Nelms, Jonathan D.

Jonathan D. Nelms


Jonathan Nelms is a partner in Baker McKenzie's Litigation & Government Enforcement Practice Group in Washington, DC. He focuses on the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related legislation, particularly in the context of high-risk commercial transactions in emerging markets. Jonathan spent nearly three years in the Firm's Moscow office, where he worked to develop the Firm’s anti-corruption compliance capabilities throughout the CIS region while continuing to lead compliance due diligence teams, conduct internal investigations, and assist clients on a wide variety of compliance projects.

Practice Focus

Jonathan counsels national and international clients on internal corporate investigations, compliance-oriented mergers and acquisitions due diligence, and the development and implementation of comprehensive compliance programs. His work focuses on issues involving the FCPA and related federal legislation, including US anti-money laundering laws and their application to multinational companies in emerging markets, particularly those of the former Soviet Union.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Oversees team in North America, Western Europe and the former Soviet Union in charge of reviewing all high-risk transactions (M&A, JVs, long-term commercial arrangements, government-facing service providers and other vendors) for a European client under FCPA-related deferred prosecution agreement.
  • Conducted for a major US medical devices manufacturer subject to a deferred prosecution agreement with the US Department of Justice, two internal investigations in Russia and Ukraine concerning (i) irregular sales practices and interactions with healthcare professionals at a recently acquired business unit and (ii) problematic importations of products involving potentially improper payments via a consultant.
  • Advised the same US medical devices manufacturer on the legal risks (particularly anti-corruption and anti-money laundering) associated with selling to customers in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Belarus via offshore affiliates of those customers.
  • Conducted an internal review for a Swiss agricultural manufacturer (a US issuer) concerning importations into Russia pursuant to a US Securities and Exchange Commission request and a whistleblower letter.
  • Advised multinational pharmaceutical manufacturers on the development of partner-selection and other commercial policies intended to comply with Russian competition law, the FCPA and other anti-corruption law.
  • Conducted anti-corruption and anti-money laundering investigations into the operations in Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Dubai of a Swiss freight-forwarder and representing the company before the US Department of Justice and SEC.
  • Advised on the development and implementation of comprehensive compliance policies and protocols for a major Russian industrial manufacturer seeking partial acquisition by a Western company subject to the FCPA.
  • Led an internal investigation into distribution practices on sales into Russia by the Swedish subsidiary of a major US pump manufacturer and preparing the US company for reporting to the SEC.
  • Developed and implemented business partner review and selection process for resellers for a US-listed manufacturer of industrial equipment.
  • Prepared a comprehensive anti-corruption manual and related protocols (M&A, joint ventures, retention of agents and distributors) for a US oil services company.


  • District of Columbia~United States (2009)
  • New York~United States (2006)


  • Georgetown University Law Center (J.D.) (2005)
  • Harvard University (A.B.) (1996)


  • Russian

Previous Offices

  • Moscow