Naana Frimpong is Counsel with the Special Matters and Government Investigations group. She is a former federal prosecutor and seasoned trial lawyer with extensive experience defending individuals and companies in high-profile civil and criminal matters brought by a wide variety of regulators in the United States as well as in foreign countries. Her practice includes white-collar criminal defense, internal corporate investigations and government enforcement actions (in particular with regard to violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act), compliance consulting, international arbitration and international disputes generally. Although she has a particular focus on the African continent, her practice is global and she has handled investigations and enforcement actions in North America, South America, Europe and Asia.
From 2011 to 2015, Naana served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago). During her tenure as a federal prosecutor, Naana was lead counsel on dozens of felony investigations and prosecutions, including transnational narcotics trafficking and money laundering offenses, various financial fraud and bank fraud schemes, child exploitation crimes, firearm offenses, threats to public officials, mortgage and computer fraud and identity theft. Naana presented and obtained indictments on dozens of cases before a federal grand jury and appeared in federal court for numerous legal and evidentiary hearings. Naana successfully tried several financial and tax fraud jury and bench trials to verdict. She also briefed and argued appeals before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Prior to her tenure with the Department of Justice, Naana worked in the New York office of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, focusing on international commercial arbitration, internal investigations, criminal defense and international litigation matters generally. Key representations during her time at Debevoise included the Government of Ghana in a series of ICC arbitrations and enforcement proceedings, the Audit Committee of Siemens AG in connection with a global white collar criminal investigation into possible corrupt payments to government officials (including conducting the Nigeria investigation and conducting compliance investigations in Kenya and South Africa), and Toyota Motor Sales USA in connection with investigations being conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and various state attorneys general on reports concerning the unintended acceleration of certain Toyota vehicles.
Prior to joining Debevoise, Naana was a law clerk for the Honorable Marilyn Hall Patel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
She was raised in Ghana and Botswana, receiving her undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Amherst College and her law degree from Yale Law School, where she served as a Senior Editor of the Yale Journal on Law & Policy Review. She also received a master’s degree in international criminal law and justice jointly offered by the University of Torino & the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute. She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the American Society of International Law (ASIL), a committee member for the Women's White Collar Defense Association, and a 2019 Fellow with the Leadership Council on Leadership Diversity.
Naana regularly speaks and writes on topics related to anti-corruption, white collar crime, corporate compliance, trial advocacy and international arbitration, recently serving for example with other former federal prosecutors and federal judges on the faculty of a week-long NITA trial advocacy program in Lagos for dozens of Nigerian prosecutors and defense attorneys.