Michael Mugmon


  • Partner-in-Charge, San Francisco Office

Companies and individuals rely on Michael Mugmon to guide them through multifaceted legal challenges that threaten their business and their reputation. Mr. Mugmon—the partner-in-charge of WilmerHale’s San Francisco office—advises clients both in the United States and internationally in a range of industries as they navigate complex and high-profile investigations, regulatory inquiries, litigation, and other threats. Drawing on this experience and on each client’s individual situation and goals, he charts strategies that resolve thorny problems and allow companies and individuals to stay focused on what matters.

A Diverse Practice

Mr. Mugmon regularly conducts internal investigations into potential misconduct, defends clients facing significant government enforcement actions involving the US Department of Justice, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), state attorney general offices, various international regulators, and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and handles complex commercial and securities litigation in federal and state courts. He has experience in matters related to financial fraud, accounting irregularities, anti-money laundering, insider trading, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, sanctions and export controls, compliance and risk management, internal controls, and disclosure issues. His clients include companies and individuals in a range of industries, from technology, social media, and cryptocurrency and blockchain to financial services, energy, construction and real estate.

WilmerHale Leadership

Mr. Mugmon joined WilmerHale’s Washington DC office in 2003 and has since helped the firm establish its West Coast presence, first as a founding member of its government investigations and litigation practice in Palo Alto in 2007, and then as a founder of its San Francisco office in 2019. He was named partner-in-charge of the San Francisco office in 2021. Mr. Mugmon also chairs the Hiring Committee for the firm’s Northern California offices and serves on the firm's Pro Bono and Community Service Committee and Ethics Committee.


  • Representative Matters

    • Representing a major international technology company in US Attorney’s Office and SEC inquiries involving alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in the Middle East
    • Representing a major cryptocurrency exchange in various SEC and state securities agencies’ inquiries
    • Representing a major online lodging platform in an inquiry by the US Attorney's Office
    • Representing a major Africa-based company in conducting a compliance review and enhancing its compliance program with a focus on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, export compliance and anti-money laundering
    • Representing prominent investment firm in connection with various government inquiries involving a trust managed by the family of Russian oligarch
    • Represented Theranos, Inc. in inquiries by the US Attorney’s Office, the SEC, and the Arizona Attorney General, and in shareholder litigation
    • Represented a major California developer in a public corruption inquiry by the US Attorney’s Office
    • Represented the chief financial officer of a California-based public construction company in an internal investigation, shareholder and derivative litigation, and an SEC inquiry
    • Representing two European space companies in regulatory inquiries
    • Represented the chief executive officer of a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that merged with a Middle East–based communications and surveillance company in the first major SEC inquiry involving a SPAC
    • Represented a major private university in litigation arising from Operation Varsity Blues investigation
    • Successfully resolved an inquiry by an Asian federal prosecutor’s office into allegedly fraudulent contracts with government customers on behalf of a major international technology company by obtaining a letter closing the investigation without adverse action
    • Successfully resolved an SEC inquiry involving revenue recognition for cloud computing products on behalf of a major international technology company by obtaining a letter closing the investigation without adverse action
    • Successfully resolved an SEC inquiry relating to an initial public offering on behalf of a major social media company by obtaining a letter closing the investigation without adverse action
    • Successfully resolved an SEC inquiry on behalf of an individual investigated for potential insider trading by obtaining a letter closing the investigation without adverse action
    • Representing several San Francisco Bay Area public companies in securities class action litigation matters in federal and California state court
  • Pro Bono and Community Service

    • Representing an Afghan translator for the US military before US Citizenship and Immigration Services in connection with his settlement in the US after he was forced to leave Afghanistan
    • Served as a lead adjudicator for the San Francisco Neighborhood Courts alternative dispute resolution program operated by the San Francisco District Attorney's office
    • Achieved a 35-year sentence reduction for a California inmate who received an improper gang enhancement of indeterminate length to their sentence for their role as an armed robbery getaway driver
    • Represented a California gang member charged with RICO and VICAR conspiracy to commit murder in federal district court in the Northern District of California
    • Represented a California inmate in successful parole proceedings after the California Board of Parole Hearings had denied his 15 previous applications
    • Secured a U-VISA for a Mexican immigrant who was the victim of domestic abuse


  • Previously recognized as a “Super Lawyer” and “Rising Star” in Northern California Super Lawyers
  • Named one of the "Top 20 Lawyers Under 40" in California in 2013 by Daily Journal
  • Won the prestigious Burton Award for Legal Achievement for his 2011 column “Seeing Green” in financial magazine The Deal

Insights & News


  • Education

    • JD, University of Pennsylvania Law School, 2002

      cum laude Editor-in-Chief, University of Pennsylvania Law Review; Arthur Littleton and H. Clayton Louderback Legal Writing Instructor
    • BA, University of Pennsylvania, 1999

      magna cum laude Phi Beta Kappa
  • Admissions

    • California

    • District of Columbia

    • Maryland

  • Clerkships

    • The Hon. Ruggero J. Aldisert, US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, 2002 - 2003



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