William R. McLucas


Chair, Securities Department

McLucas, William R.

William McLucas is one of the most sought-after advisors to public companies, boards of directors, audit committees and special committees dealing with corporate crises and related issues. He joined the firm after serving for more than eight years as Director of Enforcement for the Securities and Exchange Commission's Division of Enforcement’s—longer than any other Enforcement Division Director in Commission history. He represents public companies, investment banks, accounting firms and advisors to mutual funds facing a variety of corporate and market crises, as well as Securities and Exchange Commission investigations. Mr. McLucas is chair of the firm’s Securities Department.

In 1977, Mr. McLucas joined the Securities and Exchange Commission's Division of Enforcement. He led the Division's Staff in numerous high-profile investigations and landmark enforcement actions, including hundreds of insider trading cases and numerous inquiries and proceedings involving public companies, accounting firms, investment banks, and participation in the municipal securities markets.

In addition, Mr. McLucas has led numerous audit committee and special committee inquiries, and has also represented numerous corporate executives and directors in connection with Securities and Exchange Commission investigations.

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business describes Mr. McLucas as "one of the country's most celebrated regulatory attorneys." 

Honors & Awards

  • Listed as a "Leading Lawyer" in the area of litigation: white-collar criminal defense in the 2009, 2010 and 2011 editions of The Legal 500 United States
  • Recognized in 2008 as a Visionary in the Legal Times' "Greatest Washington Lawyers in the Past 30 Years"
  • Selected as one of only seven "Leading Lawyers" in Corporate Governance in the March 2008 issue of Legal Times. He was also named Washington DC's "Leading Lawyer" in the area of securities and corporate governance by the Legal Times, December 2004.
  • Nationally recognized for exceptional standing in the legal community in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business for his work in the securities regulation: enforcement area (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014). Previously recognized in the 2003, 2004 and 2005 editions for general commercial litigation; cited as "an expert in litigation" in the 2003 edition.
  • Selected by peers for inclusion in each edition of Best Lawyers in America since 2005; in the 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 editions of Best Lawyers of America, he was recognized for his securities practice along with the areas of bet-the-company litigation, corporate governance and compliance law, and commercial litigation; named Washington DC Securities Lawyer of the Year in 2010
  • Named to Securities Docket’s inaugural ‘Enforcement 40’—a list of the 40 best and brightest individuals in the securities enforcement defense field
  • Recognized as one of the world's preeminent corporate governance lawyers in multiple editions of Who's Who Legal: The International Who's Who of Corporate Governance Lawyers; Who's Who Legal: The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers; Who’s Who Legal: Investigations; Who's Who Legal: Business Crime Defence; Who's Who Legal: Commerical Litigation; and Who's Who Legal: The International Who's Who of Investigations Lawyers, with sources saying he is “highly sought after by companies, boards and audit committees in need of advice on corporate crises." 
  • Selected as one of the "500 Leading Lawyers in America," by Lawdragon Magazine, which also declared him the "go-to guy for accounting fraud investigations."
  • Listed in Washingtonian magazine's "Top 30 Lawyers in Washington," 2004, 2007, 2009 and 2011. Named among "Washington's Best Lawyers" for his securities practice in the 2013 issue.
  • Named one of the National Law Journal’s One-Hundred Most Influential Attorneys in America, 1997
  • Ranked as a "top litigation lawyer" in the 2003 edition of Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading Litigation Lawyers
  • William O. Douglas Award, 2010
  • National Public Service Award
  • Tom C. Clark Outstanding Lawyer Award
  • President’s Award for Distinguished Executive Service 

Publications & News


March 18, 2015

SEC Enforcement Developments in 2014, and a Look Forward

An article by Bill McLucas, republished in the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation on March 18, 2015.

March 9, 2015

Review of SEC Enforcement Developments in 2014, and a Look Forward

Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White has called for the SEC to be more aggressive in its enforcement program.

February 27, 2015

SEC Probes Corporate Interactions with Whistleblowers

According to a February 25, 2015 Wall Street Journal report, in recent weeks the SEC has sent requests to a number of companies seeking years of nondisclosure agreements, employment contracts and other documents as part of an agency probe into the potential silencing of corporate whistleblowers.

February 24, 2015

Top SEC Enforcement Events of 2014

An article by William R. McLucas, Douglas J. Davison and Leila J. Ameli-Grillon, along with Jason S. Flemmons and Martin S. Wilczynski of FTI Consulting, published by Securities Docket on February 19, 2015.

December 23, 2014

Recent Insider Trading Decision

On December 10, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued an opinion in United States v. Newman that could be the most consequential insider trading decision in a generation, but for reasons that virtually no one anticipated.

July 14, 2014

Understanding the Global Reach of U.S. Whistleblower Anti-Retaliation Protections

An article by William McLucas, Laura Wertheimer and Arian June, published in the July 2014 edition of Bloomberg BNA's World Securities Law Report, Vol. 20, No. 7.

May 23, 2014

Chambers USA Ranks Top WilmerHale Lawyers and Practices in 2014 Edition

We are pleased to announce the names of the individuals and practice areas that are ranked in the 2014 edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business.

April 25, 2014

WilmerHale Attorneys Recognized in Annual Washington DC Super Lawyers Listing

The annual edition of the Washington DC Super Lawyers magazine, published by The Washington Post Magazine, released its 2014 listing which includes 37 WilmerHale attorneys.

April 16, 2014

Whistleblower Working Group Members Publish Series on Mitigating Risks under Dodd-Frank Act

Members of WilmerHale's Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Working Group recently published an article series in the January and April editions of Bloomberg BNA's Securities Regulation & Law Report.

April 14, 2014

Attorneys Caught in the Ethical Crosshairs: Secretkeepers as Bounty Hunters
Under the SEC Whistleblower Rules

An article by William McLucas, Laura Wertheimer and Arian June, published in the April 14, 2014 edition of Bloomberg BNA's Securities Regulation & Law Report, Vol. 46, No. 711.

Recent Highlights

Mr. McLucas has represented the board committees in some of the most prominent corporate scandals that have arisen recently in the US markets, including the Special Committees of both Enron and WorldCom. He also advised the Special Committee of the Board of Nortel Networks in its review of certain accounting restatements and, more recently, the Special Committee of the Board of UnitedHealth Group in its review of options dating issues.

He also has represented numerous public companies and their executives, as well as public accounting firms and hedge funds in connection with securities enforcement and regulatory inquiries.

Professional Activities

Mr. McLucas is a frequent speaker on panels and programs on topics pertaining to securities laws, corporate governance and law enforcement.


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JD, Temple University Beasley School of Law, 1975, Research Editor, Temple Law Quarterly

BA, Pennsylvania State University, 1972, Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia

New York