Iris Bennett

Investigations and White Collar,
Steptoe LLP
Committee Member

My Contact Information

Steptoe LLP
Washington, D.C., DC
(202) 320-6629: (202) 429-8125

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Chapter Location

Washington DC


Iris has more than two decades of experience leading cross-border investigations involving over 25 countries, and counseling clients on the investigation, defense, and resolution of white-collar matters. She has represented Fortune 100 corporations and individual clients in matters relating to potential violations of criminal or civil fraud statutes, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the False Claims Act, the Anti-Kickback Act, and antitrust laws.

Iris regularly advises corporate clients on their anti-corruption compliance programs, specific policies, procedures and compliance questions, and transactional and third-party due diligence. She has designed and led large-scale corporate compliance reviews, audits, and risk assessments. Ranked in Chambers USA and Chambers Global for FCPA, clients note Iris is “particularly knowledgeable on antibribery and corruption compliance,” describing her as a “go-to expert” in the area. Additionally, she has been named to the “GIR Top FCPA Practitioners” and “GIR Women in Investigations” lists by Global Investigations Review.

She has represented clients in all phases of US government investigations, settlement, and post-settlement compliance before the Department of Justice Criminal and Civil Divisions and the Securities and Exchange Commission, and with respect to voluntary or mandatory disclosures before these agencies as well as the US Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General. Iris’s broad experience and multi-lingual abilities have enabled her to handle numerous complex, high-stakes investigations.. Notably, she served as US counsel to the independent committee appointed by the Board of Directors of Vale S.A., known as the Extraordinary Independent Consulting Committee for Investigation of the Causes and Responsibilities for the Breach of Dam 1 of the Córrego do Feijao Mine, with a mandate to investigate the causes and responsibilities for the 2019 rupture of the Córrego do Feijão tailings dam in Brumadinho, Brazil.   

Iris served as the Independent Compliance Monitor for SNC-Lavalin, Inc., with a mandate to review and evaluate that company’s global anti-corruption compliance program on behalf of the World Bank in a matter that involved the longest-ever World Bank debarment and monitorship sanction. Under her oversight, SNC-Lavalin successfully completed its sanctions obligations to develop a robust anti-corruption compliance program and was able to obtain an early release from what had been a 10-year debarment.

Before entering private practice, Iris served as an assistant federal public defender for the District of Columbia Federal Defender.

Languages: Spanish, Portuguese

Practice Areas

  • Anti-Corruption
  • Compliance Counseling
  • Corporate Crime
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • Government Investigations
  • Internal Investigations
  • White Collar Crime