Michael D. Farber

Partner

202-298-1803

mfarber@vnf.com

1050 Thomas Jefferson Street NW
Seventh Floor
Washington, DC 20007

Oil and Gas

  • Led a series of reforms of federal oversight of U.S. offshore oil and gas operations, including enhanced enforcement efforts, improved investigative capabilities, revisions of regulations, interagency coordination, and streamlined processes
  • Created a dedicated group of experienced investigators to handle misconduct allegations and strengthen federal oversight of offshore oil and gas operations in response to the Deepwater Horizon tragedy and aftermath. 
  • Coordinated and led a team of subject-matter experts in promulgating Arctic-specific regulations for exploratory drilling operations
  • Presented to domestic and international audiences about federal oversight of Arctic operations, BSEE investigations and enforcement, and post-Deepwater Horizon reforms
  • Coordinated investigations of industry participants for potential violations of law in connection with offshore operations
  • Introduced and developed new capabilities and practices for BSEE investigations of offshore fatalities and other serious incidents
  • Developed plan and deployed team that conducted an investigation that led directly to the U.S. Department of Justice’s filing of a landmark Clean Water Act/Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act case

Litigation

  • After the Deepwater Horizon disaster, represented the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (part of the U.S. Department of the Interior) in the federal interagency team that worked to resolve the United States’ criminal and civil claims against BP and Transocean and specify each company’s plea agreement/consent decree obligations 
  • Oversaw the referral of criminal and civil matters to the Department of Justice, some of which resulted in filed environmental and worker endangerment claims against offshore companies
  • Appeared in U.S. District Courts in a variety of cases, including government enforcement actions, multi-district litigation, class actions, and preliminary injunction hearings  
  • Worked with a wide variety of experts, including economists, engineers, scientists, physicians, and other industry specialists     

Antitrust and Other White-Collar Investigations

  • Represented clients in different industries in all aspects of antitrust investigations before the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and state attorneys general
  • Planned and led internal investigations to determine whether company clients and/or their employees had committed bid-rigging, fraud, or other violations
  • First-chaired criminal and civil proceedings involving the Department of Justice Enron Task Force and the Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Directed teams of attorneys in all types of core investigation and litigation tasks, including oral arguments, fact development, employee interviews, evidentiary analysis, and expert work
  • Counseled trade associations and trade groups on antitrust and other litigation risks

Presentations

Waterpower Week in Washington

National Hydropower Association
Washington, DC
05/03/2017

DecomWorld GOM 2017

Speaker, "Legal Considerations for Operators Engaged in Decommissioning Activities on the Federal OCS"
Houston, TX
03/14/2017