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—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 participants in the municipal securities markets.

In addition, Mr. McLucas has overseen 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 "a cut above everyone else." 

Honors & Awards

  • Named a Fellow of the American College of Governance Counsel in 2015.
  • Named one of the 500 Leading Lawyers in America by Lawdragon Magazine every year since 2005.
  • 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 (2006-2015). 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 2011-2016 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 and Washington DC Corporate Governance Law in 2016
  • Named in 2013 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." 
  • 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
  • Received the SEC Alumni Association's William O. Douglas Award in 2010
  • Received the National Public Service Award in 1996
  • Received the Federal Bar Association's Tom C. Clark Outstanding Lawyer Award in 1997
  • Received the President’s Award for Distinguished Executive Service from President Ronald Reagan in 1988

Publications & News


November 24, 2015

Four Things Companies Should Know About the SEC’s 2015 Whistleblower Report

The SEC recently published data showing significant increases in tips received under its Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program. Released on November 16, the 2015 annual report also provided important guidance to companies on the SEC’s whistleblower-related priorities through fiscal year 2016.

October 9, 2015

PCAOB Announces First Settled Order with Admissions

Last week, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) joined the list of regulators who will, in certain circumstances, seek admissions of liability from audit firms and individuals in settlements.

September 15, 2015

Second Circuit Allows Whistleblower Retaliation Protection Without Reporting to SEC

In a 2-1 decision in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LLC, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that whistleblowers who report securities law violations internally but not to the US Securities and Exchange Commission are protected under the Dodd-Frank Act from employer retaliation.

August 17, 2015

WilmerHale Lawyers Named Among the 2016 Best Lawyers in America®, Seven Recognized as Lawyers of the Year

Best Lawyers in America® recognizes 99 WilmerHale lawyers and names seven partners as Lawyers of the Year in its 22nd edition. Only one lawyer in each legal practice specialty within each region is honored as a Lawyer of the Year.

June 3, 2015

How to Rein In the SEC

An article by Bill McLucas and Matthew Martens, published in The Wall Street Journal on June 3, 2015.

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.

April 28, 2015

SEC Applies Whistleblower Interference Rule to Corporate Confidentiality Requirement

On April 1, the US Securities and Exchange Commission issued—in a settled administrative proceeding—a cease-and-desist order in In the Matter of KBR, Inc., directing that the respondent cease violating Commission Rule 21F-17(a).

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.

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