People

Roger M. Witten

Senior Counsel

Witten, Roger M.

Roger Witten is a senior counsel in the firm's Litigation/Controversy Department, and a member of the Investigations and Criminal Litigation and Government and Regulatory Litigation Practice Groups. He joined the firm in 1975 and became a partner in 1980. Mr. Witten co-chaired the firm's Litigation Department from 1994 until 1999 and served on the firm's Management Committee from 1998 through 2008. His practice emphasizes complex international and domestic litigation, internal corporate investigations, law enforcement matters and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act matters. In January 2003, Mr. Witten became the senior litigation partner in the firm's New York office.

Practice

Mr. Witten has led teams of lawyers in several of the firm's largest and most noteworthy litigation cases. He leads a group of 45 lawyers who focus on FCPA enforcement and counseling issues. The team counsels roughly fifty companies and typically has about 20 matters pending with the DOJ and SEC at any one time. He has led major matters for Johnson Controls, Titan, InVision, the Audit Committee of Royal Ahold, N.V., the German Economy Foundation Initiative, General Electric, UBS AG, Credit Suisse Group, Senators McCain and Feingold, DaimlerChrysler, Commerzbank, The Federal Republic of Germany, KarstadtQuelle, Citibank and US citrus growers. These cases involve matters of unique importance to the clients, have broad public dimensions and often involve international issues. Mr. Witten has conducted complex internal investigations and has represented companies and individuals in criminal, administrative, congressional and private litigation that arise out of such investigations. Mr. Witten is an internationally recognized practitioner on the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act and is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer. He has authored numerous articles on the FCPA.

Mr. Witten served as Assistant Special Prosecutor of the Watergate Special Prosecution Force in 1973 and 1974. He is a member of the District of Columbia and New York bars.  

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized by Main Justice as a "Foreign Corrupt Practice Act Master" in 2013, and as one of seven "Best FCPA Lawyers Outside the Beltway" in 2011
  • Listed in the 2010, 2012 and 2013 editions of Benchmark Litigation as a leading New York attorney for complex commercial litigation and international litigation
  • Recognized as a national FCPA expert in the 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 editions of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers in Business  
  • Selected as an FCPA expert in the 2012, 2013 and 2014 editions of Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business  
  • Recognized by his peers as one of the world's leading banking and litigation attorneys in Legal Media Group's The Best of the Best  
  • Selected as one of the "Best Lawyers" for commercial litigation and white-collar criminal defense in the Best Lawyers in America  (2006, 2008-2015). Named in the 2005-2006 edition for business litigation and criminal defense.
  • In 2012 survey by Best Lawyers, a client cited Mr. Witten as “an excellent attorney who always provides thoughtful, accurate and consistent advice” who is “very responsive to client inquiries.” In addition, they noted that “in the area of anti-corruption/FCPA matters and investigations, there are very few attorneys who have the depth of experience and knowledge of the law as Roger.”
  • Recognized as a "New York Super Lawyer" in the 2006-2013 editions of Metro Edition magazine

Publications & News

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May 23, 2014

Chambers USA Ranks Top WilmerHale Lawyers and Practices in 2014 Edition

We are pleased to announce the names of the individuals and practice areas that are ranked in the 2014 edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business.

May 22, 2014

Eleventh Circuit Adopts Broad Definition of Government "Instrumentality" Under FCPA

On May 16, 2014, the Eleventh Circuit, in the first appellate decision on the issue, affirmed a broad definition of “instrumentality” of a foreign government within the meaning of the FCPA, providing important guidance in determining who should be considered a "foreign official" under the statute.

May 14, 2014

FCPA Considerations in M&A Transactions

Here is an excerpt from WilmerHale's 2014 M&A Report, which was released on May 6, 2014. This excerpt summarizes the FCPA risks for purchasers and sellers in M&A transactions and suggests affirmative steps companies can take to manage those risks both pre- and post-closing.

March 14, 2014

Chambers & Partners Recognizes WilmerHale in its 2014 Global Edition

Thirty-one WilmerHale lawyers have been named among the “World’s Leading Lawyers for Business” in the 2014 edition of Chambers Global. In addition to these individual accolades, 13 of the firm’s practice areas were also recognized.

January 8, 2014

2014 Winter Olympics: Anti-Bribery Considerations

The February 2014 Olympic games in Sochi, Russia will serve as an opportunity for many companies to market their products and develop customer relationships in an informal setting. While the business value of these opportunities is evident, companies must be mindful that the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the UK Bribery Act, Russian anti-corruption laws, and anti-corruption laws in other countries may impose restrictions on hospitality and other Olympics-related activities.

August 15, 2013

UK Bribery Act Prosecutions

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) has brought charges under the UK Bribery Act 2010 for the first time.

August 15, 2013

Best Lawyers in America® 2014 Recognizes Nearly 100 WilmerHale Partners, Naming Eight “Lawyer of the Year”

Nearly 100 WilmerHale lawyers have been selected for inclusion in the 20th edition of The Best Lawyers in America®—a respected peer-review publication in the legal industry. The 2014 list also highlights eight WilmerHale partners who have been named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers.

July 25, 2013

WilmerHale Lawyers Release Newest Edition of FCPA Treatise

In connection with their ongoing work at the forefront of issues relating to the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and other anti-corruption laws, WilmerHale Partners Roger Witten, Kimberly Parker and Jay Holtmeier recently published the 8th edition of Complying with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

June 10, 2013

WilmerHale Named an “FCPA Powerhouse” by Law360

May 24, 2013

Chambers USA 2013 Final Results Announced

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business today announced its final rankings for the 2013 edition, in which 93 WilmerHale lawyers and 44 firm practice areas have been recognized as leading in their field.

Recent Highlights

Illustrative of Mr. Witten's litigation practice are:

  • His representation of various companies in counseling or litigation contexts on FCPA matters
  • His involvement in recent major FCPA cases including York, Titan, InVision and BAE Systems
  • His conduct of an internal investigation on behalf of Royal Ahold's Audit Committee into alleged accounting and related issues
  • His representation of Senators McCain and Feingold in successful litigation defending the constitutionality of the 2002 campaign finance reform law
  • His representation of UBS and Credit Suisse in the litigation and settlement of multiple class actions relating to World War II deposits
  • His representation of leading German companies in successful international negotiations relating to asserted World War II claims and in related litigation
  • His representation of UBS in a major securities case that went to trial in New York and was successfully settled

Professional Activities

Mr. Witten chaired the Twentieth Century Fund Working Group on Campaign Finance Litigation, which published a report entitled Buckley Stops Here: Loosening the Judicial Stranglehold on Campaign Finance Reform (1998). He also served as Chairman of the Election Law Committee of the Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice of the American Bar Association from 1988 to 1990. He formerly served as Counsel to Common Cause and has, for several years, served as counsel for Democracy 21 on whose board he sits.

Practices

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Education

JD, cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1972

AB, magna cum laude, Dartmouth College, 1968, Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

New York

District of Columbia

Clerkships

The Hon. Harrison L. Winter, US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 1972 - 1973