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Grace L. Hill

Partner

Grace is an experienced lead trial lawyer who has won all six of her jury trials, and has successfully defended those verdicts on appeal.  As a Partner at Wilkinson Stekloff, Grace recently served as trial counsel for Microsoft and helped deliver a high-profile bench trial victory against the Federal Trade Commission’s challenge to Microsoft’s $68.79 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard King. Grace contributed to legal and expert strategy, handled multiple Microsoft executives (including a key witness at trial), and oversaw critical phases of the parallel Part 3 litigation in the FTC’s home court.

Before joining the firm, Grace served as an Assistant United States Attorney with the Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  As an AUSA, Grace successfully prosecuted and tried a wide range of white-collar cases, including offenses involving government contract fraud, bribery of public officials, CIPA equities, violations of the FCPA (including the massive bribery and kickback conspiracy involving Petrobras, which resulted in an $853.2 million NPA with the company in 2018), investment fraud, insider trading, bank fraud, and tax fraud. She was highly respected within her office, as well as by the bench and the defense bar, and received numerous awards for her work from the FBI and from the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency. Grace was featured in an episode dedicated to one of her cases on American Greed, CNBC’s hit documentary series on high-profile white-collar crimes.

Before becoming a federal prosecutor, Grace practiced at Williams & Connolly, LLP, where she defended criminal tax, national security, environmental, and securities matters in various federal jurisdictions; argued two pro bono criminal appeals; and handled civil litigation matters in federal courtrooms across the country. Her civil experience there includes filing an emergency complaint/TRO and presenting witnesses at a preliminary injunction hearing on behalf of a biotech client trying to enforce a non-compete agreement; briefing successful dispositive motions for an energy company involved in cross-border litigation in the United States; and preparing a tech company’s C-suite executives to testify in a high-profile antitrust investigation.


Education

  • Undergraduate: Stanford University, B.A., with Distinction, and with Honors in International Security Studies; Phi Beta Kappa
  • Graduate: University of Cambridge (Trinity College), M. Phil.; Gates Cambridge Scholar
  • Law: Harvard Law School, J.D.; Supervising Editor, Harvard Law Review

Clerkship

  • Judge Carolyn Dineen King, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (2010-2011)
  • Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas (2009-2010)

Notable Matters

  • Trial counsel for Microsoft in the FTC’s challenge to Microsoft’s $68.79 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the second-biggest merger trial in American history. Handled witnesses in a five-day bench trial, following which Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley denied the FTC’s motion for preliminary injunction, finding that the FTC failed to make its case that the acquisition would substantially lessen competition in the gaming industry. Defended depositions of Microsoft executives and supervised critical phase of the parallel FTC Part 3 administrative action, including written discovery and exhibit designations.
  • Lead counsel for the Government in a federal jury trial involving charges of conspiracy and false, fictitious, or fraudulent claims arising out of a subcontractor’s provision of falsely labeled, substitute body armor to the U.S. Government. Conducted extensive CIPA litigation and won a complete jury verdict against a defense team led by former prosecutors, including a former U.S. Attorney. Received an FBI Service Award for this matter in 2019.
  • Lead counsel for the Government in a federal jury trial involving charges of wire fraud, money laundering, conspiracy to impersonate a federal agent, and obtaining confidential phone records, in connection with an extensive investment fraud scheme. Received an FBI Service Award for this matter in 2019. Featured in an episode dedicated to the case on American Greed, CNBC’s hit documentary series.
  • Trial counsel for the Government in a federal jury trial involving insurance fraud. Successfully pursued an aggressive pretrial litigation strategy that resulted in the admission of favorable hearsay evidence. Successfully defended the complete trial victory on appeal before the Fourth Circuit. Received an FBI Service Award for this matter in 2019.
  • Sole counsel for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the DOJ’s FCPA investigation into Petróleo Brasileiro S.A., better known as Petrobras, stemming from a massive bribery and kickback conspiracy in which Petrobras executives facilitated payments to politicians and political parties in Brazil. The investigation resulted in an $853.2 million NPA with the company in 2018.
  • Member of defense team for a former Director of the CIA, involving unauthorized removal and retention of classified material.
  • Member of defense team for the chairman of a major Swiss bank in a criminal tax investigation conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, involving allegations that the bank conspired with its U.S. taxpayer-clients to help them evade U.S. taxes on the income earned in offshore accounts.
* Admitted to practice in Texas, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.