosecutor in Medicare Fraud Strike Force take-downs of over 45 health care fraud defendants, and in charge of supervising investigations, grand jury presentations, plea negotiations, and trials.
  • Lead counsel in an investigation of nationwide anti-kickback violations by the sales force of a publicly-traded pharmaceutical company.
  • Co-counsel in an investigation of allegations of FCPA violations by a non-U.S. based company, working with the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office.

Engagement & Publications

Mr. Darden is a frequent writer and speaker on white-collar issues. Recent speaking engagements and articles include:

  • “FCPA Whistleblowers – Perspectives from the Defense and Plaintiffs,” PLI (2023)
  • “Financial Crimes,” International Law Institute (2022)
  • Co-author, “Brazil’s Five-Year Anti-Corruption Plan: Takeaways for In-House Counsel and Anti-Corruption Lawyers,” Anti-Corruption Report (2021)
  • “Anti-Corruption Enforcement Proceedings in Brazil and the U.S.,” Brazil-US Under 40 White Collar Initiative (2021)
  • “Brazil’s Rising Enforcement and Fine Regime,” Forensic Risk Alliance Webinar (2021)
  • “Ethical Leadership and Economic Development: Ethics in Monitorships,” Laboratório Internacional do ComplianceLab (2020)
  • “Challenges and Opportunities: Views from the Defense Perspective,” Latin Lawyer-GIR Interactive Anti-Corruption & Investigations (2020)
  • “The Prosecutor’s Perspective: Interactive Compliance Seminar,” International Anti-Corruption Academy (2019)
  • “Anti-Corruption Panel Discussion,” ABA International Section Conference (2019)


  • Past member, Law360 White Collar Editorial Advisory Board
  • Past member, Alumni Council, Washington & Lee University/Williams School
  • Class Manager, University of Virginia/School of Law

Practice Areas


Anti-Corruption and FCPA

Life Sciences and Healthcare

Investigations and White Collar Defense

White Collar Defense




District of Columbia Bar

Georgia Bar


University of Virginia, School of Law, J.D. 1999

Washington and Lee University, B.A. 1993

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