Steven M. Witzel

Partner
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

Steven M. Witzel is head of Fried Frank’s White Collar Criminal Defense Practice as well as its Anti-Corruption Compliance and Enforcement Practice.  Mr. Witzel concentrates his practice in white-collar criminal defense, securities enforcement and regulatory interactions.  He has primarily represented public companies, audit committees, private equity firms and individuals in criminal and regulatory investigations.  Mr. Witzel has represented several boards and committees in conducting confidential internal investigations.  His matters have included investigations into allegations of domestic and foreign accounting frauds, antitrust violations, financial crimes and international anti-corruption violations, as well as related civil matters.  Currently, Mr. Witzel is representing a number of professional services firms, financial institutions, and senior executives in investigations involving the Department of Justice, the SEC, the CFTC and other regulators.  Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. Witzel was a partner and Associate General Counsel at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP from 1996 to 2005.  Before that, he was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division, Southern District of New York from 1989 to 1996, and served as acting chief of the Public Corruption Unit.  Mr. Witzel has extensive trial and appellate experience in a wide range of cases, including securities fraud, accounting fraud, money laundering, bank fraud, public corruption and tax evasion.  Mr. Witzel was also appointed to the Criminal Justice Act panel for the Southern District of New York in 2005 and reappointed in 2008, 2011 and 2015, where he represents indigent defendants on a pro bono basis in federal criminal prosecutions.  Mr. Witzel is consistently recognized by Chambers, Legal 500, and Benchmark in White-Collar Criminal Defense, Antitrust and Litigation.  He has been a faculty member (Adjunct Professor of Law) at Fordham University School of Law.  Mr. Witzel has published numerous articles and currently has a regular column in the New York Law Journal in which he addresses developments in the corporate criminal and anti-corruption areas. He regularly serves on panels addressing government investigations, accountants' liability and white-collar criminal defense issues.  Mr. Witzel has been selected as an International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution Distinguished Neutral, and has served as an arbitrator in several proceedings. Mr. Witzel served as law clerk to the Honorable John M. Cannella, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York from 1983 to 1985, and joined Cravath, Swaine & Moore upon completion of his clerkship.  Mr. Witzel received his JD from Fordham University School of Law in 1983, where he was an editor of the Law Review, and his AB, cum laude with high honors, from Dartmouth College in 1978.  He is admitted to practice in New York, Connecticut, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and several other jurisdictions. Among Mr. Witzel’s recent noteworthy representations are: Former Lehman Brothers President in enforcement investigations and related litigation, Independent Monitor of the US Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD), following selection by the US Department of Justice and the Virgin Islands Attorney General, Broker-dealer founding partner in criminal FCPA bribery case of South American sovereign entity investors, Hedge fund CEO in criminal insider trading case, Investment bank board member in criminal OFAC investigation, Broker-dealer entity in criminal market manipulation investigation, Investment bank professionals in LIBOR, FX and Precious Metals market manipulation prosecutions, Board of directors of a public company in an international anti-corruption investigation, Investment banking managing director in international criminal and regulatory investigation, and International auto supply company in civil and criminal antitrust actions.