Markus is the Firmwide Chair of Perkins Coie’s White Collar & Investigations Practice. Prior to joining the firm, Markus served as a decorated federal prosecutor in Chicago, Section Chief with the U.S. State Department-Balkans, clerk with the federal court of appeals and district court, and law professor. He also is the founding Co-Chair of Perkins Coie's Supply Chain Compliance practice, and was named Colorado’s “Best Overall Litigator” (2015); “Colorado White Collar Lawyer of the Year” (2015); “10 Best Attorneys for the State of Illinois" (2014) and "10 Best Attorneys for the State of Colorado" (2017); and "Lawyer of the Year" (2013). In 2015, Markus was tapped to head up the firm’s Africa Practice, and he since 2010 has been the Founding Co-Chair of the ABA’s Global Anti-Corruption Committee.
During his time in public service, Markus and his team prosecuted "Operation Family Secrets," which National Public Radio lauded as "one of the most important criminal investigations . . . in American history" (the 1995 movie “Casino” was based on the charged criminal activities). At the time of his departure from the Department of Justice, the Chicago Sun-Times Markus as a "street-smart prosecutor with an Oxford pedigree."
Markus has successfully tried over 25 federal and state civil and criminal jury cases, briefed and argued dozens of federal appeals throughout the country, directed more than 400 investigations, and regularly advises public and private entities and individuals on challenging ethics and compliance matters.
In private practice since 2010, Markus focuses on internal investigations, complex commercial litigation both at the trial and appellate levels, white collar criminal defense, corporate social responsibility and supply chain compliance, and corporate counseling. By way of example, Markus was selected to serve as a World Bank Group advisor and monitor to an Africa-based company seeking reinstatement following debarment, and he in the past year has counseled clients and conducted internal investigations and reviews throughout the world. Institutions diverse as the U.S. Senate, the Vatican, Harvard Law School, New York Mayor’s Office, and the World Bank Group have invited Markus to speak on cutting-edge compliance, litigation, and internal investigation issues.
Markus, in 2015 named a Fellow of the American Law Institute, has the unique distinction of having received both the Department of Justice's prestigious Attorney General's Award for Nation’s top trial performance and the State Department's Superior Honor Award for service to the country.
Litigation: Markus is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer, having successfully tried more than 25 federal and state jury trials (most as first chair), and acted as lead counsel in more than 500 in-court evidentiary hearings and other contested proceedings. His recent successful representations in private practice for small, medium-sized, and large publicly-traded companies have ranged from products liability, contract, counterfeiting, trademark, defamation and intellectual property litigation, to commodities fraud, insider trading and False Claims Act matters.
Compliance, Governance, and Ethics Counseling: Markus is the architect of dozens of compliance programs for U.S. and international companies of all sizes, has led numerous internal investigations and subsequent self-disclosures to the DOJ and SEC, and represents individuals and companies in high-stakes, complex Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, U.K. Bribery Act, U.S. Travel Act, insider trading, fraud, healthcare, fiduciary duty, import/export, customs, OFAC, export control, cybercrime, False Claims Act, defamation, and other high-profile criminal and complex civil litigation matters.
Corporate Social Responsibility and Supply Chain Compliance: Markus helped establish and co-chairs the firm's Corporate Social Responsibility and Supply Chain practice (the first such specialized practice among the AmLaw100), and is a recognized leader in the areas of supply chain compliance and the business community's efforts to fight human trafficking, as well as forced and child labor. New legal requirements, such as those found in the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act, the Executive Order Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking in Persons in Federal Contracts, the European Union's Directive on Transparency and its amendments, and the proposed federal Business Transparency in Trafficking and Slavery Act, impose unique compliance and third-party due diligence obligations on the global business community. Markus and his team have a well-earned reputation for helping clients find common-sense solutions to these emerging compliance challenges.
Investigations and White Collar Counseling: Markus and his team led numerous disclosures and referrals to various branches of the federal and state government, have successfully resolved various FCPA self-disclosures, and recently obtained no-action letters from the Office of Foreign Asset Control and the FBI for Fortune 200 companies. In addition, Markus and his co-counsel recently obtained a sentence of probation for a high-profile Denver insider trading defendant who was facing the most severe sentence the DOJ ever sought in an insider trading case. Markus also recently obtained a sentence of probation for a mortgage fraud client involved in a multi-million dollar mortgage fraud conspiracy.
Reflective of Markus's ongoing commitment to victims of crime, including businesses who have been victimized, and strong relationships within the law enforcement community, the American Bar Association in 2014 awarded Markus the Frank Carrington Crime Victim Attorney Award (awarded to one person per year who has done the most for victims of crime in the United States).
U.S. Government Service: From 2000-10, Markus served in various capacities as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Chicago. Selected from some 9,000 federal trials in 2007 to receive the Attorney General's Award (the "John Marshal Award"), the U.S. Attorney General personally presented Markus and his team with the highest trial performance distinction the Department bestows on federal prosecutors for their successful three-month trial capping the prosecution of Operation Family Secrets. The case remains the most extensive organized crime case of its kind in U.S. history, and was the first time a prosecutor from the Chicago U.S. Attorney's Office received the Department of Justice's most exclusive award for demonstrated courtroom and litigation ability.
From 2004-06, Markus served as the Department of Justice Resident Legal Advisor for post-war Kosovo, helping oversee the U.S.'s multi-million dollar efforts to bring the rule of law to this battle-weary region. In that capacity, Markus represented the United States at diplomatic negotiations, led Balkan-wide efforts to modernize anti-corruption, anti-fraud, cybercrime, and anti-counterfeiting enforcement, and spear-headed the restructuring of Kosovo's post-conflict justice system. Markus also worked with U.S. and foreign government officials and business leaders to fight labor trafficking and exploitation. During this time, Markus authored the Kosovo Trial Skills Handbook (DOJ, 2006), which remains the most cited source in Kosovo's Compilation of Applicable Criminal Laws. In recognition of his service while abroad, the U.S. Department of State conferred upon Markus its "Superior Honor Award," which is the highest general service award the State Department confers.
Thought Leadership: In addition to authoring more than 100 law-related academic and popular articles, as well as chapters on a wide variety of topics, Markus has authored a number of critically acclaimed books and guides, including: The Global Anti-Bribery and Corruption Survey (Oxford University Press, forthcoming); Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking: Examining the Global Challenges and US Responses (Rowman Littlefield, 2nd ed. 2016; co-authored with Chicago U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Kendall); The Haiti Trial Skills Manual (American Bar Association, 2012); The Darfur Trial Skills Manual (American Bar Association, 2010); The Montenegro Trial Skills Manual (DOJ, 2010); and Stemming the Suffering: Victims' Rights and the International Criminal Court (Oxford University Press, 2010). In addition, in 2014, Markus wrote Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties and Letters Rogatory: A Guide for Judges (Federal Judicial Center, 2014), which the U.S. Government has distributed to all federal judges in the country.
Markus's cases and legal analysis have been featured by outlets such as The Atlantic, CNBC, CNN, The Economist, The History Channel, Investor's Business Daily, Los Angeles Times, MSNBC, The National Law Journal, Bloomberg, National Geographic TV, New York Times, Reuters, and The Wall Street Journal, and receives regular invitations from governments, institutions, and individuals, including the DOJ, the U.S. State Department, The World Bank, The Mayor of New York City, the American Bar Association, The University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Georgetown University, and Harvard University to speak on legal issues and address lay and professional audiences.
Markus started his legal career as a law clerk to The Hon. Morris S. Arnold of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and Chief U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry, and as a Lecturer in Law at Oxford University.
- On behalf of a Swiss conglomerate, achieved $6 million verdict against DuPont, who was represented by the Boies Schiller, Bartlit Beck, and Shook Hardy firms during the November 2014 Miami state-court jury trial.
- Engaged by the University of Colorado to conduct an internal review relating to former student and "Colorado Theater Shooter" James Holmes.
- Selected by the World Bank Group to assist and monitor provisionally-debarred, Africa-based company; company ultimately joined approximately 5% of companies to receive full reinstatement.
- Following active two-year investigation into fraud allegations against oil and gas company and individual officers, persuaded USDOJ to decline case and SEC to issue No-Action Letter.
- Achieved historically low sentence for former executive Michael Van Gilder in national insider trading case.
- Led the appeal for Haiti Teleco's Joel Esquenazi in first-of-its-kind appellate challenge against longest-ever FCPA sentence for an individual (the Wall Street Journal named it the #1 corruption sentence of 2012).
- Retained as legal expert on Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (“MLATs”) and letters rogatory in “Bahia Emerald” case.
- Lead internal investigations and related compliance efforts for various mining interests in the U.S., Africa, and South America.
- Conducted cybercrime investigations relating to, among other things, computer intrusions, exceeding authorization, and data theft, and made referrals to the authorities on behalf of clients.
- Successfully obtained 2013 OFAC Non-Action Letter for multi-national company following trans-national internal investigation.
- Regularly advises corporate clients of all sizes on supply chain and brand-image-protection issues, including California Transparency in Supply Chains Act, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Executive Order Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking in Persons in Federal Contracts, Conflict Minerals, and other Corporate Social Responsibility and Supply Chain Compliance matters.
- Conducts internal fraud, export control, FCPA, and other investigations and counseling involving the U.S. and foreign counties including: China, Africa, India, Canada, Russia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Germany, Uzbekistan, and South America.
- Guides FCPA disclosures to the DOJ and the SEC, and regularly advise on various foreign anti-corruption regimes, including the U.K. Bribery Act, the German Anti-Corruption Act, India's Prevention of Corruption Act, and the Chinese Anti-Bribery Laws.
- Prevailed in Colorado Supreme Court on Westwood Colleges defamation suit against class action lawyers.
- Counseled foreign government's Ministry of Commerce in export control dispute.
- Represented major university faculty chair during Department of Homeland Security investigation.
- Successfully counseled high-tech company during Department of Commerce and FBI export controls investigation, and represents individuals and companies implicated in insider trading, health care, mortgage fraud, bribery cases.
- Represented government official in internal investigation.
- Provide counsel to, and represent clients in multiple major global products liability litigation matters.
- On behalf of a Fortune 50 company, persuaded the court to deny TRO lodged against employees.
- Counsels individual and corporate clients on Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Statute, and related healthcare law issues.
- Named one of "The 2016 Leading Lawyers in America," by The Lawdragon 500, 2016
- Named “Best Overall Litigator” by Law Week Colorado, 2015
- Member, American Law Institute, 2015
- Fellow, American Bar Foundation, 2015
- Named Colorado White Collar Lawyer of the Year by Corporate LiveWire, 2015
- "AV Peer Review Rated – Preeminent in Ethical Standards and Legal Ability" by Martindale-Hubbell, 2012 - 2015
(AV®, BV® and CV® are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.)
- Named “Top Litigator Finalist” by Law Week Colorado, 2015
- Recipient of the American Bar Association "Frank Carrington Crime Victim Attorney Award" (awarded to person/organization who has done most for victims of crime in U.S.), 2014
- Nominated as one of “10 Best Attorneys for the State of Illinois,” American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys, 2014
- Invited Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America (Trial Lawyer Honorary Society), 2013 - present
- Ranked in Chambers USA, "America's Leading Litigation Lawyers" and "America’s Leading White Collar Lawyers," 2012 - 2017
- Named a Colorado and Illinois "Super Lawyer," by Super Lawyers, 2012 - 2017
- Rated superb (10.0/10.0) on Avvo.com, 2010 - present
*The Supreme Court of Illinois does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law and no certificate, award or recognition is a requirement to practice law in Illinois.
- Named "Colorado Lawyer of the Year," by Law Week Colorado, 2012
- Named the "Barrister’s Best" (#1) Corporate/Compliance Lawyer In Colorado, 2012
- Recipient of the U.S. Department of Justice Attorney General’s Award ("John Marshal Award for Litigation Excellence"), 2008
- Recipient of the Chicago Crime Commission's "Star of Distinction," 2008
- Recipient of the U.S. Department of State's, "Superior Honor Award," 2007
- American Law Institute, Fellow, 2015 - present
- American Law Institute (ALI), Member, 2015 - present
- ABA Section of International Law Anti-Corruption Committee, Vice-Chair, 2014 – present
- ABA Section of International Law Corporate Social Responsibility Committee, Co-Chair, 2012 - 2014
- ABA President's Task Force on Human Trafficking, Member, 2012 - present
- German American Lawyers Association (“Deutsch-Amerikanische Juristen-Vereinigung”), Member, 2012 - present
- ABA Global Anti-Corruption Committee, Founding Co-Chair, 2010 - present
- BNA-Bloomberg Legal and Business Advisory Board, Member, 2010 - present
- Special Advisor to the ABA Criminal Justice Section Council, 2012 - 2014
- ABA Business Law Section Working Group on Human Trafficking, 2012 - 2014
- ABA Special Advisor to the Uniform Law Commission project on Human Trafficking, 2011 - 2014
- ABA Litigation Magazine, Editorial Board Member, 2010 - 2014
- ABA Corporate Social Responsibility and Forced Labor Task Force, Co-Chair, 2012 - 2013
- ABA Haiti Task Force, Member, 2009 - 2012 (author of the Haiti Trial Skills Handbook)
- ABA Section of Litigation Special Committee on Human Trafficking, Co-Chair, 2008 - 2010
- ABA Section of Litigation Kosovo Task Force, Co-Chair, 2008 - 2010
- ABA Darfur Task Force, Member, 2007 - 2009
- Government Service
- Assistant U.S. Attorney, Chicago, 2000 - 2010
- Resident Legal Advisor, DOJ and U.S. State Department, 2004 - 2006
- Teaching Appointments:
- The University of Chicago Law School (International Law), 2010
- Northwestern University School of Law (Criminal Procedure), 2002 - 2009
- Oxford University (U.K. and Comparative Criminal Law), 1997 - 1999
- Denver University School of Law (International Criminal Court Law), 2011
- DOJ's National Advocacy Center (Racketeering), 2009
- Loyola University (Organized Crime), 2009
- University of Arkansas - Little Rock (Criminal Law & Habeas Corpus), 2000 - 2001
Hon. Morris Arnold, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, 1995 - 1997
Hon. Catherine Perry, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, 1995 - 1997