Christopher LaVigne

Christopher LaVigne


A former federal prosecutor, Chris focuses on white collar criminal defense, regulatory investigations and enforcement actions, and high-stakes commercial litigation matters. Chris regularly represents corporate clients, financial institutions and hedge funds, and individual clients in matters involving the DOJ, the SEC, the CFTC, OFAC, and other agencies.

Chris also represents clients at trials and hearings in high-stakes matters. Chris previously served as a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York from 2005-2013. Chris was a member of the Securities and Commodities Task Force and served as lead trial counsel in the high-profile case United States v. Doug Whitman, in which the founder of a hedge fund was convicted of all insider trading counts after trial.

Chris also worked in the Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit, where he served as lead counsel in several of the Office’s highest profile international criminal prosecutions involving national security matters, sanctions and export control violations, terrorism matters, and foreign corruption. Chris’ noteworthy cases include the prosecution of an MIT-educated neuroscientist (nicknamed “Lady al Qaeda”) who was convicted after trial of attempted murder of federal officials in Afghanistan.


Representative matters

SS&C Technologies as Plaintiff in a jury trial against Clearwater Analytics in Cook County, Illinois. Jury awarded SS&C $44 million for Clearwater’s misappropriation of its trade secrets, including $28 million in punitive damages for Clearwater’s willful and malicious conduct.

Convinced SEC to dismiss lead insider trading count against individual client shortly before trial in the SDNY. Resolved case on eve of trial with no admission of wrongdoing.

Individual client in SEC insider trading matter on eve of trial in the SDNY. Resolved case with no admission of wrongdoing.

Data colocation center client in the firm antitrust trial in Las Vegas (case settled before verdict).

Viacom, Inc. and Paramount Pictures Corporation in hearing for after a hearing of Sherman antitrust, misappropriation, and related claims. Established after hearing in the SDNY that plaintiff spoliated and fabricated key evidence and the court dismissed the case with prejudice and imposed sanctions.

UniCredit SpA in global resolution of DOJ, District Attorney of New York, OFAC, Federal Reserve, and DFS investigations into institution’s compliance with U.S. economic sanctions.

Digital currency exchanges in confidential enforcement investigations.

Fintech client in two separate actions of antitrust claims.

Client in two-week criminal jury trial in the SDNY.

Fintech company in obtaining preliminary injunction and TRO based on plaintiff’s misappropriation of trade secrets.


Individual representations

David Nichols, a Bank of New York Mellon executive charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York with mail and wire fraud-related offenses concerning the institution’s foreign exchange practices. The U.S. Attorney’s Office agreed to settle the case before trial, with no admission of mail/wire fraud by Mr. Nichols and no monetary penalty.

Executive in DOJ accounting fraud investigation at public company.

Former high-ranking financial institution executive in DOJ investigation into the institution’s marketing and sale of residential mortgage-backed securities.

Individual in charged SEC enforcement case; resolved case on eve of trial with no admission of wrongdoing.

Individuals in assorted grand jury investigations into insider trading.

Company representations in criminal matters and internal investigations

A hedge fund in insider trading investigation conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the SEC.

Citigroup in internal and government investigations into alleged $400 million fraud at one of its foreign subsidiaries.

Financial institution in SEC investigation regarding BSA compliance.

Broker dealer in FINRA enforcement action into alleged violations of FINRA registration and supervisory requirements.

Financial institution in DOJ, CFTC, and other regulatory investigations into the bank’s LIBOR rate-setting practices.


Company representations in civil matters

Broker-dealer in FINRA arbitration relating to suitability claims; Petitioner withdrew all claims with prejudice before adjudication.

Trading company in affirmative civil litigation relating to cyber-heist by defendants; successfully recovered over 85 percent of lost funds.

Media company in contractual dispute regarding licensing fees and alleged breachers of non-competition agreements.

Design firm in investigation and civil proceedings related to defamatory statements made by blogger.

LG Electronics in consumer fraud actions filed in the Southern District of California.

Published Work

  • LaVigne, Christopher, Co-Author, (2017) “Hacking Scandals Highlight Vulnerabilities for Teams and Leagues”, SportsBusiness Journal
  • LaVigne, Christopher, Co-author, (2016) “Implications of Microsoft’s win in overseas server email case”, E-Commerce Law & Policy
  • LaVigne, Christopher, Co-Author, (2016) “Insider Trading Laws and Enforcement”, Practical Compliance & Risk Management For the Securities Industry, Vol. 9, No. 3
  • LaVigne, Christopher, Co-Author, (2016) “‘Litvak’ Dicta Provides Counsel Fodder for Challenging Proof of Intent”, New York Law Journal

Speaking Engagements

  • “Lessons From Recent Trials”, New York City Bar Association’s 8th Annual White Collar Crime Institute, May 2019
  • “Cybersecurity Hypotheticals”, 2018 Managed Funds Association Legal & Compliance Conference, March 2018 
  • “Effective Anti-Corruption Ethics and Compliance Programs”, 2017 Columbia Law School Brazil Forum: Challenges and Perspectives, April 2017
  • “Addressing Current Legal Issues in Daily Fantasy Sports”, Cardozo Sports Law Symposium, March 2016

Leadership Positions And Professional Affiliations

  • Criminal Justice Act Panel
  • Member, New York City Bar Association – White Collar Crime Committee
  • Law360 Sports Editorial Advisory Board
  • Federal Bar Council


  • Recognized as “Super Lawyer” for White Collar Criminal Defense, New York Super Lawyers, 2016 – 2020
  • Recognized in The Legal 500, 2015 – 2022
  • Recognized in Benchmark Litigation, 2015 – 2022
  • George A. Spiegelberg Award for Best Oral Advocate, Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, 2002



New York, 2003


United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit


B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1998

J.D., Northwestern University, 2002

A&O Shearman was formed on May 1, 2024 by the combination of Shearman & Sterling LLP and Allen & Overy LLP and their respective affiliates (the legacy firms). Any matters referred to above may include matters undertaken by one or more of the legacy firms rather than A&O Shearman.