Steven E. Fagell

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Covington & Burling LLP
One CityCenter
850 Tenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001-4956
Tel: 202.662.5293






  • Harvard Law School, J.D.
    • magna cum laude
    • Joseph Henry Beale Prize for excellence in legal research and writing (University of Chicago Law School)
  • Dartmouth College, A.B.
    • magna cum laude
    • Phi Beta Kappa
    • Rufus Choate Scholar

Judicial Clerkship

  • Hon. Peter J. Messitte, U.S. District Court, District of Maryland

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Massachusetts

English    中文

Steve Fagell represents companies, boards of directors, and senior executives in government enforcement matters, internal investigations, and shareholder litigation.

As a partner in the White Collar Defense & Investigations practice and as co-chair of the Anti-Corruption practice, Mr. Fagell focuses on criminal and civil regulatory matters presenting complex legal, political, and reputational risks.  He routinely represents clients before the US Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, and other law enforcement and regulatory agencies.  Mr. Fagell has advised clients in the life sciences, financial services, defense, technology, energy, and manufacturing industries on a variety of white collar matters, including those relating to foreign bribery, corporate whistleblowers, insider trading, accounting fraud, banking, government contracting, export controls, and transnational tax issues.  He has led highly sensitive internal investigations in China, Russia, and elsewhere for Fortune 500 clients, and defended an individual in what has been described as the largest personal income tax evasion case in US history.  The latter case -- United States v. Anderson -- led to a key discovery ruling that established favorable law for defendants embroiled in document-intensive white collar prosecutions.

Mr. Fagell is former Deputy Chief of Staff and Counselor in the Criminal Division at the Department of Justice.  As a member of the Criminal Division’s senior leadership team from 2009-2010, Mr. Fagell was a key advisor to Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer on a broad range of litigation, policy, legislative, and management issues.  He was integrally involved, for example, in the formulation of Division policy in connection with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, corporate and securities fraud, and other forms of financial fraud.  Mr. Fagell coordinated the Division's work with the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force and the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, and he routinely represented the Division in its interactions with the SEC, the FBI, and other key regulators and law enforcement agencies.

Since returning to private practice, Mr. Fagell has been a frequent commentator on the SEC whistleblower program under the Dodd-Frank Act, as well as FCPA enforcement and financial fraud more generally.  He has been interviewed by numerous media outlets, including CNBC, National Law Journal, American Lawyer, Corporate Board Member, Corporate Crime Reporter, and Compliance Week.

Representative Matters

  • Successfully resolved in 2014 a long-running DOJ/SEC investigation involving alleged FCPA violations in Eastern Europe and Latin America by a leading global technology company.
  • Lead counsel to a leading multinational company in a DOJ/SEC investigation involving alleged FCPA violations in India.
  • Lead counsel in Washington to a Fortune 50 global company in a recent criminal export controls enforcement action by the Justice Department.
  • In a matter that concluded without enforcement action, successfully represented a Fortune 100 manufacturing company in a 17-month FCPA investigation by the SEC.
  • In a matter that concluded without enforcement action, successfully represented a large regional bank in an SEC inquiry concerning mortgage loan repurchase reserves.
  • Representation of an individual indicted for insider trading.
  • Representation of a coalition of leading companies in the SEC's rulemaking to implement the Dodd-Frank whistleblower provisions.
  • United States v. Anderson, 416 F. Supp. 2d 110 (D.D.C. 2006) (ordering early Rule 16 disclosures from the government in a complex criminal tax prosecution).
  • Counsel to the Special Litigation Committee of the Hewlett-Packard Company Board of Directors in shareholder derivative litigation challenging the Board’s response in 2005 and 2006 to leaks of confidential company information to the press.

Previous Experience

  • U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Deputy Chief of Staff and Counselor to the Assistant Attorney General
  • The Monitor Group, Consultant

Honors and Rankings

  • Euromoney, Benchmark: Expert Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys - Securities, White Collar Crime Star, DC (2012-2015)
  • Legal 500, White-Collar Criminal Defense (2011, 2014)
  • Washington DC Super Lawyers, Criminal Defense: "Rising Star" (2013); White Collar (2015)

Memberships and Affiliations

  • White Collar Law360, Editorial Advisory Board
  • Edward Bennett Williams Inn of Court

Publications and Speeches

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Main Justice interview - Hot Topics in FCPA & Securities Fraud Enforcement,  January 4, 2011