FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

James Walden

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP

New York, NY, USA


Jim Walden is a litigation partner in the New York office, and co-chair of the firm's White Collar Defense & Investigations Group.

Mr. Walden defends corporate and individual clients in governmental investigations, regulatory actions, and civil disputes. He has conducted many corporate internal investigations, including matters involving allegations of securities and other financial frauds, antitrust activity, insider trading, computer crimes, money-laundering, medical device fraud, tax violations, and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the False Claims Act. He has represented corporate executives and other individuals in a wide array of criminal cases.

Mr. Walden's work has achieved important results for clients. 

  • His work on behalf of a multinational chemical manufacturer in response to a DOJ investigation earned the company a $70,000,000 discount from its corporate fine, and garnered public praise from the Deputy Assistant Attorney General:  "the bar was set very high in [this] case. Any company that hopes to match or even approach [this] discount will have to earn it." 
  • His work for a managed care company, which was the target of a criminal antitrust investigation, resulted in a prosecution declination, with no imposition of monetary penalties.
  • His work on behalf of a global financial services firm, in response to an investigation by the Division of Enforcement of the New York Stock Exchange, resulted in no penalties, financial or otherwise.
  • His work for an energy company, which was the target of a criminal investigation concerning insider trading, resulted in a prosecution declination, with no imposition of monetary penalties.
  • His work on behalf of a retail bank, which was the target of a criminal probe related to student-loan marketing, resulted in a prosecution declination, with no imposition of monetary penalties.
  • His work for a corporation in the retail industry, which was the target of a criminal probe for alleged sale of contraband, resulted in a deferred prosecution with minimal financial penalties.
  • His work for another retailer, which was the target of a criminal probe for an occupational safety incident, resulted in a deferred prosecution with minimal financial penalties.
  • His work for a major heathcare company, a subsidiary of which was the target of a joint criminal and civil investigation for alleged mislabeling of its medical devices, resulted in a deferred prosecution and a steeply discounted penalty for the parent company.
In addition, Mr. Walden has represented dozens of individuals in various criminal and regulatory matters:  not one of his clients has served a prison sentence. Mr. Walden's individual clients have included:
  • the CEO of a global financial services firm
  • the CEO of a financial products division of a major insurance company
  • the Managing Partner of a NYC-based hedge fund
  • a Managing Director of a financial services firm
  • the Chief Legal Officer of a retail bank
  • the Chief Financial Officer of an energy-trading company
  • the Chief Operating Officer of an on-line-payment company
  • the General Counsel of a global technology company
  • the General Counsel of an energy-trading company
  • the Senior VP of Finance of a multinational computer software company
  • the Port Captain of the Staten Island Ferry

Before joining Gibson Dunn, Mr. Walden served as a federal prosecutor.  During his service with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York, he led an extensive collection of cases, and established himself as one of its most experienced litigators. He held various supervisory positions, and served on the U.S. Attorney's Committee to oversee the fair administration of the death penalty. During his tenure, he coordinated an enforcement program with authorities from Hong Kong and Thailand, which resulted in, among many other convictions, the arrest and conviction of the mastermind behind one of the largest heroin seizures in U.S. history (Hayward, California, 1991).  His work against the five families of the U.S. mafia led to convictions against the former boss of the Bonanno family, the arrest and conviction of an FBI Top-10 fugitive, and a successful undercover operation against the leadership of the Genovese family. His work earned many awards, and was profiled in the New York Times. After his many successful initiatives against the mafia, he led one of the first Computer Crimes & Intellectual Property programs in the country, and prosecuted the then-largest attempted identity fraud case in U.S. history.

Mr. Walden continues his commitment to public service through various pro bono and charitable activities. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Day One, City Bar Fund, Fund for Modern Courts, and the Board of Visitors of Temple University Beasley School of Law. In 2007, Mr. Walden was awarded the firm's prestigious Frank Wheat award for his work on behalf of thousands of indigent and disabled New Yorkers, who had food stamps wrongfully terminated.   His work on that matter resulted in retroactive benefits being awarded to more than 11,000 class members, totaling more $14,000,000.  Mr. Walden represents various elected officials and community groups in actions against the City of New York, including actions (a) striking down action by the Mayor and the City Council to sidestep publicly approved term limits legislation, (b) seeking to prevent the City's Department of Corrections from reopening a prison in a residential neighborhood in Brooklyn, and (c) seeking to direct the Mayor and his Director of Finance to pay year-end property rebates to New York City homeowners.  He has also represented various individuals in pro bono matters, including members of law enforcement (NYPD and FBI).

Mr. Walden recently taught at the Rule of Law symposium, hosted by the U.S. State Department, which brought together law students from University of Arkansas Law School and law students at various schools in the Ukraine. Focusing on issues of political and commercial corruption, Mr. Walden's seminar taught students about international efforts to combat bribery, including through the enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by U.S. authorities.  Mr. Walden also taught at the invitiation of the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, lecturing on internal-investigation practices to the Division's new attorneys.

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