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Lee Dunst

 
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Lee DunstLee Dunst
Partner
T: +1 212.351.3824
F: +1 212.351.5283
200 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10166-0193
USA

Lee G. Dunst is a partner in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.  Mr. Dunst is a member of the Firm’s Litigation Practice and White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice.  His practice covers a wide range of government investigations and white-collar criminal and regulatory matters, as well as general commercial litigation.  His extensive experience includes securities class action cases, accountants’ liability cases, and general business litigation.  He also represents numerous clients, including individuals, companies, accounting firms and special board committees, in connection with criminal and regulatory investigations.  Mr. Dunst has a particular focus on matters involving alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”).  He has been recognized in The Legal 500 US for his work in connection with the Firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations practice.  The publication has described Mr. Dunst as “knowledgeable and responsive,” and noted that he “provides a broad range of expertise and regularly advises clients accused of corporate fraud and alleged accounting irregularities, as well as FCPA violations.”  Mr. Dunst also speaks and writes extensively on white collar criminal issues, as well as matters concerning civil commercial litigation.

He has represented various corporations, accounting firms and individual clients in connection with white-collar criminal investigations by federal and state prosecutors, as well as related civil investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the New York Attorney General’s office, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Public Company Accounting Board and various state regulators.  His cases have included the representation of senior business executives and corporate entities in connection with criminal and regulatory investigations of various types of alleged corporate fraud and alleged accounting irregularities, as well as alleged violations of the FCPA. He also has conducted numerous internal investigations of alleged misconduct at many United States and international companies and personally has traveled to nearly twenty countries on five continents for these investigations.

Mr. Dunst also has been involved extensively in the successful defense of several securities class action lawsuits filed against major accounting firms and underwriters in federal and state courts in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland.  He also has defended members of boards of directors in several litigations relating to their performance of their fiduciary duties as board members.

Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. Dunst served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York from 1995 through 2000, and was involved in a series of significant criminal investigations and prosecutions.  He led the investigation and prosecution of an international money laundering organization that operated in the United States and Switzerland, resulting in numerous convictions and the imposition of financial penalties of nearly $10 million, which he successfully defended upon appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  In another case, Mr. Dunst received the Director’s Award for Superior Performance from the Department of Justice for the successful prosecution of an insurance fraud scheme that resulted in the payment of $20 million in restitution.  During his tenure with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Dunst also served as the Deputy Chief of the Narcotics Section and was widely quoted in the national and international media, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and The Times of London.

Mr. Dunst has served on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Pro Bono Panel and had been appointed to represent pro se plaintiffs for purposes of several appeals to the Second Circuit.  He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Democracy Prep Charter School, which has been ranked as one of the leading public schools in New York City.  Mr. Dunst also serves on the Advisory Board of the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center, which is the first primary-care program in New York City specifically designed for the health needs of adolescents. 

Mr. Dunst graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in 1986 and cum laude from New York University School of Law in 1992.  Following law school, Mr. Dunst clerked for the Honorable Reena Raggi, then of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and now on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Significant FCPA Representations Include:

  • Representing a major financial institution in connection with government investigations of possible FCPA issues in connection with its investments in Africa and the Middle East.
  • Involved extensively with the compliance monitorship of a major international company, concerning FCPA issues relating to a deferred prosecution agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice.
  • Conducted an internal investigation on behalf of the Audit Committee of a Fortune 500 company concerning FCPA issues relating to its operations in the Middle East and Asia.
  • Conducted internal investigations of a Fortune 500 company concerning Foreign Corrupt Practice Act issues relating to its operations in Africa, Mexico, the Middle East and Russia.
  • Worked extensively on the compliance monitorship of Statoil, a major international oil and gas company, concerning FCPA issues relating to a deferred prosecution agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice.
  • Conducted an internal investigation on behalf of a confidential corporate client into potential FCPA issues concerning the company’s activities in China.
  • Involved with due diligence reviews of potential FCPA issues in connection with numerous corporate transactions.

Significant White-Collar Representations Include:

  • Representing an accounting firm in connection with a PCAOB inquiry regarding revenue recognition issues.
  • Represented a Fortune 250 company in connection with government investigations and civil litigation regarding its former asset based lending division.
  • Represented a confidential corporate client in connection with an investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey into alleged sales of commercial products to sanctioned countries.
  • Conducted an internal investigation on behalf of the Audit Committee of a Fortune 50 company concerning senior executive compensation-related issues.
  • Represented an accounting firm in connection with a government investigations concerning the China operations of a publicly traded corporation.
  • Represented a major international reinsurance company in connection with a state attorney general investigation of alleged civil antitrust violations.
  • Represented a confidential corporate client in connection with an investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York into issues relating to the subprime meltdown in the real estate market.
  • Represented a confidential corporate client in connection with an investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York into alleged sales of commercial products to sanctioned countries.
  • Represented a confidential client in connection with an investigation by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
  • Conducted an internal investigation on behalf of a confidential corporate client into possible state tax issues in connection with the interstate sale of the company’s products.
  • Represented Deloitte & Touche Netherlands in connection with various matters arising from the disclosure of improprieties at Royal Ahold, a Dutch company and the world’s third largest supermarket group, including United States securities class action litigation and investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (class action dismissed and no regulatory actions filed). 
  • Represented a major international reinsurance company in connection with industry-wide investigations into the use of “finite reinsurance” and related insurance products by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, and numerous state regulators, as well as related private civil litigation (no regulatory actions filed).
  • Represented Tyco International in connection with the investigation of former management’s improper conduct by the Manhattan District’s Attorney’s Office.
  • Represented the former Chief Executive Officer of a pharmaceutical products company concerning an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission of alleged accounting improprieties (no regulatory action filed).
  • Represented the special litigation committee of the board of directors of a pharmaceutical company concerning an investigation by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission of alleged accounting improprieties.
  • Conducted an internal investigation at a major international shipping company concerning the activities of a former senior executive who pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges involving his conduct prior to joining the company.
  • Represented the former member of an internal New York Stock Exchange committee in connection with the litigation filed by the New York Attorney General’s Office against Richard Grasso, the former head of the New York Stock Exchange.

Significant Civil Litigation Representations Include:

  • Representing a senior executive of a leading international insurance organization in connection with pending class action litigation concerning the company’s credit default swap transactions.
  • Representing an accounting firm in connection with a securities class action relating to the financial statements issued by a Chinese reverse-merger company.
  • Representing a Canadian-based company in connection with a securities class action relating to public statements regarding its business operations in Africa.
  • Represented a Fortune 100 company in connection with a securities class action relating to the initial public offering of a Canadian-based company.
  • Represented a foreign head of state in a civil lawsuit in connection with alleged violations of international law.
  • Represented a Fortune 250 company in connection civil litigation regarding its former asset based lending division.
  • Represented several underwriters in connection with securities class action litigation arising from the initial public offering of Orion Energy Systems.
  • Represented several underwriters, including UBS, Royal Bank of Canada and A.G. Edwards, in connection with the securities class action litigation concerning Star Gas, one of the largest home heating oil distributors in the United States (class action dismissed).
  • Represented Deloitte & Touche Canada in connection with United States securities class action litigation arising from the disclosure of misconduct at Livent, an international theatrical production company based in Canada.
  • Represented nonparty witnesses in Canada and the Netherlands in connection with their depositions in the United States litigation resulting from the disclosure of improprieties at Parmalat.
  • Represented various companies and corporate executives in connection with governmental investigations and related civil suits concerning allegations of improper stock option backdating practices.

Significant Pro Bono Representations Include:

  • Appointed by the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to serve as amicus curiae counsel to defend a district court decision denying a criminal defendant’s motion to seal his sentencing proceedings and then successfully argued for and obtained affirmation of the district court’s decision.
  • Appointed by the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to represent a pro se plaintiff regarding his medical indifference claims against prison officials in the City of New York and then successfully argued for and obtained reversal of the district court’s earlier dismissal of his complaint.

Professional Articles Include:

Speaking Engagements Include:

  • “Recent Trends in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Litigation, Enforcement & Compliance,” N.Y.C. Bar Center for Continuing Legal Education (April 2, 2014).
  • “Anti-Bribery Enforcement Involving Companies and Individuals Outside the U.S.” Seminar with GKH Law Offices (Tel Aviv, Israel; October 8, 2013)
  • “Global Fraud:  Managing Internal Investigations,” The Japan Society Corporate Program (October 23, 2012).
  • “Evidentiary Disclosures in Parallel Criminal and Civil Proceedings,” Strafford Webinar (July 18, 2012).
  • “Corporate Governance in the Global Marketplace:  New Players, Cross-border Investing, and Corporate Crime,” NYU Journal of Law & Business Symposium (January 27, 2012).
  • “Staying Alert and Compliant—How to Adapt to the FCPA and UK Bribery Act Changes,” Thomson Reuters Accelus Webinar (November 9, 2011).
  • “Chinese Reverse Merger Companies:  Handling Government Investigations and Civil Litigation,” West LegalEdcenter Webcast (November 3, 2011).
  • “Ensuring the Success of Your Anti-Corruption Compliance Program in China:  Adapting Program Structure, Risk Assessment Procedures and Code of Conduct to Local Conditions,” American Conference Institute’s Global Forum on Anti-Corruption Compliance in Emerging Markets (June 16, 2011).
  • “Foreign Corrupt Practice Act Compliance Programs and Corporate Compliance Monitorships—An Overview,” Thomson Reuters Governance, Risk and Compliance Forum (June 15, 2011).
  • “Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Bank’s Responsibilities,” Florida International Bankers Association Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Conference (February 19, 2010).
  • “Addressing Corruption Risk:  The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the Insurance Industry Perspective,” Webcast to the American Council of Life Insurers (December 9, 2009).
  • “Financial Crime:  Fighting the Next War,” Complinet’s Third Annual New York Customer Summit (October 30, 2009).
  • “Overview of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Related Due Diligence Issues:  The Financial Services Industry Perspective,” Deloitte AML Strategic Leadership Group Webcast (October 6, 2009).
  • “Staying Out of Trouble:  SEC Enforcement and Class-Action Litigation Update,” SEC Institute (May 29, 2009).
  • “Addressing Corruption Risk:  The Convergence of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Anti-Money Laundering Concerns,” In-House Presentation by Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Deloitte (May 28, 2009).
  • “Managing Your Exposure to the Long-Arm Jurisdiction of the US Courts,” International Litigation and Fraud Conference (May 20, 2008; London, England).
  • “Corporate Fraud Prosecutions:  The Shifting Legal Landscape,” Practicing Law Institute Webcast (October 10, 2007).
  • “Stock Options Backdating:  Navigating the Criminal, Civil and Regulatory Landmines,” Teleconference by the Legal Publishing Group of Strafford Publications (January 10, 2007).
  • “Challenges in Compliance and Corporate Governance” Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher Webcast (January 9, 2007).
  • “Walking The Tightrope:  Understanding Stock Option Backdating To Avoid The Fall,” Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher Webcast (August 7, 2006).
  • “Staying Out of Trouble:  SEC Enforcement and the Current Litigation Landscape,” SEC Institute (June 28, 2005).
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