Brigida Benitez

Steptoe & Johnson LLP

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Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Phone 1: (202) 429-6261

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Washington DC


Brigida Benitez solves challenging problems that stem from business disputes, employment relationships, and compliance matters. With a focus on complex litigation, internal investigations, and global anti-corruption issues, she has represented a wide range of clients, including financial institutions, pharmaceutical companies, universities, and international development firms, as well as boards of directors and special litigation committees of public company boards. She litigates high-profile cases in trial and appellate courts throughout the United States, including the US Supreme Court. Brigida draws on more than 25 years of experience representing clients in high-stakes, complex disputes, along with a deep understanding of the multijurisdictional investigative process, to help companies and individuals assess and mitigate reputational and litigation risk.

Brigida conducts internal investigations relating to a variety of sensitive and business-critical issues, such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), financial fraud and corruption, employee misconduct, ethics, codes of conduct violations, accounting irregularities, and whistleblower complaints. Having served as Chief of the Office of Institutional Integrity of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), she has deep knowledge of international financial institution (IFI) investigative and sanctions procedures. Brigida has since represented clients in all phases of World Bank proceedings – audit and investigation, litigation of allegations, and argument before the World Bank Sanctions Board – and has advised clients on compliance with IFI anti-corruption guidelines.

While at the IDB, Brigida was 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 administered by the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). As a member of senior management, she reported to the IDB president and the Audit Committee of the Board of Executive Directors. She worked to develop 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 IFIs. Her work encompassed 26 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Brigida is a past president of the DC Bar, the largest unified bar in the country, with more than 100,000 members worldwide. She 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," and by Latino Leaders magazine as one of the "25 Most Influential Hispanic Lawyers."

Practice Areas

  • Anti-Corruption
  • Complex Commercial Litigation
  • Compliance Counseling
  • Corporate Crime
  • Corporate Governance
  • Financial Services
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • Government Investigations
  • Internal Investigations
  • Trials
  • White Collar Crime