Randall R. Lee


Partner-in-Charge, Los Angeles Office

Lee, Randall R.

Randall Lee's practice focuses on representing companies, financial services firms and individuals in investigations by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the US Department of Justice, and other regulatory and law enforcement agencies.  He has led internal corporate investigations on behalf of management and boards of directors in the US, Europe, Asia, and Latin America, and he represents companies in complex civil litigation in federal and state court. Mr. Lee is the partner-in-charge and founding partner of WilmerHale's Los Angeles office. He joined the firm after serving as Regional Director for the Pacific Region of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from 2001 to 2007, and before that as an Assistant US Attorney.

Mr. Lee has substantial experience in matters involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), accounting and disclosure issues, insider trading, regulations governing SEC-registered investment advisers and broker-dealers, and anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act issues.

Mr. Lee maintains an active pro bono practice.  In 2015, for example, he led a trial team that won jury verdicts in federal court on behalf of an inmate at Pelican Bay State Prison against four correctional officers for having retaliated against his client in violation of the First Amendment. Lee previously represented the client in an appeal by the California Attorney General's Office to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which led to a successful settlement and eventual release of his client from solitary confinement. Lee also led a team that, in partnership with the Southern Poverty Law Center, filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the US Department of Veterans Affairs' refusal to grant equal disability benefits to an Army veteran and her same-sex spouse. A federal judge declared the relevant statute unconstitutional—the first case to decide whether married gay and lesbian veterans and their spouses should receive the same benefits as their heterosexual counterparts.

Lee has also represented prisoners seeking resentencing under California's Three Strikes Reform Act and an immigrant who fled a gang in El Salvador and sought withholding of removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act and the United Nations Convention Against Torture.


As Regional Director for the Pacific Region of the SEC, Mr. Lee was responsible for the Commission's Los Angeles and San Francisco offices, consisting of enforcement, litigation, and compliance inspection programs covering nine Western states, including California. The first Asian American to head an SEC regional office, Mr. Lee led numerous significant and high profile SEC enforcement actions involving financial reporting and accounting misconduct, mutual fund abuses, auditor misconduct, FCPA violations, broker-dealer violations, municipal bond fraud, insider trading, market manipulation and investment fraud. He managed a staff of approximately 175 attorneys, accountants, compliance examiners and support personnel.

From 1994 to 2001, Mr. Lee was an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) for the Central District of California, where he focused on the investigation and prosecution of complex business crimes, including securities fraud, financial institution fraud, tax crimes, money laundering and computer crimes, and served as a Deputy Chief of the Major Frauds Section of the US Attorney's Office. As an AUSA, Mr. Lee tried cases involving securities fraud, bank fraud, money laundering, narcotics violations, and violent crime, argued appeals before the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and led long-term grand jury investigations.

Before becoming a federal prosecutor, Mr. Lee was a transactional lawyer focusing on mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings and general corporate matters. He began his professional career as an associate in corporate finance and banking at Bankers Trust Company in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

In 2014, Mr. Lee was selected to Lawyers of Color's 2014 "Power List," which recognizes the most influential minority attorneys in the United States. He was also named a 'Star Lateral of the Year' by The American Lawyer magazine in February 2008. 

Honors & Awards

  • Selected by clients and peers as being among the world's leading investigations lawyers in Global Investigations Review's Who's Who Legal: Investigations 2017
  • Named to the Daily Journal's 2015 Top 100 Lawyers in California list
  • Named a 2015 Rainmaker by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association
  • Selected to Lawyers of Color's 2014 Power List, which showcases the most influential minority attorneys in the United States
  • Named a Star Lateral of the Year by The American Lawyer magazine in February 2008

Publications & News


February 6, 2017

SEC Dismisses Claims Against WilmerHale Clients

On February 3, the US Securities and Exchange Commission dismissed with prejudice the remaining claims against two former mortgage-lending officials in a financial crisis-related lawsuit on the eve of a retrial.

October 3, 2016

SEC Drops Centerpiece Of Case Against WilmerHale Clients

WilmerHale recently achieved a major victory after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) dropped the centerpiece of its lawsuit against two former mortgage executives.

September 14, 2016

GIR Highlights WilmerHale's FCPA Dominance

WilmerHale has advised on the most Foreign Corrupt Practices Act public settlements of any law firm in the industry in the past eight years and has been particularly successful in 2016, according to a recent Global Investigations Review Just Anti-Corruption report.

July 12, 2016

WilmerHale Attorneys Fend Off SEC Claims in Fraud Trial

The Recorder discusses the first SEC defeat in 2016, detailing the case led by Heather Tewksbury and Randall Lee.

July 6, 2016

WilmerHale Hands SEC First 2016 Fraud Trial Defeat

A team of WilmerHale litigators persuaded an Albuquerque, New Mexico, jury to clear two former mortgage-lending officials on half of the 10 charges brought against them by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, while deadlocking on the remaining charges.

June 9, 2016

WilmerHale Makes Move Towards Silicon Beach

WilmerHale's Los Angeles office recently expanded with the launch of a corporate practice and the addition of intellectual property litigators over the past year.

December 3, 2015

Randall R. Lee Named to the Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s Annual List of Rainmakers

The Minority Corporate Counsel Association has named Partner Randall Lee a 2015 Rainmaker.

September 29, 2015

Randall Lee Honored Among Daily Journal’s 2015 Top 100 Lawyers in California

The Daily Journal has named Partner Randall Lee to its annual list honoring attorneys that handle the most cutting-edge work in litigation, regulation and corporate transactions in the region.

January 27, 2015

A 'Cop on the Beat'?: Why the SEC Should Adopt the Brady Standard

An article by Randall Lee and Tim Perry, published in Bloomberg BNA The United States Law Week Case Alert & Legal News Report, Vol. 83, No. 1097.

May 21, 2014

Randall Lee Honored Among Nation’s Most Influential Minority Attorneys

Lawyers of Color has selected WilmerHale Partner Randall R. Lee to its third annual "Power List," a list showcasing the most influential minority attorneys in the United States.

Speaking Engagements

Professional Activities

Mr. Lee is a frequent speaker on subjects relating to securities regulatory and enforcement issues, internal investigations, the FCPA, corporate compliance and ethics and white collar crime. He has lectured on behalf of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) in Bangkok, and on behalf of the US State Department in Tokyo. 

Mr. Lee is a member of the Southern California Chinese Lawyers' Association and the Japanese American Bar Association. He serves as vice chair of the board of trustees of the Japanese American National Museum. He previously served as Chair of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Diversity Committee, as a member of the ABA Litigation Section Task Force on the Attorney-Client Privilege, and as a member of the board of directors of the Constitutional Rights Foundation and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California.


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JD, Order of the Coif, University of California, Berkeley School of Law, 1989, Articles Editor of the California Law Review

BA, cum laude, with distinction, Yale University, 1983

Bar Admissions



The Hon. James L. Buckley, US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, 1989 - 1990

Government Experience

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