Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP today announced that Avi Gesser, an official
with the U.S. Department of Justice, will rejoin the firm's Litigation
Department as a partner. He will work with the firm's top-ranked White
Collar Criminal Defense Group and will represent clients in a wide range
of white collar criminal defense matters and investigations as well as
complex commercial litigation.
From mid-2010 to December 2012, Mr. Gesser was the Counsel to the Chief
of the Justice Department, Criminal Division's Fraud Section, where he
assisted the Chief in overseeing more than 100 federal prosecutors who
work on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, securities, health care, and
other fraud investigations and cases.
From early 2011 through August 2013, Mr. Gesser was the Deputy Director
of the Justice Department, Criminal Division's Deepwater Horizon
Task Force. In that role, he was responsible for operation of the Task
Force, which included 12 prosecutors and dozens of agents. He was also
jointly responsible for investigating and prosecuting BP, Transocean and
Halliburton for their conduct in connection with the Macondo oil spill
in the Gulf of Mexico. In 2013, BP, Transocean and Halliburton all pled
guilty to criminal conduct in connection with the oil spill, the largest
criminal resolution in U.S. history. Mr. Gesser was also part of the
team that prosecuted individuals for obstruction and manslaughter
relating to the disaster.
In recognition of his work on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
matter, last month Mr. Gesser was honored with the Attorney General's
Award for Exceptional Service, which is the highest award given by the
Justice Department. He also received the FBI Director's Award for
Excellence in the category of Outstanding Criminal Investigation. This
award is conferred annually to a group of criminal investigators who
have demonstrated extraordinary ingenuity, initiative, and competence in
overcoming serious obstacles, and have achieved significant results in a
complex criminal investigation of major importance.
Mr. Gesser practiced in Davis Polk's Litigation Department from 1998 to
2010, as partner from 2007 to 2010, representing clients in a wide range
of securities enforcement and white collar criminal defense matters,
class actions and complex commercial cases. He clerked for the Honorable
I. Leo Glasser, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New
York, from 1999 to 2000. Mr. Gesser graduated with highest honors from
the University of Manitoba. He also received an LL.M. from Cambridge
University and an LL.M. from New York University School of Law.
"We are delighted to welcome back Avi, whose invaluable government
experience will be a great asset to our world-class white collar
criminal defense team assisting our clients on their most sensitive
investigations and trials," said Thomas J. Reid, Davis Polk's Managing
Partner. "Avi joins a long list of Davis Polk lawyers who have returned
to the firm after government service, such as a number of our current
litigators who have held senior positions with the DOJ, the SEC, the
White House and the CIA."
Mr. Gesser said, "I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve
the public in my roles at the Department of Justice in Washington. I
have greatly enjoyed my time in the government, and am pleased to rejoin
the talented litigation team at Davis Polk and work on white collar and
investigative matters with my friends and colleagues."
About Davis Polk's White Collar Criminal Defense and Government
Davis Polk is widely recognized as having one of the most distinguished
white collar criminal defense and investigations practices in the United
States and internationally. The firm represents corporations and
executives from around the world in high-profile and complex white
collar criminal defense matters, regulatory enforcement matters, and
government and internal investigations. Davis Polk litigators include
some of the most highly respected criminal defense lawyers in the
country, many of whom served with distinction as federal and state
prosecutors or senior officials at the Department of Justice and the
Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm's criminal defense and
investigation lawyers currently play leading roles in major enforcement
and regulatory proceedings in areas that include the Foreign Corrupt
Practices Act (FCPA); the subprime and financial markets crisis;
anti-money laundering and sanctions compliance; health care fraud;
insider trading and market manipulation; and criminal tax
investigations. A large part of the practice involves representing
corporations, individuals, financial institutions, professional firms,
audit committees and advisory boards in nonpublic criminal and
regulatory investigations, and proceedings conducted by the U.S.
Congress, the DOJ, the SEC, the New York Attorney General's Office, the
Manhattan District Attorney's Office, the NYSE Euronext, FINRA, the
Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Reserve Bank, and numerous other
U.S., state and foreign law enforcement and regulatory agencies.
About Davis Polk's Trial Practice.
Davis Polk has one of the world's premier trial practices. With more
than 200 litigators, including 37 partners, the firm handles trials in
federal, state and non-U.S. jurisdictions in a wide range of matters
across many industries. In both 2010 and 2011, Davis Polk's Litigation
Department was ranked among the top three firms in the Financial Times'
"U.S. Innovative Lawyers" special report - the only law firm to earn
such a distinction. Davis Polk's approach has created a long track
record of success for clients, at both trial and on appeal. First and
foremost, Davis Polk litigators are courtroom lawyers, who have earned
the respect of judges, prosecutors, regulators and the bar across the
nation. Current and former partners have served in a wide range of
senior government positions, including U.S. Attorney for the Southern
District of New York, Chief of the Fraud Section of the Criminal
Division of the DOJ; and Independent Counsel in both the
Whitewater/Madison Guaranty and Iran-Contra investigations. In addition,
approximately two-thirds of the firm's litigators have clerked for
federal or state judges, including Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.
About Davis Polk.
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is a global law firm. For over 160 years, its
lawyers have advised industry-leading companies and global financial
institutions on their most challenging legal and business matters. Davis
Polk ranks among the world's preeminent law firms across the entire
range of its practice, which spans such areas as capital markets,
mergers and acquisitions, credit, litigation, private equity, tax,
financial regulation, investment management, insolvency and
restructuring, executive compensation, intellectual property, real
estate, and trusts and estates. Davis Polk (including its associated
entities) has more than 750 lawyers in offices in New York, Menlo Park,
CA, Washington DC, São Paulo, London, Paris, Madrid, Hong Kong, Beijing
and Tokyo. For more information, please visit: http://www.davispolk.com.
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
Susan Peters, 212-450-4159
Public Relations Manager