Jeffrey R. Makin

Jeff is a partner in the Complex Litigation practice.
Jeff Makin, partner in the Complex Litigation practice

Jeff's work focuses on complex commercial disputes, international arbitration and dispute resolution, international trade, white collar criminal defense, and government investigations and enforcement. He routinely handles high-stakes matters before state and federal courts, and before domestic and international arbitral tribunals. Jeff has broad experience, and he has handled every aspect of litigation and dispute resolution. 

Client Work

Jeff has represented clients in a wide range of matters, including international investment disputes, maritime boundary disputes, contract disputes, business torts, intellectual property litigation, complex consumer class actions, False Claims Act investigations and litigation, and government investigations. His representative cases include:

Complex Litigation

  • Represented various oil and gas companies in connection with a variety of matters —including regulatory actions, breach of contract claims, and tort claims.
  • Defended a California-based winery against multi-district litigation in both federal and state court in connection with numerous class action claims for, among other things, false advertising, violation of California Proposition 65, and violation of the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act. 
  • Defended multiple California motorcycle dealerships against various class action claims in separate lawsuits related to “hang tags.”
  • Defended a California retailer against various class action claims.
  • Represented a California-based hedge fund in various litigation and commercial counseling matters.
  • Defended a sportswear company and 15 national retailers in federal trademark infringement trial. The case settled during trial.
  • Defended a piping manufacturer against false advertising and business tort claims. 

Arbitration & Dispute Resolution

  • Represented a sovereign in an investment dispute related to its agricultural industry before an ICSID tribunal.
  • Represented a sovereign in an energy dispute before a SIAC tribunal.
  • Represented a sovereign in an energy dispute before a PCA tribunal.
  • Represented an international construction company in an international dispute subject to AAA arbitration.
  • Represented a California-based oil company in a contract dispute subject to AAA arbitration. 
  • Represented a specialty wire company in a dispute before a AAA tribunal.
  • Advised a sovereign in connection with a maritime boundary dispute before a UNCLOS special chamber.
  • Advised a sovereign on matters related to its petroleum sector, international investments, tax structure, and infrastructure development.

White Collar & Investigations

  • Represented and advised a municipality in connection with a False Claims Act investigation and litigation. 
  • Represented and advised various health care industry clients in connection with False Claims Act investigations and litigation. 
  • Represented and advised a reinsurance company regarding its removal from the Zimbabwe Sanctions List administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Department of the Treasury. 
  • Represented and advised a private individual in connection with his removal from the Zimbabwe Sanctions List. 
  • Discovered a scheme to defraud an international client. Managed the client’s investigation of the scheme and coordinated with US authorities to ensure the apprehension and prosecution of the perpetrator, who was ordered to pay restitution and is now incarcerated in a US federal prison. 

Previous Work

Before joining Arent Fox, Jeff was an attorney at a large international law firm. He also served as a law clerk for the Honorable Michael W. Mosman in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon.

Jeff also has extensive experience studying campaigns and elections. He previously worked at the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy. The Center conducted numerous national studies of Congressional, Senatorial, and Presidential elections.

Publications, Presentations & Recognitions

Jeff’s presentations and publications include:

  • “USMCA Has Serious Implications for Investor-State Dispute Settlement and Arbitration,” Daily Journal, November 7, 2018
  • “Protecting Your Assets Abroad,” Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, September 14, 2016.
  • “Protecting Your Company’s Investments Abroad,” 2016 Taiwan-US Investment Conference, Los Angeles, CA, May 28, 2016
  • “Vindicating the Judicial Process Through Contempt Proceedings,” Los Angeles Lawyer, April 2012. 
  • “False Claims and ITAR – A Lethal Combination,” Law360, February 2011.
  • “The Effects of Campaign Volume on Public Confidence in Elections,” Southern Political Science Association annual meeting, New Orleans, LA, January 5-9, 2005.
  • “Being in the Crosshairs: The Impact on Public Confidence in Elections and Democracy of High Levels of Party and Interest Group Spending,” Southern Political Science Association annual meeting, New Orleans, LA, January 8-10, 2004.
  • “Bringing the Outside In: The Study of Outside Money in Congressional Campaigns,” Vox Pop Newsletter of Political Organizations and Parties, Vol. 23, Issue 1 (2004), pp. 1-3.
  • “Enough Already: The Impact of Noncandidate Spending on Voters,” Northeastern Political Science Association annual meeting, Philadelphia, PA, November 6-8, 2003.

Jeff has been listed among the "Top 40 Under 40" lawyers in California by the Daily Journal and recognized as a “rising star” by Super Lawyers magazine.

During law school, Jeff was the editor-in-chief of the Southern California Law Review (Volume 80) and received the Edward and Eleanor Shattuck Award for significant contributions to the University of Southern California Law School. Also, upon completing his undergraduate studies, Jeff was selected as the political science department valedictorian at Brigham Young University.