Gabriel Colwell is an accomplished lawyer with first chair trial experience who focuses his practice on commercial business litigation, international dispute resolution, white collar criminal defense, and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) corporate compliance. Gabriel also has experience representing clients in IP disputes and in litigations involving the California anti-SLAPP statute. From 2009 to 2011, he was selected as a Rising Star by Southern California Super Lawyers
, a distinction honoring the top up-and-coming lawyers in the region.
Prior to joining Squire Sanders, Gabriel served in the US Army JAG Corps assigned as a federal prosecutor in the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Hawaii. While at the US Attorney’s Office, Gabriel directed investigations by the FBI, DEA, ATF, ICE, Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the Major Procurement Fraud Unit of the Army Criminal Investigation Division to successfully prosecute Department of Defense contractor fraud, money laundering, narcotics distribution, child pornography, sexual assault, Hobbs Act robbery, assault, theft, counterfeiting, copyright infringement, fraud and firearm related offenses. Gabriel also served in an assistant counsel role in the first death penalty case in the history of Hawaii.
While in the JAG Corps, Gabriel also served as the primary ethics counselor for the 25th Infantry Division, an organization composed of approximately 15,000 military and 7,000 civilian personnel. In this capacity, Gabriel provided training and advice to high ranking government officials regarding acceptance of gifts and disclosure of financial assets in accordance with the provisions of the Joint Ethics Regulation (JER) and other applicable anticorruption laws.
Gabriel’s service in the JAG Corps also included a year-long deployment to Afghanistan where he led and advised numerous criminal investigations. He also provided legal advice on US reconstruction contracts and various aspects of international and operational law. For his service in Afghanistan, Gabriel was awarded the Bronze Star.
Gabriel has lived and worked in Korea, Japan and New Zealand.
- Prevailing in the appeal of a trial court order dismissing a US$2 billion attorney malpractice suit under the California anti-SLAPP statute in the published opinion PrediWave Corporation v. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett et al., 179 Cal. App. 4th 1204 (2009) and then proceeding to successfully resolve the action.
- Representing a leading Japan-based animation company in a licensing dispute concerning a well-known media property.
- Representing a Korea-based steel manufacturer in an international arbitration against its primary US broker for breach of contract.
- Obtaining specific performance of a commercial lease agreement and payment of all damages including lawyers’ fees for a shopping mall against a regional restaurant chain.
- Representing a trade finance lender based in Switzerland in multiple breach of contract actions.
- Achieving summary judgment as a plaintiff on behalf of a Taiwan-based green energy technology company.
- Assisting in a successful appeal to the California Supreme Court upholding an international arbitration award.
Corporate Compliance/White Collar
- Representing the Audit Committee of a China-based US public company and performing an independent investigation concerning the FCPA and financial disclosures to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
- Conducting an internal investigation on behalf of a US public company in response to whistleblower allegations at its Russia-based subsidiary concerning the FCPA, UK Bribery Act and local tax laws.
- Representing the US subsidiary of a Korea-based publicly traded company in response to a multijurisdictional investigation by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
- Conducting FCPA due diligence for numerous Fortune 500 companies in global mergers and acquisitions.
- Preparing FCPA risk assessments for foreign subsidiaries of US publicly controlled and traded companies.
- Writing FCPA and UK Bribery Act compliance codes for US public companies.
- Conducting independent and internal corporate investigations regarding the FCPA, tax and various financial regulations.
- Advising the ownership group of a NHL team regarding the criminal indictment of the team’s former owner.