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Karen A. Popp


KAREN A. POPP, is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and global coordinator of the White Collar: Government Litigation & Investigations group, which is recognized by US News as one of the nation’s top-tier practices and by Chambers USA (2012) for its “impressive breadth, with expertise across a wide range of areas." Karen has an expansive practice representing companies and individuals in high-profile matters with legal, political and public relations components, such as corporate criminal defense, internal investigations, SEC Enforcement, Congressional investigations, corporate compliance, and civil and commercial litigation. Chambers USA has recognized her as a leader in the field. Her practice is informed by a wealth of government and private sector experience, including service as a federal prosecutor in New York, a lawyer in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice, and Associate White House Counsel to President Clinton.

Karen represents Sidley clients across a host of industries in a wide range of matters involving allegations of criminal, civil and ethical wrongdoing. Her clients range from major corporations to prominent business and political figures, including a U.S. Presidential Cabinet Member. She has been retained to lead confidential worldwide internal investigations and defend corporations and individuals in government investigations relating to alleged FCPA and OFAC violations, securities and financial fraud, accounting irregularities, kickbacks, tax fraud, qui tams, misuse of corporate assets, false claims, antitrust and other bribery, corruption and fraud. Her recent experience includes:

  • Successfully obtained prosecutorial declinations for companies in significant criminal investigations
  • Representing several companies in connection with ongoing FCPA investigations before the Department of Justice and S.E.C.. These large-scale investigations span dozens of countries across the globe.
  • Representing a major national food distribution corporation in State Attorney General investigations involving alleged false claims in connection with contracts with state entities.
  • Successfully represented a senior executive of an auto parts manufacturer in a criminal cartel investigation into allegations of price-fixing, bid-rigging and market allocation.
  • Successfully represented a U.S. Presidential Cabinet member in DOJ and congressional investigations.

Karen also assists clients in developing, auditing and enhancing corporate compliance and ethics programs, and currently serves as outside counsel to several corporate compliance departments. She helps companies to respond to internal allegations of wrongdoing, conducts training for Boards of Directors, management, compliance departments and other company personnel, and conducts compliance due diligence regarding corporate acquisitions and joint ventures.

Repeatedly recognized for her work, the Legal 500 US notes that, “The ‘highly experienced and knowledgeable’ Karen Popp provides ‘expert and practical advice.’” Benchmark Litigation names Karen a Litigation Star (both nationally and in Washington, D.C.) for her White Collar practice. Washingtonian magazine has included Karen in its current roster of “Top Lawyers in Washington,” and she has been recognized yearly by The Best Lawyers in America in Criminal Defense: White-Collar and Commercial Litigation and is included in the Washington, D.C. edition of the “Super Lawyer” directory, as well as recognized by The International Who's Who of Business Crime Defence Lawyers. Karen has been named for several years to the Top 250 Women in Litigation, a publication honoring the achievements of female lawyers in litigation practices in the United States. The recipient of the “First Annual Transformative Leadership Award” given by InsideCounsel Magazine in 2010, Karen also was the 2006 recipient of the “Star of the Bar” award by the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia. She received the Thurgood Marshall Award given by the New York City Bar Association.

A frequent speaker at national conferences and before various other groups, Karen has provided legal commentary on CNN, Fox News and NPR, and served as a consultant on the television show The West Wing.

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