The Trusted Advocate

OVERVIEW

Mr. Petrillo represents clients in civil and criminal litigation and investigations, regulatory enforcement matters, antitrust proceedings and independent investigations. He has also served as an arbitrator and as counsel in commercial arbitrations, bankruptcy court matters, including trustee and examiner investigations and adversary actions, and in mediations.

BIOGRAPHY

Mr. Petrillo co-founded the Firm in January 2010. Before opening the Firm, Mr. Petrillo served as Chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York from January 2008 to October 2009. He served in that position after completing a decade of practice as a partner of Dechert LLP and predecessor firms, all in New York. Earlier, from 1990 through 1997, he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District and, from 1987 to 1990, a litigation associate with Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Mr. Petrillo handled numerous investigations, hearings and jury trials, and in 1996 and 1997, served as the Criminal Division’s Chief Appellate Attorney.

Mr. Petrillo has served as a member of the Criminal Justice Act Panel in the Southern District. He was also an appointed Lecturer at Columbia University School of Law between 2010 and 2019, where he co-taught a class on criminal law and procedure. Mr. Petrillo has participated on committees of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, including the Professional Responsibility Committee and White Collar Crime Committee, and been a panelist in CLE courses sponsored by the Association of Corporate Counsel, Practising Law Institute, American Bankruptcy Institute, and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.

Mr. Petrillo has a Martindale-Hubble’s AV© Preeminent Rating and has been regularly recognized as a leading practitioner in Chambers USA©(Band One, White Collar Individuals); The Best Lawyers in America© (Corporate Compliance Law and Criminal Defense, White Collar); Benchmark Litigation©; Who’s Who Legal, Global Investigations Review, Thought Leaders, Business Crime Defence©; Who’s Who Legal, Global Investigations Review, Business Crime Defence©; Who’s Who Legal, Global Investigations Review, Investigations©; Super Lawyers©; and Criminal Defense, and White Collar Expert Guides, White Collar Crime©.

Mr. Petrillo is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. He is a graduate of New York University School of Law and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received an undergraduate degree in chemistry and a graduate degree in political science.

NOTABLE ENGAGEMENTS

  • BOARD COMMITTEE AND ENTITY INVESTIGATIONS
    • Counsel to Special Committee of a Board of Directors of an energy company in an internal investigation arising from charges filed by the Department of Justice against the former Speaker of a state legislature and others with respect to the enactment of certain legislation and company contributions to organizations that supported the legislation.
    • Counsel to Audit Committee of the Board of Directors of a public global consumer products company in the internal review of transactions with an affiliate of the company.
    • Internal investigation for a global investment management firm concerning the methodologies employed in the firm’s portfolio selection.
    • Counsel to independent directors of publicly traded company in Canada engaged in regulated cannabis production.
    • Counsel to Special Committee of public pharmaceutical company concerning conduct of certain consultants outside the United States.
  • RECENT TRIALS
    • Represented Jeffrey Ruffo in U.S. v. Smith, 19 Cr. 669 (N. D Ill.), where the indictment alleged principally conspiracy, fraud and spoofing charges with respect to certain precious metals trading. After a month-long trial, Mr. Ruffo was acquitted in full.
    • Represented lead defendant in U.S. v. Shapiro, et al., 3:15 cr. 00155-RNC, in six-week federal court jury trial on an indictment charging conspiracy, securities fraud and wire fraud in connection with certain non-agency RMBS trading in the secondary market. Our client was acquitted on eight counts of securities and wire fraud. The jury did not reach a verdict on a conspiracy count, and the government and our client entered into a one-year deferred prosecution agreement concerning this count; when the agreement expires, the count will be dismissed.
    • Represented respondent in SEC v. Barbara Duka, SEC 3-16349, in multi-week trial before SEC ALJ on a complaint charging securities fraud, negligence and SEC credit ratings-related rules violations in connection with certain 2011 CMBS ratings agency publications. Post-trial opinion dismissed all fraud charges and imposed no bar on continued industry service.
    • Served as arbitration tribunal panelist in a contractual dispute between non-US international pharmaceutical companies under the rules of the Swiss Chamber Arbitration Institution.
    • OTHER RECENT NOTABLE ENGAGEMENTS
      • Co-counsel to a public global technology company in the negotiation of the settlement of a long-running investigation of the Federal Communications Commission concerning the award of e-rate funding to the New York City school system.
      • Counsel to former Chief Executive Officer of generic pharmaceutical manufacturer in securities fraud and MDL antitrust litigation.
      • Represented Mexico-based entity in commercial litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York concerning the alleged breach of aircraft sale contract.
      • Counsel to global law firm in recruitment fee dispute in New York State Supreme Court; achieved dispositive summary judgment ruling.
      • Counsel to senior managing director of global investment bank in internal investigation relating to the collapse of Archegos.
      • Counsel to Europe-based front office management in DOJ investigation of certain media agency vendor transactions and practices.
      • Counsel to senior global bank executive in DOJ investigation of client relationship in Brazil.
      • Counsel to legal and compliance, medical and medical regulatory, sales and marketing, and financial planning and other professionals in connection with DOJ investigation of opioid marketing and distribution and related MDL and individual state/municipality litigations.
      • Counsel to pharmaceutical company management in U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation concerning certain financial reporting and public disclosures. After the Enforcement Staff issued notice of its intention to recommend charges, persuaded SEC to forego any action.
      • Counsel to Chief Financial Officer of public global automobile company in an SEC investigation of certain financial statement disclosures.
    • PRACTICE OVERVIEW
    • U.S. Department of Justice – Antitrust Mr. Petrillo represents clients charged in cases alleging violations of the antitrust laws and in antitrust investigations conducted by DOJ’s Antitrust Division. His experience includes proceedings and investigations in a host of industries, including automobile parts, advertising and media, generic pharmaceuticals, art market auctions, water chemicals sold to states and municipalities, guaranteed investment contracts, property tax lien auctions, foreign exchange trading, large ocean vessel international transportation services, engineering services, and others.
    • U.S. Department of Justice -- Securities and Other Anti-Fraud, Anti-Money Laundering, Asset Forfeiture, FCPA, Tax and Public Integrity Mr. Petrillo regularly represents clients in a full spectrum of DOJ investigations and proceedings, including cases and investigations pursued by the headquarters office of DOJ and DOJ’s U.S. Attorney’s offices. His experience encompasses cases and investigations concerning alleged money laundering, asset forfeiture, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the health care sector, government procurement, public integrity, U.S. sanctions, tax, and alleged mail, wire, financial and securities fraud in multiple business settings.
    • Department of Justice Civil Enforcement Mr. Petrillo has broad experience representing clients in investigations and actions brought by the Civil Division of the DOJ including in qui tam matters, proceedings under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act and health care and other civil fraud statutes.
    • Securities and Exchange Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission and FINRA Mr. Petrillo is frequently engaged by clients in SEC and CFTC investigations, including concerning alleged securities fraud, financial statement disclosure issues, mortgage-backed originations and secondary trading, dark pool trading, ADR trading, alleged insider trading, ratings agency practices and disclosures, accounting disclosures, and municipal bond issuance disclosures. In commodity futures trading investigations, he has represented clients in investigations concerning trading in oil futures contracts, precious metals futures, debt options, futures and forwards and swaptions, and others. He also has represented clients in investigations conducted by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
  • Other Enforcement and Regulatory Agencies, including New York State and New York City Regulatory and Other Enforcement. Mr. Petrillo has represented clients in investigations by enforcement arms of the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission, Federal Reserve, Office of Foreign Assets Control, New York Department of Financial Services, other state securities regulators, the New York State Department of Health, New York’s Joint Commission on Public Integrity, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board and the New York City Department of Investigation. He also regularly represents clients in criminal and civil proceedings pursued by the Office of the New York State Attorney General and the New York County District Attorney, including in the financial, insurance, mutual fund, and other sectors.
  • Health Care Industry Mr. Petrillo has represented health care industry senior executives, physicians, legal and compliance professionals, sales and marketing staff and management, and front office finance executives and business managers in multiple government health care industry investigations and related civil litigation.
  • Professionals and Law Firms Mr. Petrillo regularly represent lawyers and law firms in enforcement matters and civil litigation. For example, he has represented a global law firm in alleged malpractice actions and in disputes over fees and recruitment compensation and a law firm partner in civil litigation relating to the financial collapse of a large law firm. In enforcement matters, he has represented partners in a national law firm in an investigation by the New York Attorney General concerning investments by the New York State Common Retirement Fund, a law firm as a witness in a criminal trial in federal court and a global law firm in a DOJ money laundering investigation. He has also represented two attorneys charged in criminal cases, one in federal court and the other in New York in a case brought by the New York County District Attorney. His engagements have also included representations of U.S. and U.K.-based lawyers in DOJ, SEC and congressional investigations. Mr. Petrillo has also frequently represented accounting, compliance and anti-money laundering professionals in enforcement and internal investigations and proceedings.
  • Civil litigation, Arbitration and Mediation Mr. Petrillo represents clients in federal and state court in civil litigations and in arbitration. Clients have included officers and senior executives of public companies in class action securities fraud and derivative cases, antitrust and FIRREA litigation, partners in business-related disputes, a law firm in a malpractice action in New York state court, a money manager accused of fraud, an investment bank in a contract dispute, and investment funds and a leading broker-dealer in bankruptcy court litigation. He has also negotiated settlements in sensitive executive employment disputes and has experience in the mediation process, both as a choice of the parties and as ordered by the court. Mr. Petrillo has also represented numerous clients in investigations conducted by Trustees and Examiners appointed by the Bankruptcy Court, and he litigated in the trial court and on appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit a multi-year adversary action brought by a Bankruptcy Trustee.
  • Internal Investigations Mr. Petrillo represents boards, board committees, companies and non-profit organizations in the conduct of privileged internal investigations. These matters have included engagements on behalf of audit committees, special committees, sole shareholders, senior management, and non-profit legal and health care organizations. He is also frequently engaged by clients whose employers are engaged in a board or company-directed investigation.
  • Congressional and special government investigations Mr. Petrillo has represented clients in six congressional and special government investigations, the focuses of which have included Enron’s collapse, the Financial Crisis, structured tax vehicles, CMBS origination and trading, money laundering and terrorist financing and the Special Counsel Office’s investigation led by Robert Mueller.
  • Appeals Mr. Petrillo has been counsel in more than 120 appeals in subject areas including, among others, criminal law and procedure, constitutional law, antitrust law, wire fraud, asset forfeiture, the law of director duties and court-imposed sanctions awarding fees.