Brigida Benitez is a partner at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, where she focuses on complex litigation, global anti-corruption matters, and internal investigations. She is skilled in addressing and solving challenging problems, including those stemming from business disputes, employment relationships or compliance matters, and has represented a wide range of clients in industries including banking and financial services, pharmaceutics, information technology, education, sports and aerospace. She has litigated cases in federal and state trial and appellate courts throughout the country, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ms. Benitez is the immediate past president of the DC Bar, the second largest unified bar in the country, with more than 100,000 members worldwide.
Ms. Benitez conducts internal investigations and investigations before enforcement agencies relating to a variety of sensitive and business-critical issues, including Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), financial fraud and corruption, employee misconduct, ethics and violations of codes of conduct, accounting irregularities, whistleblower complaints, and sanctions procedures of the World Bank and other international financial institutions.
She also has served as Chief of the Office of Institutional Integrity of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), heading the independent office responsible for investigating potential fraud and corruption in IDB-financed activities, and implementing compliance policies and procedures relating to anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, offshore financial centers, and sanctions laws and regulations administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
As a member of the senior management team, she reported to the IDB president and the Audit Committee of the Board of Executive Directors. She was directly involved in the development of the General Principles and Guidelines for Sanctions and oversaw the implementation of the Agreement for Mutual Enforcement of Debarment Decisions, entered into by the IDB, the World Bank and several other leading international financial institutions. Ms. Benitez also led the implementation of recommendations of the Report Concerning the Anti-Corruption Framework of the IDB, a review led by former Attorney General Richard Thornburgh. Her work encompassed 26 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Ms. Benitez serves as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where she teaches a course on international business litigation and federal practice. She has been recognized by Hispanic Business Magazine as a “Woman of the Year” and one of the “100 most influential US Hispanics.”