Valarie Hays

Valarie Hays

Attorney Profile

Top Rated White Collar Crimes Attorney in Chicago, IL

Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP
 | 70 West Madison Street, Suite 2900
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: 312-471-8781
Fax: 312-471-8701
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2017 - 2021
Selected To Rising Stars: 2013 - 2015
Licensed Since: 2000
Education: Harvard Law School
Practice Areas:
  • Criminal Defense: White Collar (50%),
  • Civil Litigation: Defense (30%),
  • General Litigation (20%)
    Attorney Profile

    Ms. Hays' practice includes substantial trial experience with a concentration in white collar criminal defense, conducting internal investigations and complex civil litigation. Ms. Hays has represented management level employees, corporations and governmental entities in conducting internal investigations into allegations of wrongdoing, including financial fraud and bribery.  Ms. Hays' white collar criminal defense work includes representation of individuals, governmental entities, and corporations in responding to Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigations, representing witnesses in federal criminal investigations and trials, and defending individuals against criminal charges, including perjury, tax fraud, mortgage fraud, and other types of financial fraud. In her civil litigation practice, Ms. Hays has represented corporations and individuals in fraud, civil conspiracy, employment discrimination, negligence, breach of contract, trade secret, unfair competition, and securities fraud matters. Ms. Hays has also authored articles and presentations on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Prior to her career in private practice, Ms. Hays served as an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) in the Northern District of Illinois.  In that capacity, she prosecuted crimes involving fraud, public corruption, illegal guns, narcotics, and other violations of federal law. She acted as first chair in 11 federal jury trials and second chair in three federal jury trials, and received the Department of Justice Special Achievement Award in 2002, 2003, 2006, and 2007 as well as a Department of Justice award related to a particular narcotics investigation in 2007. Ms. Hays' experience as an AUSA also included significant appellate work before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, including appellate briefing and the accompanying oral argument. Earlier, Ms. Hays clerked for the Honorable Suzanne Conlon, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

    About Valarie Hays

    Admitted: 2000, Illinois

    Professional Webpage:


    • Department of Justice Special Achievement Awards in 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007 and a Department of Justice award related to a particular narcotics investigation in 2007.  Recipient of a Heyman Fellowship in 2000.

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • Admitted to practice in Illinois.  Bar Admissions:  U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the Trial Bar for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  Professional Memberships:  Federal Bar Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

    Pro bono/Community Service:

    • Ms. Hays represents criminal defendants through the Federal Defender Program.

    Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

    • Adjunct Lecturer, Communication and Trial Advocacy--Northwestern University, 2004-2006
    • "Grease Payments are a Thing of the Past as the Reach of the FCPA Continues to Expand," Bloomberg Law Reports:  Risk & Compliance, vol. 3, no. 3, March 2010 (co-author).
    • "Corporate Officals Beware:  Knowledge May No Longer Be Required for FCPA Liability," Bloomberg Law Reports:  Risk & Compliance, vol. 3, no. 4, April 2010 (co-author).
    • "Communication Is Key to Avoiding e-Discovery Pitfalls", National Law Review, May 2010 (co-author)
    • "Foreign Corrupt Practices Act--What Insurance Brokers and Investment Banks Have in Common: Closer Scrutiny of Their Anti-Bribery Compliance Programs", Bloomberg BNA--Securities Regulation and Law Report, May 2012
    • "FIRREA: An Old Acronym Is Turning the Government's New Hammer on Banks and Other Financial Institutions", The Banking Law Journal, July/August 2012 (co-author)
    • "Current Developments in FCPA Enforcement", Panelist for the annual Journal of International Law and Business Roundtable at Northwestern University (April 2013)
    • "Ensuring Ethical and Corruption Free Practices", Panelist for BankersAccuity Presentation (October 2012)
    • "How to Conduct Internal Investigations", Corporate In-House Training (April 2012)
    • "Whistleblowers in Today's Workplace", Corporate In-House Training (panelist) (January 2013)
    • "Addressing Whistleblower Risk", Corporate In-House Training (February 2013)
    • "The Clean Water Act: Environmental Compliance", Corporate In-House Training (March 2013)
    • "Ensuring Compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Other Anti-Bribery Laws", Corporate In-House Training (March 2013)

    Educational Background:

    • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (B.A., summa cum laude, 1997) 
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    Office Location for Valarie Hays

    70 West Madison Street
    Suite 2900
    Chicago, IL 60602

    Valarie Hays:

    Last Updated: 12/28/2020

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