Robert Luskin 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. He is one of the best known and most highly-regarded litigators in Washington, D.C., concentrating in complex criminal litigation at both the trial court and appellate level. Beginning his career in government service, and having later transitioned into private practice, Mr. Luskin has represented clients in virtually every high-profile matter in Washington, D.C. over the last three decades. Mr. Luskin has special experience in cases involving allegations of official corruption. While at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), he helped supervise the ABSCAM investigation, which resulted in the conviction of several members of Congress, and thereafter represented the DOJ in hearings before Congress concerning the investigation.
Since entering private practice, he has represented a Cabinet Officer and senior White House officials of both parties in criminal investigations by Independent Counsels and the DOJ, the senior staff of a U.S. Senator in the Keating Five Senate Ethics Investigation, and Members of Congress from both parties in criminal investigations. Mr. Luskin successfully represented a sitting U.S. District Judge in a criminal trial and appeal, securing the reversal of his client’s conviction before the U.S. Supreme Court and the en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. More recently, he successfully represented Karl Rove in the Special Counsel investigation of a leak of the identity of a CIA officer and a member of Congress in the investigations arising out of the prosecution of lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Mr. Luskin also represented the U.S. Ambassador to the EU in recent impeachment proceedings before Congress.
Mr. Luskin has devoted his attention recently to the particular challenges posed by the representation of foreign corporations and financial institutions in multi-jurisdictional, cross-border criminal investigations and has reached path-breaking agreements in these areas with the DOJ. He has special expertise in civil and criminal investigations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and has represented foreign corporations in three of the five largest FCPA investigations ever resolved with the DOJ and the Securities and Exchange Commission. According to the Global Investigations Review, since 2008, Mr. Luskin has served as lead counsel in the second most substantial FCPA resolutions. Most recently, his role as lead counsel includes the three-country resolution for Airbus, the largest global anti-corruption resolution ever, as well as TechnipFMC, Braskem, SBM, and Alstom.
From 1980 to 1982, he was Special Counsel to the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, where he was responsible for legal and policy issues concerning the Organized Crime Strike Forces, as well as supervision and review of complex undercover operations. Mr. Luskin is a past Chairman of the Committee on RICO, Forfeitures and Alternative Remedies of the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section, a former President of the Harvard Law School Association of the District of Columbia, and has been a member of the D.C. Circuit Judicial Conference. For two decades, he was a Lecturer at the University of Virginia School of Law, where he taught courses in advanced criminal law and labor racketeering, and is currently a member of the faculty of the Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches a course in Global Anti-Corruption. He has lectured at Harvard Law School, the Sorbonne, and other universities.
- The Legal 500 USA, Leading Lawyer, Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense: Advice To Individuals (2020-2022)
- The Legal 500 USA, International Trade (2021-2022)
- Chambers Global USA FCPA - Band 1 (2018-2022)
- GIR’s Top FCPA Practitioner (list of top 30)
- The Legal 500, Legal leader
- The Legal 500, Dispute Resolution - International Trade (2021)
- The Legal 500, Leading Lawyer for Dispute Resolution - Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense: Advice to Corporates (2021)
- Chambers USA, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations - Partner of the Year (2021)
- Chambers USA, FCPA - Band 1 (2021)
- Law 360, MVP (2020)
- United States v. Airbus (serving as lead U.S. counsel in the largest global anti-corruption resolution, involving simultaneous resolutions in the U.S., U.K., and France; and the largest DOJ resolution ever in which DOJ has not required a guilty plea)
- Helped to lead the representation of Goldman Sachs related to FCPA and money laundering investigations into the company’s activities in Malaysia. This matter resulted in the biggest-ever FCPA criminal case, with a $2.3 billion settlement.
- United States v. TechnipFMC (lead counsel in global resolution involving the U.S. and Brazil, the first ever involving simultaneous coordinated resolutions with the DOJ, MPF, and GGU/AGU)
- United States v. SBM (lead counsel in global resolution involving the U.S. and Brazil, the largest DOJ resolution not involving the appointment of a compliance monitor)
- United States v. Braskem (lead counsel in coordinated resolution involving the U.S. and Brazil, formerly the largest DOJ criminal FCPA resolution)
- United States v. Technip, SA (representing a French corporation in reaching a deferred prosecution agreement to resolve charges under the FCPA arising from the Bonny Island investigation)
- United States v. Total, SA (representing a French corporation in reaching a deferred prosecution agreement to resolve charges under the FCPA)
- United States v. Alstom, SA (representing a French corporation in resolving charges under the FCPA in the largest criminal case ever settled by the DOJ at the time)
- BNP-Paribas (successfully representing more than a dozen senior executives of BNP-Paribas in a combined state and federal civil and criminal investigation of potential sanctions violations)
- British Financial Institution (currently representing a significant British financial institution in ongoing criminal and civil investigations of potential violations of U.S., U.K., EU, and UN sanctions)
- Middle-Eastern Financial Institution (currently representing a major Middle Eastern commercial bank in an ongoing criminal and civil investigation of potential violations of U.S. sanctions)
- United States v. Aguilar, 515 U.S. 593 (1995) (representing a U.S. District Judge)
- Laborers’ International Union of North America, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Union of Operating Engineers (developing compliance programs)
Engagement & Publications
- Author, "Caring About ‘Due Care’: Why Criminal Respondeat Superior Liability Outreaches its Justication," 57 Am. Crim. L. Rev. 303 (2020)
- Author, "Foreign Corrupt Practices in US Law", 1 Revue de Droit International d’Assas (Assas Int. L. Rev.) (2018)
- Lectured on issues of jurisdiction and data protection in cross-border, multi-jurisdictional criminal investigations, December 2014, University of Paris-II, Sorbonne
- Litigation Achievements, July 2009
- BRIEFING PAPERS: "Under Pressure: The New Congress and What You Need to Know to Prepare For A Congressional Investigation," September 2007
- Author, "Behold, The Day of Judgment: Is the RICO Pattern Requirement Void for Vagueness," 64 St. John’s L. Rev. 779, January 1990