Charles concentrates his practice in securities litigation and director and officer liability, corporate compliance and governance, environmental law, health care law, commercial litigation and white collar criminal defense. In addition to providing legal representation to both corporate and individual clients in the private sector, Charles is providing representation in federal civil litigation regarding restoration of the Florida Everglades.
In addition to his other legal work, Charles has or is representing clients in complex litigation, including allegations of breaches of fiduciary duties and corporate waste, federal securities fraud litigation, a Bivens cause of action against federal prosecutors, Qui Tam litigation, internal investigations and other commercial and white collar litigation.
Charles is chair of the firm’s White Collar Compliance & Defense Practice Group and a member of the Partnership Advancement Committee, as well a member of the International Practice Group and chair of its Subcommittee for Italy. Charles made a presentation in Vicenza, Italy in May 2016 on the cross border practice of law.
Charles is also co-chair of the firm’s Marcellus Shale Coalition group and serves as a member of the Marcellus Shale Coalition Legal Committee. Energy companies involved in Marcellus Shale participate in this group.
Before Fox Rothschild
Charles was formerly a partner at Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote. Prior to that, he served as an Assistant District Attorney in Allegheny County for more than seven years, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania for more than six years, and as Assistant Chief of the Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., for more than nine years.
During his tenure with the Justice Department in Washington, D.C., Charles served as lead counsel for the United States in the criminal prosecution of U.S. v. Exxon and Exxon Shipping Co. for the massive 1989 Exxon Valdez Alaska oil spill. The criminal and civil settlements obtained by the government represented at the time the largest comprehensive settlement in the history of law enforcement. Charles has also prosecuted major environmental cases in Pittsburgh, Miami, Anchorage, San Juan and Washington, D.C.
While an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Charles was in the Narcotics and Organized Crimes Section and served as Chief of the Special Prosecutions and White Collar Crime Sections. He served as lead counsel for the United States Attorney’s Office in Pittsburgh in the 1988 Ashland Oil spill, where the company was fined $2.25 million after a tank collapse sent 700,000 gallons of diesel fuel into the Monongahela and Ohio Rivers.
Beyond Fox Rothschild
Charles has made more than 50 professional presentations to government employees, the environmental regulated community and attorneys. He is the co-author of an article on corporate officer responsibility printed in the Environmental Law Reporter. In addition, he has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and other national media.
Charles has served on faculties and made presentations and submitted papers to the American Bar Association, ALI-ABA, the Pacific Admiralty Conference, the Practicing Law Institute, the Allegheny Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. He was profiled by the Environmental Law Institute in the Environmental Forum in March/April 1999 regarding his work on the Exxon Valdez litigation and his current practice. In addition, he was referred to by the Environmental Law Institute as “a father of parental liability” in corporate litigation matters.
He also served as moderator of the Corporate Legal Times Roundtable on the topic, “Corporations are Striving to do the Right Thing,” published in November 1999. He was on the faculty of the ABA 23rd Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime in San Francisco, CA, in March 2009. In September 2009, he made a presentation to the Los Angeles County Bar Association, International Law Section, on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Additionally, Charles was cited by name in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Public Lands and National Treasures publication celebrating the centennial anniversary of the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the Justice Department, and featured as one of the agency’s top cases of the past 100 years – the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the largest environmental settlement in the nation’s history, totaling $1.125 billion.
In January 2003, Charles joined the Adjunct Faculty at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and teaches Conflict of Laws.
Fox Rothschild e-Books
Business in a Global Society: A Guide to Understanding the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
Download Full e-Book (pdf file)
Honors & Awards
- Recipient of numerous awards including the prestigious Attorney General's Distinguished Service Award, the U.S. Attorney Director's Award for Sustained Superior Service, the U.S. Department of Labor Award, the U.S. Department of Transportation – United States Coast Guard Meritorious Public Service Award, and the U.S. Department of Justice Special Achievement Award and Certificate of Commendation for three separate prosecutions
- Received letters of recognition from two Attorneys General and two FBI Directors
- Included in the list of "Corporate Counsel Super Lawyers" in the area of Securities Litigation (2010)
- Included in the list of "Pennsylvania Super Lawyers" in the area of Securities Litigation (2007-2016)
- Included in “Super Lawyers Business Edition” in the area of Securities Litigation (2013)
- Included in the list of "Best Lawyers in America" in the areas of White Collar Criminal Defense and Commercial Litigation (2009-2017)
- Martindale-Hubbell "AV" rated
- Received Eric W. Springer Professionalism Award from the W. Edward Sell Inn of Court