Jennings, Colin Robert

Colin R. Jennings

Partner

Colin R. Jennings is a trial lawyer focusing on complex civil and criminal matters, including responses to governmental investigations and enforcement actions. As a natural extension of his litigation practice, Colin has an active global compliance and data breach response practice. He has successfully tried numerous civil and criminal matters in various federal and state courts.

Colin’s criminal practice involves representing public and private corporations and business professionals in response to federal, state and local criminal investigations. Throughout the US and globally, he conducts internal investigations into allegations of employee misconduct, fraud or other business crimes including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, False Claims Act, OFAC sanctions and cybercrimes.

In addition, Colin has diverse and extensive experience in complex civil litigation including matters related to tort claims, insurance and coverage matters, contract and other commercial disputes, RICO, fraud and abuse, and trade secret litigation. He also has expertise in connection with the defence and prosecution of civil and administrative matters involving allegations of fraud and criminal conduct.

Building on his experience in both civil and criminal matters, Colin regularly advises US and global companies on the design, implementation and assessment of compliance programs. He has been selected by several publically held companies, including Newell Rubbermaid, as the primary outside counsel providing legal assistance on global compliance matters. Colin is often asked to speak about compliance, and is the author of numerous articles and chapters on the topic.

Colin serves as the leader of the firm’s data privacy and protection litigation subgroup, having responded to clients’ crises in the US and internationally. He regularly interacts with federal, state and international authorities concerning data breaches, and coordinates the forensic analysis and resulting claims or litigation that inevitably follow a breach.

Colin is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and in Ohio Super Lawyers.

Colin is the former chair of the Certified Grievance Committee for the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA) and has served as trial counsel for the CMBA in various attorney discipline matters. He is also the former chair and a member of the leadership team for the CMBA’s Criminal Law Section, and a member of the John M. Manos Inn of Court.

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Investigations/White Collar Defense/Compliance

  • Conducting internal investigation regarding large-scale falsification of laboratory data and certifications in manufacturing company, and related coordination, analysis and handling of customer, regulatory and damages claims.
  • Conducting internal investigations and defense of matters related to potential violations of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions for numerous companies in the Middle East.
  • Assisting a large multinational oil company in connection with its compliance with the USA Patriot Act as a result of its fleet and credit card operations.
  • Advising a publicly traded company on its anti-money laundering compliance program related to its precious metals business. This effort included an overall review and implementation of the program and will include related training, including Know Your Customer due diligence requirements and AML risk assessments. 
  • Conducting internal investigations and defense of matters related to potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) for numerous companies involving various countries, including Mexico, Russia, China and India.
  • Conducting internal investigations related to suspected misappropriation of trade secrets and embezzlement by employees for numerous clients.
  • Defending Economic Espionage Act prosecutions and parallel civil litigation.
  • Representation of a large publicly traded company in connection with a data breach in Europe and Asia arising from the hacking of employee email accounts, including coordination of the forensic review, assessment of cost recovery, asset recovery in the European Union, and efforts to close fictitious bank accounts and domains in various jurisdictions.
  • Coordinating the breach response of a large, publicly traded company, including analysis of breach notification obligations for all 50 states.
  • Coordinating the breach response for a large publicly traded company resulting from the cyberattack on its consumer-facing websites.
  • Conducting internal investigations for various public entities arising from claims of public corruption or embezzlement, and coordinating cooperation with law enforcement and related insurance and other recovery actions.
  • Defending large healthcare fraud investigations for publicly traded healthcare companies.
  • Defending mortgage fraud investigations and prosecutions in both state and federal court.
  • Conducting an internal investigation and defense of leading environmental services company related to claims of falsification of landfill monitoring data.
  • Defending business professionals in a criminal antitrust investigation into price fixing in the automotive industry, and defense of related civil discovery.
  • Defending companies, public scetor entities and individuals in numerous grand jury OIG and other similar investigations and administrative enforcement actions. 
  • Defending a large metropolitan school district in connection with data manipulation investigation by the State Auditor and Department of Education.

Complex Civil Litigation

  • Defending a leading aerospace company against claims of fraud and breach of contract resulting from alleged export law violations.
  • Successfully rescinded a stock purchase agreement related to the acquisition of a company that was the subject of a state and federal money laundering investigation.
  • Representing a large multinational insurance company in the defense of claims of antitrust and bid rigging.
  • Defending several large insurance companies in national class actions asserting claims arising from credit insurance markets, and defending claims of breach of contract and bad faith against various insurers.
  • Defending a leading international supplier of pollution control systems for power generation plants against claims of breach of contract.
  • Defending claims arising from the collapse of a US$26 million Ponzi scheme based upon mortgage-backed securities.
  • Prevailing at trial and obtaining a full recovery from the State of California in an action arising from the refusal to reimburse a large healthcare provider for its responses to 911 emergency calls.
  • Defending a publicly traded real estate development company in a dispute related to a large scale mixed use development in Miami; trial resulted in a favorable verdict for the client.
  • Prevailing at trial on claims related to theft and embezzlement by a financial services provider and obtaining a trial verdict of more than US$1 million; also coordinated reporting to law enforcement and related insurance recovery actions.
  • Representing a title insurance company in various matters involving fraud and abuse, including the defense criminal investigation and related numerous civil suits resulting from the collapse of a real estate-based Ponzi scheme.
  • Representing PGA, MLB, NBA, NHL and NFL players in connection with actions arising from mismanagement of their investments and finances, and other related representations.

Education

  • Case Western Reserve University, J.D., 1997
  • Allegheny College, B.A., 1994

Admissions

  • Ohio

Courts

  • U.S. Ct. of App., Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., S. Dist. of Ohio
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., N. Dist. of Ohio

Memberships and Affiliations

  • John M. Manos Inn of Court
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association

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  • Speaker, “Are you ready for a Crisis? Corporate Governance in the Context of Crisis Management,” Ohio Chapter Meeting of the Society for Corporate Governance, April 6, 2017.
  • Speaker, “Ethics in a Corporate and Business Setting,” Case Western Reserve Law and Business Fall 2016, November 9, 2016.
  • Speaker, “Best Practices for Internal Investigations in 2016,” Annual Fraud and Forensics Day, Northeast Ohio Institute of Internal Auditors and Association of Certified Fraud Examiners joint meeting, February 2016.