Fritz has extensive experience in each of the following areas:
- Securities fraud and False Claims Act (“FCA”) investigations.
- FCPA and other bribery and corruption matters, both foreign and domestic
- Securities fraud class actions, shareholder derivative actions, and proxy challenges
- Treasury and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC ) investigations regarding sanctions lists
- Department of Commerce and the Export Administration Act
- Whistleblower claims
- FINRA insider trading inquiries
Additionally, he has significant experience conducting internal corporate investigations for boards and audit committees on governance and other issues.
Fritz has defended individuals against criminal actions in courts across the country over charges of securities fraud, copyright infringement, and theft of trade secrets. He also assists clients in developing policies, providing training, and conducting due diligence in many of these areas, including FCPA and other anti-corruption and bribery laws.
Fritz also regularly represents businesses and business partners in arbitration and in state and federal courts regarding commercial disputes such as breach of contract, fraud, breach of duty, tortious interference, misappropriation of trade secrets, and civil conspiracy.
He writes and speaks regularly on issues relating to securities fraud, shareholder derivative actions, corporate compliance, and internal investigations.
Formerly at a firm in Chicago, Fritz joined Calfee in 2006 and became a partner in 2010.
Honors & Recognitions
The Best Lawyers in America©, Commercial Litigation, 2020
J.D., University of Chicago Law School, 2000
B.A., Washington and Lee University, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1997
Internal Investigations and Regulatory Examinations
- Conducted internal investigation of revenue recognition and other accounting practices for privately held high-tech company.
- Represented national financial institution in responding to SEC subpoenas.
- Conducted internal investigation of corporate ethics for publicly traded company.
- Represented a national investment bank in investigation by a self-regulatory organization relating to compliance and conflict of interest issues.
- Conducted internal investigation of ethics and legal compliance issues for not-for-profit company.
Securities Class Actions and Shareholder Derivative Actions
- Represented accounting officer of publicly traded manufacturing company in shareholder derivative and class actions, all alleging securities fraud based on accounting issues; obtained complete dismissal of class and derivative claims.
- Represented officers and directors of publicly traded medical equipment manufacturer in related securities fraud class action, ERISA class action, and shareholder derivative actions alleging fraud and breaches of fiduciary and other duties in regard to regulatory compliance programs.
- Represented national financial institution in class "strike suit" involving disclosure and fiduciary duty claims.
- Represented hedge fund in one of the largest ever proxy challenges.
SEC Enforcement Actions
- Represented publicly traded company in oil and gas industry in FCPA investigation by SEC, resulting in close-out letter, with no further action, from SEC.
- Represented accounting officer of publicly traded manufacturing company in SEC enforcement action alleging securities fraud based on accounting issues.
- Represented officer of investment advisory firms in securities fraud class actions and related SEC investigation.
- Defended a felony trade secret theft prosecution in the Eastern District of Michigan.
- Current representation of multiple corporate clients in DOJ criminal investigations in various jurisdictions nationally.
Professional & Community
Professional & Community
- Federal Bar Association, Member and Board Member of the Northern District of Ohio Chapter, 2016 - present
- American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section and White-Collar Crime Committee
- Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland, incoming President of the Board
- Friends of the Garden House, Board Member
- Citizenship and Education Foundation of Edison Local Schools, Board member, and past elected member of the Board of Education of Edison Local Schools
- Boy Scouts of America, Lake Erie Council, Board Member
News & Events
- Fifty-three Calfee, Halter & Griswold Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 202008.15.2019
- Fritz Berckmueller Presents to Association of Corporate Counsel on Shareholder Issues for In-House Counsel08.03.2017
- Record Enforcement Activity in 2016 for FCPA, FCA, and BSA/AML Violations - Does it Mark an Upward Trajectory or the End of an Era?01.09.2017
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit