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.


Mr. Witten has led teams of lawyers in several of the firm's largest and most noteworthy litigation cases. He leads a group of more than 40 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 leader in the 2010-2015 editions of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers in Business  
  • Selected as an FCPA leader in the 2012-2016 editions of Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business  
  • Selected by clients and peers as being among the world's leading investigations lawyers in the 2015 edition of Who's Who Legal: Investigations, Who's Who Legal: Commerical Litigation, and Who's Who Legal: Business Crime Defence
  • 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 (2005, 2006, 2008-2016)
  • 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 2006-2015 editions of Metro Edition magazine

Publications & News


April 8, 2016

DOJ Launches FCPA Pilot Program to Encourage Corporate Voluntary Disclosure and Cooperation

On April 5, 2016, the Fraud Section of the Department of Justice's Criminal Division issued an enforcement plan and guidance laying out three steps it is taking to intensify Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement.

March 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.

March 23, 2016

Busy Q1 Yields Several Significant FCPA Resolutions

Recent actions announced by the DOJ and SEC during the first quarter of 2016 suggest that this year may be a significant one for FCPA enforcement.

March 23, 2016

Chambers Global 2016 Ranks WilmerHale Lawyers, Practices

Chambers Global has named 28 WilmerHale lawyers among “The World's Leading Lawyers for Business” in its 2016 edition. Additionally, the firm is ranked in 15 practice areas that span five regions.

February 2, 2016

Global Anti-Bribery Year-in-Review: 2015 Developments and Predictions for 2016

Among other significant developments, 2015 saw the U.S. Department of Justice (the “DOJ” or the “Department”) document a policy priority of holding individuals accountable for corporate wrongdoing. This policy was laid out in the “Yates Memorandum”—announced by Deputy Assistant Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates—and related changes the DOJ made to the U.S. Attorney’s Manual.

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.

March 12, 2015

WilmerHale Lawyers, Practices Recognized in 2015 Edition of Chambers Global

Thirty-two WilmerHale lawyers are named among "The World's Leading Lawyers for Business" in the 2015 edition of Chambers Global. In addition to these individual accolades, the firm is recognized in 17 practice areas that span six different regions.

January 27, 2015

Global Anti-Bribery Year-in-Review: 2014 Developments and Predictions for 2015

The year 2014 witnessed several notable developments in the enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. In Global Anti-Bribery Year-in-Review: 2014 Developments and Predictions for 2015, WilmerHale attorneys discuss notable trends and developments in 2014, and look ahead to possible trends in 2015.

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.

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.


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JD, cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1972

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

Bar Admissions

New York

District of Columbia


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