Steven Fagell

Steven E. Fagell

Download V-card

Covington & Burling LLP
One CityCenter
850 Tenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001-4956
Tel: +1 202 662 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 is the co-chair of Covington’s Global Anti-Corruption Practice Group and an experienced white collar criminal defense practitioner.

As a former senior official in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, Mr. Fagell routinely represents individuals and institutions facing high-stakes government enforcement matters involving the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other civil and criminal regulatory agencies. He has advised clients in the life sciences, financial services, defense, beverages, technology, energy, and manufacturing industries on matters relating to foreign bribery, export controls, corporate whistleblowers, insider trading, accounting fraud, banking, government contracting, and transnational tax issues. Mr. Fagell has led highly sensitive internal investigations in China, Russia, and elsewhere for Fortune 500 companies, and, when he was an associate at the firm, defended an individual in what has been described as the largest personal income tax evasion case in US history. That case -- United States v. Anderson -- led to a key discovery ruling that established favorable law for defendants embroiled in document-intensive white collar prosecutions.

Based on client feedback and peer evaluations, the 2015 Chambers USA guide recognizes Mr. Fagell in three different white collar categories, noting that he is “held in high esteem by clients” and describing him as a nationwide “expert” in FCPA who is “thorough, very efficient and cost-effective.”

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.

As a leading commentator on the SEC whistleblower program, as well as FCPA enforcement and financial fraud more generally, Mr. Fagell has been interviewed by numerous media outlets, including CNBC, The National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Corporate Board Member, Corporate Crime Reporter, and Compliance Week.

Representative Matters

  • In 2014, successfully resolved 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 and false statements 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.

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

  • Chambers USA, Nationwide - Corporate Crime & Investigations; Nationwide - FCPA; Litigation (DC) - White Collar (2015)
  • 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, 2014-2015)
  • Best Lawyers in America, Criminal Defense: White-Collar (2016) 
  • 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

Print PDF Word Version Print this page

Inside Medical Devices Blog

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