Ira Raphaelson

Senior Counsel, Washington, DC



Ira Raphaelson is one of a handful of lawyers who has been a senior executive and general counsel of public companies, independent director, law firm partner, Presidential appointee, career prosecutor, trial lawyer, and academic. Ira's extensive courtroom and boardroom experience in venues around the world make him a pragmatic and effective business and governance counselor, as well as strategic planner and advisor for bet-the-company litigation and market-entry. Ira adds his significant competition experience in compliance, litigation against government and private plaintiffs, and securing merger and joint purchasing approvals to the firm's globally recognized competition practice.

Since joining White & Case in January 2019, Ira has, among other things:

  • assisted clients in assessing and updating compliance policies and training in antitrust, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), Anti-Money Laundering, and Sanctions;
  • provided strategic advice in both private and governmental litigation;
  • advised Boards of Directors, General Counsel, and CEOs on special committee and monitorship issues;
  • advised the CEO of a multi-national on restructuring and staffing of legal and compliance functions post-enforcement settlements;
  • advised a number of gaming and diversified leisure clients on business opportunities, U.S. regulatory requirements, corporate structure, and cash management during government-mandated COVID shutdowns;
  • advised a mortgage internet company on sanctions compliance; and
  • helped advise a U.S. based multi-national on navigating employee discipline and access issues during a EU-based antitrust investigation.

As General Counsel of Las Vegas Sands Corp, Ira's presence and governance enhancements were cited as mitigating factors in settlements with the Justice Department, SEC, and Nevada Gaming Commission. His work included strategic oversight of related whistleblower and shareholder derivative cases as well as unrelated efforts to expand and defend the company's industry leading brand. These efforts included working with domestic gaming and other regulators, as well as those in Macau and Singapore. In addition, Ira assisted Sands' international development efforts in Spain, Korea, and Japan.

As General Counsel of Scientific Games Corp, Ira was responsible for governance matters and regulatory compliance in more than 50 countries throughout the world, with manufacturing facilities in the US, Canada, UK, Austria, Chile, and China. He also assisted the company in its entry into China.

As general counsel at both companies, Ira also served as Secretary to the Board and part of the senior executive team with regard to international expansion and marketing. At various times, he also oversaw aviation, compliance, government relations, human resources, internal audit, and security.

Among the legal issues Ira managed at both companies were extensive intellectual property portfolios and litigation around the world. Sands engaged in substantial litigation to protect its name in multiple countries around the globe. These efforts included protecting its name, iconic architecture, and even site appropriations for unlicensed, offshore, online gaming sites. At Scientific Games, in addition to overseeing IP due diligence in M&A, Ira supervised a large numbers of patent-related matters, including successful defense of its own patents against an array of challenges, including Walker Process. During his tenure at Scientific Games, Ira also became a trusted advisor to the US state and overseas lotteries on the question of cross-border, online gaming and the impact of emerging technology on biometric identification and geo-location.

Both as a general counsel and as a private practitioner, Ira had extensive experience designing and overseeing human resource policies including those involving whistleblowing and sexual harassment. As part of that work, he conducted dozens of internal investigations – a topic about which he serves as a frequent lecturer at legal continuing education conferences and law schools.

As an international law firm partner, he co-chaired his prior firm's white collar practice and advised numerous multi-national companies on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), anti-money laundering (AML), False Claims Act (FCA), sanctions, and competition issues, as well as defending individual senior government officials and corporate executives. A nationally recognized authority and lecturer on the FCPA, he conducted numerous investigations and negotiated resolutions for clients around the world. Ira represented clients in some of the largest health care cases and in the accounting cases leading up to the adoption of the Sarbanes-Oxley law. He has advised some of the world's largest financial institutions on market entry and anti-money laundering compliance serving as part of the team that secured PRC and US government approvals for the entry of the first US investment bank into China. Ira also tried eight RICO matters to juries, including two as a private practitioner.

Among other matters in competition law, Ira successfully argued for the dissolution of the New England Dairy (Agri-Mark) consent decree over the objections of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and secured DOJ approval of a joint purchasing agreement between nuclear power plant competitors. As a general counsel, he worked with White & Case teams in the successful acquisition of a competitor in a 4-3 consolidation, acquisition in UK as part of a consolidation, and the successful defense of the Italian lottery contract award in the Italian courts and ECJ.

As a career prosecutor, Ira tried numerous high-profile fraud and corruption matters and also served as US Attorney for nine months in Chicago. He was eventually tapped by President George H.W. Bush and confirmed by the US Senate to supervise all financial institution criminal and civil matters for the Justice Department as Special Counsel for Financial Institutions, where he also served as Counsel to the Attorney General from 1991-93. As Special Counsel for Financial Institutions, he personally represented the US Government in court to obtain a US$1.2 billion forfeiture against BCCI, which was used, in part, to prevent the collapse of First American Bank.

In addition to his role as Senior Counsel, Ira served six years as lead independent director of NASDAQ-listed Inspired Entertainment (where he remains Chair of the Nomination, Governance, & Compliance Committee) and four years as an adjunct professor of law at Northwestern University's Pritzker School of Law, where he taught a graduate law course on all legal aspects of businesses entering foreign markets (e.g., competition, anti-corruption, sanctions, privacy, IP, corporate structure and governance, cybersecurity, tax, labor, corporate finance, repatriation, and real estate) and now serves as a guest lecturer.

Bars and Courts
New York State Bar
District of Columbia Bar
Illinois State Bar
US Supreme Court
US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
US District Court for the Central District of Illinois
US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Northwestern University
Northwestern University


Speaking Engagements

Keynote Speaker, "Crisis Management to Northwestern Pritzker Law School in-service on client relations," January 3, 2022

Panelist, "7th Governance Institute University of Texas on The General Counsel and Public Auditor," October 1, 2021

Guest lecturer at Fordham Law School on governance and compliance May 24, 2021

Guest lecturer at UCLA seminar on privacy law May 18, 2021

Panelist on internal investigations, Practicising Law Institute (Chicago virtual) April 22, 2021

Featured speaker at advanced symposium on crisis management Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law January 4, 2021

Panelist on internal investigations, Practicising Law Institute (Chicago virtual) September 23, 2020

Panelist, "Crisis Management – What's a Lawyer and A Company To Do?," ABA White Collar Crime Institute, June 3, 2020

"Setting up a compliance program in a regulated business," Northwestern Pritzker Law School MSL program, May 2020

Panelist, "The Company in Crisis: Talking to Investors, Regulators and the Media," University of Texas Law School Governance Symposium, September 12-13, 2019

Co-presenter on podcast, "Carrot & Stick – Recent Developments in White Collar Prosecution," Washington Legal Foundation, September 2019

Keynote speaker, "Corporate Governance at EU-based medical products manufacturer's governance days," September 2019

Presenter, "In-house legal ethics and enterprise risk management at diversified hospitality company," July 2019

Presenter, "In-house legal ethics and enterprise risk management at diversified finance company," June 2019

Speaker, "History and Sources of US Governance Standards," Universite Cergy-Pontoise, June 2019

Panelist, "ACI Developments," ACI New York, May 2019

Panelist, "Internal investigations," Practising Law Institute, May 2019

Presenter on FCPA Professor Podcast, "A Conversation With Ira Raphaelson Regarding A Variety Of FCPA Topics," April 2019

Panelist, "The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act," ACI's 21st New York Conference, March 15, 2019

Moderator, "Public Relations Strategies in High-Profile Investigations," ABA White Collar Institute, March 2019

Panelist, "Internal Investigations," PLI Institute, April 2019

Speaker, "History and Sources of US Governance Standards," Universite Cergy-Pontoise, June 2018

Moderator, "Multi-Jurisdictional Investigations," ABA White Collar Institute, March 1, 2018

Speaker, "FCPA at 40," University of Illinois Law & Governance Conference, February 21, 2018

Panelist, "Compliance," Duff & Phelps CLO/CCO In-service, November 2017

Panelist, "Practice Ethics," Duff & Phelps, 2017

Panelist, "Compliance," University of Texas Law School Governance Series, October 2017

Panelist, "Internal Investigations," PLI Institute, May 2017

Panelist, "FCPA Developments," ABA White Collar Institute, March 9, 2017

Panelist, "General Counsel Panel," ABA White Collar Institute, March 8, 2017

Panelist, "View from GC Chair," ABA Homeland Security Conference, August 2016

Panelist,"How to Speak to Boards of Directors," American Conference Institute, May 2016

Panelist, "Internal Investigations," PLI Institute, May 2016

Panelist,"FCPA Developments," ABA White Collar Institute, March 2016

Panelist, "FCPA Developments," ABA White Collar Institute, November 2015

Co-presenter, "In-House Ethics," Association of Corporate Counsel, October 2015

Panelist, "FCPA Developments," ABA White Collar Institute, March 2014

Co-presenter, "In-House Ethics," Association of Corporate Counsel, July 2014


Conversation with a former GC with Kevin Bolan (Todays General Counsel January 24, 2022) 

Questions to Ask if Doing Business In A Corruption Hot Spot with Kevin Bolan and Jonah Anderson (Law360 November 2, 2021)

Shoring up compliance amid change in Antitrust tack with Charles Moore and Kathryn Mims (Law360 May 21, 2021)

A Question of Balance (Social media, Privacy, and Internal Investigations) PLI April 2021

Congress Ends 2020 With Revisions to Anti-Money Laundering Laws with Kevin Bolan and J. Mark Gidley (Client Alert 2-16-21)

The European Court of Justice Affirms right to silence with Jeremie Jourdan, Mark Powell, Alexandra Rogers, J Mark Gidley, and Fanny Abouzeid (White & Case Client Alert 2-9-21)

BREAKING: 1st Circ. Affirms Narrow View Of Wire Act In Betting Industry with Kevin Bolan and Rebecca Copcutt (White & Case Client Alert 2-1-21/Law360 2-5-21)

Primer: What Companies in the COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Chain Need to Know about the Defense Production Act with Kathryn J, Mims, Lily Kim, and J. Mark Gidley (Law360 January 21, 2021)

Questions for 1Q 2021 Board Meetings' Cybersecurity Discussions with Kevin Bolan (Law 360 January 5, 2021)

Private Eyes – They're [Still] Watching You – Helplines, Investigations and Responding to Misconduct, Practising Law Institute (Fall 2020)

"Top 3 Corporate Governance Issues For Fall Board Meetings," with Kevin Bolan, Law360, July 15, 2020

"The Road Back to Business As Usual: 12 Steps for Cos." with J. Mark Gidley, Michael Kendall, and Kevin Bolan, Law360, April 23, 2020

"You Can't Handle the Truth," ABA White Collar Crime Institute, March 2020

"On the Road to Comprehensible Standards," Revue Internationale de la Compliance et de l'Ethique Des Affaires, October 2019

"Press...Press…Pull – When 'No Comment' No Longer Serves the Client's Interest," University of Texas Law School Governance Symposium, September 2019

Cited in "The Anti-Corruption Report's Guide to Risk Assessment: Where to Look for Risk and Risk Ranking," September 2019

"The Parable of the Jakarta Cab Ride & The Start of My Personal Journey to Compliance Enlightenment" ACI Anti-Corruption Conference, May 2019

"My 'Theory of Everything'- The Evolution of Corporate Governance in the 40 years Since Passage of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act," Illinois Law Review, 2019

"Going International – A Primer for the Global Economy in Ten Questions," 2018

"The General Counsel & Independent Auditor: A Critical Relationship - Can We Talk?" University of Texas Law School 4th Corporate Government Enforcement Institute, October 2017

"Two Views of Inside and Outside Counsel on FCPA and White-Collar Criminal Practice" with Robert W. Tarun, ABA White Collar Institute, March 2017

"Paying For Lawyers - Some Issues for General Counsels," ABA White Collar Institute, March 2017 and PLI Chicago, May 2017

"The Road Not Taken – Some Observations on Ethical Dilemmas in Internal Investigations," ABA White Collar Institute, March 2016 and PLI Chicago, May 2016

"Paying For Lawyers: Questions a General Counsel Should Ask," PLI Chicago, 2016

"Helplines, Investigations and Responding to Misconduct: Total Fitness," PLI Chicago, 2014

"Conducting Internal Investigations," PLI Chicago, 2013

"Private Eyes – They're Watching You," PLI Chicago, 2012

"It's Been a Privilege: An Inelegant Critique of U.S. v. Norris (With Some Random Constitutional Context for Investigative Attorneys)," PLI Chicago, 2011

"A Lean Mean Fighting Machine," PLI Chicago, 2010

"Things That Go Bump in the Night," PLI Chicago, 2009

"Internal Investigations: What Everyone Should Know," PLI Chicago, 2008

"Internal Investigations: What Everyone Should Know," PLI Chicago, 2007

"Internal Investigations: What Everyone Should Know," PLI Chicago, 2006

"Regulatory And Practical Implications of Internal Investigations," PLI Chicago, 2004

Awards and Recognition

Martindale AV Rated (Peer & Judicial)

Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law Dean's Advisory Board (2004-Present), Chair (2014-2016), Member of Executive Committee (2006-2018)