As the leader of Calfee's White-Collar Investigations and Litigation practice, Fritz has extensive experience defending securities and shareholder litigation, SEC enforcement matters, and white-collar criminal cases. Additionally, he has significant experience conducting internal corporate investigations for boards and audit committees and defending corporate clients from whistleblower claims.
Fritz regularly defends corporate clients as well as their officers and directors, in securities fraud class actions and shareholder derivative actions. He has conducted numerous internal investigations for both publicly traded and privately held corporate clients and has assisted both individuals and corporate clients in responding to DOJ, SEC, and other regulatory and criminal inquiries and investigations regarding corporate ethics, FCPA violations, FCA issues, accounting practices, BSA/AML examinations 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 providing training and conducting due diligence in these areas.
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 shareholder derivative actions and internal investigations.
Formerly at a firm in Chicago, Fritz joined Calfee in 2006 and became a partner in 2010.
J.D., University of Chicago Law School, 2000
B.A., Washington and Lee University, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1997
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.
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.
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.
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, Board Member
- Friends of the Garden House, Board Member
- Citizenship and Education Foundation of Edison Local Schools, past elected member of the Board of Education
- Boy Scouts of America, Volunteer
News & Events
- 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