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 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

  • Selected as one of the "Best Lawyers" for commercial litigation and white-collar criminal defense in the Best Lawyers in America (2005, 2006, 2008-2017)
  • Recognized as a national FCPA leader in the 2010-2016 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  
  • 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
  • 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

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September 16, 2016

WilmerHale Named Industry's Most Impressive Investigations Practice by GIR

WilmerHale has been named the Most Impressive Investigations Practice of the Year by Global Investigations Review for its cross-border work in both high-profile internal and government-led investigations.

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.

September 9, 2016

WilmerHale's FCPA Practice Lands GIR “Elite” Ranking

Global Investigations Review Just Anti-Corruption recently gave WilmerHale's Washington DC office an “elite” ranking for its Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) practice, putting it among the top firms in the nation's capital.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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

Government Experience

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