FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Steven E. Fagell

Steven E. Fagell

Covington & Burling LLP

Washington, DC, USA

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. 

  • 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. 
  • Internal investigations on behalf of Board committees of Adelphia Communications Corporation and Tyco International, Ltd. 
  • Hamilton County Board of Commissioners v. National Football League, 445 F. Supp. 2d 835 (S.D. Ohio 2006), aff’d, 491 F.3d 310 (6th Cir. 2007) (granting NFL summary judgment in a federal antitrust challenge to the League’s franchise relocation rules). 
  • ? U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Deputy Chief of Staff and Counselor to the Assistant Attorney General 
  • ? The Monitor Group, Consultant 
  • Euromoney, Benchmark: Expert Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys - Securities, White Collar Crime Star, DC (2012, 2013, 2014) 
  • Legal 500, White-Collar Criminal Defense (2011) 
  • Washington DC Super Lawyers, Criminal Defense: White Collar "Rising Star" (2013) 

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

  • Mr. Fagell was quoted in the Compliance Week article, "A Dip in Pace of DPAs, NPAs—for Now" (8/6/2013). 
  • Mr. Fagell was interviewed in the Compliance Week article, "Inside New FCPA Guidance: What it Does and Doesn't Do" (11/27/2012). 
  • Mr. Fagell was interviewed by Corporate Board Member for the article, "Regulatory Investigations: What Boards Need to Know" (Q4 2012, Vol. 15, No. 4). 
  • Mr. Fagell was quoted in the National Law Journal article "After Long Wait, Do FCPA Rules Change Very Much?" (11/19/2012) in connection with the release of the DOJ and SEC Resource Guide to the FCPA. 
  • Mr. Fagell was quoted in a Main Justice/FTI white paper entitled, "The Experts Weigh In: E-discovery Strategies for International Anti-bribery Investigations" (2012). 
  • Mr. Fagell participated in an interview with Main Justice (1/4/2011) on "Hot Topics in FCPA & Securities Fraud Enforcement." 
  • Mr. Fagell participated in an interview with Compliance Week News Podcast (10/8/2010) on "Whistleblowing Protections Under Dodd-Frank Act." 
  • Mr. Fagell participated in an interview with Corporate Crime Reporter (10/27/2010) on "Ramped up Corporate Crime Enforcement." 
  • Mr. Fagell participated in a Q&A with Am Law Litigation Daily (9/23/2010) on "Whistleblower Provisions in Dodd-Frank." 

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


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