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Alexander J. Willscher


Alexander J. Willscher

New York +1-212-558-4104+1-212-558-4104 +1-212-558-3588+1-212-558-3588
[email protected]

Alex Willscher is a partner in the Firm’s Litigation Group. His practice focuses on white-collar criminal defense, regulatory enforcement proceedings, securities class actions and complex commercial litigation, and cybersecurity matters.

Mr. Willscher has represented a number of companies and individuals under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the U.S. Treasury, the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, and state and local prosecutors’ offices. He has defended against civil securities fraud cases in both federal and New York State court, and has experience representing clients located outside the United States against cross-border litigation and enforcement investigations.

Mr. Willscher has tried 10 criminal jury cases in federal court. He has extensive investigative and courtroom experience in a wide range of white-collar and securities matters, including those involving allegations of accounting fraud, market manipulation, insider trading, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, bank and lending fraud, asset forfeiture, violations of economic sanctions, and international money laundering offenses.

In addition, Mr. Willscher, who clerked on the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, and on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for then-Chief Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III, is an experienced appellate litigator. Mr. Willscher has argued many times before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and has handled appeals in a variety of other federal and state appellate courts.


White-collar criminal defense, regulatory enforcement, and internal investigations:
  • Barclays in the investigation and resolution with the DOJ, CFTC, the U.K. FCA, and other regulators of matters relating to voice and electronic trading in the global FX Spot Market.
  • A senior General Motors employee in connection with a DOJ auto-recall investigation.
  • Barclays in the investigation and resolution with the CFTC of matters relating to the ISDAFIX benchmark rate.
  • HSBC Holdings plc in the investigation and resolution with the DOJ, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control related to OFAC sanctions and anti-money laundering compliance.
  • Numerous senior executives in a wide variety of investigations by the DOJ and/or SEC involving alleged market manipulation, front-running and FCPA violations.
  • A major international oil company in DOJ and SEC investigations of possible FCPA violations.
Securities and complex commercial litigation:
  • HSBC Holdings plc in obtaining dismissal of a shareholder derivative lawsuit arising out of HSBC’s 2012 resolutions with DOJ and other agencies.
  • Porsche in obtaining the dismissal of federal securities claims seeking more than $2.5 billion arising out of Porsche’s takeover bid for Volkswagen.  In August 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed this decision.  Additionally, in 2012, represented Porsche in obtaining the dismissal, on appeal, of parallel claims brought in New York State Court.
  • The Boeing Company in obtaining the dismissal of a putative securities fraud class action related to delays in the first flight of the company’s 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
  • HSBC Bank USA in successfully obtaining the dismissal of an action seeking over $2.7 billion plus interest in sanctions against HSBC, in connection with a default judgment that plaintiffs had obtained against the government of Iran.
  • HSBC Bank USA in successfully wining dismissal with prejudice of a putative class action seeking $5 billion in damages on behalf of persons whose personal property allegedly had been stolen, converted to cash, and eventually deposited in accounts at HSBC.

Government Service

From 2004 through 2010, Mr. Willscher served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he handled a wide variety of criminal investigations and prosecutions. From 2008 through 2010, Mr. Willscher was a member of that office’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force, where he investigated and prosecuted complex white collar cases involving securities fraud, insider trading, market manipulation, Ponzi schemes, accounting fraud, investment adviser fraud, bribery, and mail and wire fraud. From 2006 through 2008, Mr. Willscher was a member of the office’s Public Corruption Unit, where he investigated and prosecuted corruption at the United Nations and in federal, state, and local government, as well as violations of federal campaign-finance laws.

Rankings and Recognitions

  • Chambers USA – Recognized in the area of White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations
  • The Legal 500 United States – Recommended in Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense (2017)
  • Euromoney’s Benchmark: America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys – Recognized as a Future Star (2016-2018)
  • Global Investigations Review Top 40 Under 40 (2014)
  • New York Super Lawyers (2013-2017)

Professional Activities

  • Member, Criminal Justice Act Panel, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • The Federal Bar Council
  • The Supreme Court Historical Society