Robert D. Keefe

Senior Counsel

Keefe, Robert D.

Robert Keefe is a senior counsel in the firm's Litigation/Controversy Department, and a member of the Investigations and Criminal Litigation Practice. He joined the firm in 1974. Mr. Keefe has been co-chairman of the Government Investigations and Litigation Group and a member of the Antitrust and Trade Regulation, Environmental, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Securities Litigation Groups. He has served on the Banking and Financial Law and Health Law Committees.


Mr. Keefe's complex general litigation practice includes internal corporate investigations, extensive white collar criminal defense work and general commercial litigation. Prior to joining the firm in 1974, he was an attorney in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice.

Mr. Keefe has advised many companies in connection with internal corporate investigations on topics ranging from violations of state and federal fraud statutes to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Mr. Keefe has recently represented a company under federal investigation for violation of tax laws and money laundering statutes. Mr. Keefe has also represented a medical device manufacturer in connection with a six-year federal criminal investigation about the distribution of an allegedly adulterated and misbranded medical device and the theft of trade secrets; the investigation was resolved on a civil basis and neither the company nor two officers, who had been designated as targets, were indicted. He has handled wage dispute litigation for Northern Telecom, Inc., tax litigation for Daisy Systems Corp., and environmental litigation for Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., Hub Folding Box Co., Inc. and Avery Dennison Corporation. Mr. Keefe has also resolved environmental disputes involving the Environmental Protection Agency and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection for many companies, including Globe Manufacturing Company, Inc., and Global Petroleum Corp. Mr. Keefe has represented Hasbro, Inc. in connection with a major fraud committed upon the company by a former senior officer, and the National Hockey League and its member teams in connection with the Alan Eagleson grand jury investigation and indictment in the District of Massachusetts. Mr. Keefe has represented pharmaceutical companies and medical device companies in federal criminal investigations and parallel civil investigations about the companies' marketing practices involving certain drugs or medical devices. Mr. Keefe has also represented numerous companies and individuals in connection with state and federal investigations involving allegations of violations of Medicare and Medicaid fraud statutes, Anti-Kickback statutes, federal and state tax and environmental laws, government contracting laws, wire and mail fraud statutes and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Mr. Keefe has represented a number of individuals as well before state and federal grand juries and has represented companies and individuals charged with state and federal crimes involving violations of the federal health laws, FDA laws, federal and state banking laws, federal and state housing laws, customs law, and federal and state laws protecting intellectual property rights. Mr. Keefe represented Sears Roebuck & Co. in connection with an investigation into its federal bankruptcy court reaffirmation practices and policies. He has also represented a major Boston bank in connection with federal grand jury investigations and indictments of former bank officers and customers in the District of Massachusetts and other districts in the United States. Mr. Keefe has represented companies and individuals who have been investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on a variety of issues, and also has supervised the representation of companies and individuals under parallel investigations involving the SEC and various U.S. Attorneys' offices.

Mr. Keefe has also worked on large commercial disputes and antitrust lawsuits. He has represented Citicorp Venture Capital in connection with a major commercial dispute with several consulting firms. He has handled antitrust litigation for the Southern Pacific Company, and was part of the team that won a judgment for that company in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. He has represented officers and directors of the Capitol Bank & Trust Company in connection with litigation brought by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. He has represented Modern Continental Construction Company in connection with a Big Dig construction contract dispute, and Wainwright Bank & Trust Company in connection with commercial disputes involving lender liability issues. He represented Intelect Communications Systems Ltd. in connection with a contract claim involving the payment of legal costs and judgments arising out of cases involving allegedly defective firearms manufactured while Intelect Communications Systems, Ltd. owned another company that manufactured firearms. Mr. Keefe represented Citicorp North America, Inc. in connection with a large breach of contract claim against another Fortune 500 company.

Mr. Keefe is admitted to practice before the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts; the United States Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Ninth Circuits; the US District Court of the District of Massachusetts, and all state courts in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Honors & Awards

  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2009-2017 editions of the Best Lawyers in America in the area of white-collar criminal defense
  • Recognized as a leading litigation attorney by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business. He was named in the 2005-2016 editions specifically for his work in white collar crime and government investigations.
  • Selected by clients and peers as being among the world's leading investigations lawyers in the 2015 edition of Who's Who Legal: Investigations. Listed as a leading practitioner of business crime law in Who's Who Legal: The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers and Who's Who Legal: Business Crime Defence, with sources recently saying he is "very experienced."
  • Recognized by his peers as one of the world's leading litigation attorneys in Legal Media Group's The Best of the Best

Publications & News


August 15, 2016

WilmerHale Lawyers Named Among the 2017 Best Lawyers in America®, Six Recognized as Lawyers of the Year

Best Lawyers in America®—a respected peer-review publication in the legal industry—recognizes 101 WilmerHale lawyers and names six partners as Lawyers of the Year in its 23rd edition.

May 27, 2016

WilmerHale Lawyers and Practices Recognized in 2016 Edition of Chambers USA

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business announced its final rankings for the 2016 edition, with WilmerHale ranking among the nation's best in 47 practice area categories. Chambers also ranked 82 WilmerHale lawyers as leaders in their respective fields.

May 19, 2015

WilmerHale Practices, Lawyers Ranked Among Nation’s Best by Chambers USA

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business announced its final rankings for the 2015 edition, with WilmerHale ranking among the nation's best in 46 practice area categories. Chambers also ranked 86 WilmerHale attorneys as leaders in their respective fields.

June 12, 2014

WilmerHale Participates in Annual Lawyers Have Heart Boston 5K

On June 2, a team of 23 attorneys and staff from WilmerHale’s Boston office participated in the 7th Annual Lawyers Have Heart 5K Road Race and Summer Celebration, placing 10th overall among participating organizations.

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.

June 7, 2012

Chambers USA 2012 Final Results Announced

March 30, 2012

Chambers USA 2012 Preliminary Results Announced

February 1, 2012

Litigation Attorneys Win Quick Dismissal of Criminal Charges in Off-label Promotion Case

March 15, 2011

Chambers USA 2011 Preliminary Results Announced

August 12, 2010

90 WilmerHale Lawyers Named to The Best Lawyers in America® 2011

Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 39,000 leading attorneys cast almost 3.1 million votes on the legal abilities of lawyers in their practice areas.

Speaking Engagements

March 22, 2013

Impact of FCPA and Dodd Frank on Internal Fraud Investigations

Boston, Massachusetts

April 27, 2011

New England High Tech Crime Conference

Boston, Massachusetts

Professional Activities

Mr. Keefe has taught the Harvard Law School Advocacy Course and given lectures to various groups through the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education program. He has also spoken on corporate compliance issues at the American Corporate Counsel Association and at various local law schools. Mr. Keefe is a member of the American, Massachusetts and Boston Bar Associations.


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JD, summa cum laude, Boston College Law School, 1972

BA, cum laude, Harvard University, 1968

Bar Admissions


Government Experience

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