310 University Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301-1744 USA
Benjamin B. Wagner is a partner in Gibson Dunn’s Palo Alto office, and is a member of the firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations, False Claims Act, FCPA, Cybersecurity, FDA and Health Care, Securities Enforcement, Litigation, and Anti-Money Laundering Practice Groups. Ben’s practice focuses on the representation of clients in government investigations, internal investigations including workplace misconduct issues, compliance reviews, and litigation involving federal, state and local agencies including the U.S. Department of Justice, SEC, FTC, and State Attorneys General. An experienced trial and appellate attorney, he has tried 18 felony criminal cases in federal court, and argued multiple appeals in the Ninth Circuit and the Fifth Circuit.
Ben is a Chambers-ranked attorney in White Collar Crime and Investigations (2018-2023), and he is listed in the 2021 edition of Best Lawyers in America® for white collar criminal defense. A client described him to Chambers as “the person to turn to when high-level help is needed.” In 2018, Ben received a Champion of Educational Justice Award from California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. for his pro bono work on a civil rights case involving disciplinary practices in Modesto City schools. He received a California Lawyer Attorney of the Year “CLAY” award from California Lawyer Magazine, and the Daily Journal named him as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in California. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, he received the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys Director’s Award for Superior Performance three times, for cases involving health care fraud, money laundering, and domestic terrorism, and a Meritorious Honor Award from the U.S. Department of State.
Prior to joining Gibson Dunn, Ben served as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of California from November 2009 through April 2016. Appointed by President Obama, he oversaw the district’s three offices and 175 employees, covering over half the area of California. During his tenure, he was appointed by Attorney General Eric Holder to the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, where he served for three years, working with Department leadership on national law enforcement policy. He was also appointed by Attorney General Loretta Lynch to serve as Co-Chair of the White Collar Crime Subcommittee. As U.S. Attorney, Ben oversaw investigations leading to multi-billion dollar settlements with two national financial institutions, and numerous investigations under the False Claims Act in the health care, defense and education industries that led to record FCA recoveries in the district. Ben served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and as Chief of the Special Prosecutions Unit in the Eastern District between 1992 and 2009, handling investigations, trials and appeals in cases involving financial fraud, tax evasion, health care fraud, money laundering, domestic terrorism, public corruption, and other offenses. He also served as a national security prosecutor; he held a security clearance and supervised investigations and prosecutions involving cyber intrusions, hacking and cyber espionage.
Ben earned his Juris Doctor in 1986 from New York University School of Law, where he was Managing Editor of the Journal of International Law and Politics. He received his undergraduate degree in 1982 from Dartmouth College. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Menlo College, and the Board of Trustees of Robert College of Istanbul, Turkey. He is admitted to practice in California and New York.
A sample of Ben’s representative matters include the following:
Recent Publications and Speaking Engagements Include:
New York University - 1986 Juris Doctor
Dartmouth College - 1982 B.A. Bachelor of Arts
New York Bar