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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

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

Government Service

From 2004 through 2010, Mr. Willscher served as an Assistant U.S. 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. He also prosecuted matters involving racketeering, murder, firearms, and narcotics trafficking.

Rankings and Recognitions

  • Global Investigations Review Top 40 Under 40 (2014)
  • New York Super Lawyers (2013, 2014)

Professional Activities

  • The Federal Bar Council
  • The Supreme Court Historical Society


  • “Implications of heightened judicial supervision of corporate criminal settlements” (Financier Worldwide, February 2015)


Securities and complex commercial litigation:
  • Represented Porsche in obtaining the dismissal of federal securities claims seeking more than $2.5 billion arising out of Porsche’s takeover bid for Volkswagen. Then, in 2012, represented Porsche in obtaining the dismissal, on appeal, of parallel claims brought in New York State Court.
  • Represented 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.
  • Represented 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.
  • Represented HSBC Bank USA in successfully obtaining the vacatur a writ of attachment that had restrained $20 million in a correspondent account at HSBC held for the benefit of a customer.
White-collar criminal defense, regulatory enforcement, and internal investigations:
  • Represented HSBC Holdings plc in the investigation and resolution with the Department of Justice, 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.
  • Represented a subsidiary of an international bank in connection with an investigation by the New York State Department of Financial Services.
  • Represented an a major international oil company in DOJ and SEC investigations of possible FCPA violations.
  • Represented numerous senior executives in a wide variety of investigations by the DOJ and/or SEC involving alleged market manipulation and FCPA violations.