Charles S. Duggan
  1. Partner

Mr. Duggan is a partner in Davis Polk’s Litigation Department. He concentrates in a variety of areas of complex civil cases, with a particular focus on securities litigation, board of director representations and tax controversies, as well as investigations by regulatory agencies.

In his securities law practice, Mr. Duggan represents corporate issuers of securities, underwriters, and individual officers and directors in securities fraud cases. A recognized leader in the field, he has been named “Securities MVP of the Year” in 2013 and 2017 by Law360 and has served as a faculty member at the Practicing Law Institute's annual securities litigation conference. 

Mr. Duggan represents corporate boards of directors, audit committees and special board committees in internal investigations, shareholder demands and derivative cases, including recent matters involving accounting restatements, related-party transactions, insider trading, board oversight, executive and director compensation and various aspects of the financial and subprime crises. Mr. Duggan also has a varied appellate practice, including arguing cases in the federal circuit courts of appeals and state appellate courts. 

His clients include participants in a broad spectrum of industries, including technology and media, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, financial services, energy and natural resources. He also serves as general counsel to the firm.

From April 2004 to March 2005, Mr. Duggan served in the White House as Special Assistant and Associate Counsel to the President of the United States. Prior to joining the firm, he served as a law clerk to Associate Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Laurence H. Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Work Highlights

Recent Representations
  • The special litigation committee of the independent directors of SCANA in connection with an investigation into matters relating to the construction of a nuclear facility
  • A special committee of the board of directors of a public social media company in connection with assessing a demand received from a shareholder regarding the company’s historical disclosures relating to users
  • The underwriters of the Facebook IPO in consolidated securities class actions, derivative litigation and other proceedings, including obtaining dismissal of disgorgement claims against the lead underwriters under Section 16(b) of the Securities Exchange Act
  • Morgan Stanley and certain of its officers and directors in securing complete victories in securities fraud actions, derivative lawsuits and ERISA cases in New York state and federal courts arising out of the client’s subprime-related trading losses
  • A major diversified multinational corporation as plaintiff asserting a federal tax refund claim in federal district court that resulted in a substantial recovery
  • The independent directors of a public investment company in an internal investigation into whistleblower allegations of improper accounting
  • A committee of independent directors of a major manufacturing company in an internal investigation of whistleblower allegations of related-party dealings
  • McGraw Hill Financial in obtaining the dismissal of multiple shareholder derivative suits brought in New York state court relating to ratings of residential mortgage-backed securities
  • The directors of a major financial institution in obtaining dismissals of numerous federal and state court derivative actions arising from the financial crisis and allegedly improper oversight of various corporate activities
  • The directors of a major financial institution in obtaining dismissal of securities fraud claims brought in New York federal court alleging inadequate disclosure of potential liabilities
  • Bank Leumi in obtaining the dismissal of derivative lawsuits in New York state court alleging breaches of fiduciary duties in connection with alleged failures to prevent customers’ evasion of U.S. taxes
  • The underwriters of the IPO of a global transportation company in obtaining dismissal of a putative securities class action in New York federal court
  • A leading apparel manufacturer in obtaining dismissal of a securities fraud class action brought in federal court in Ohio
  • A former CEO of a major pharmaceutical company in a securities fraud class action in New York federal court asserting false disclosures regarding the company’s drug marketing practices
  • The outsider directors of Barnes & Noble, obtaining summary judgment in Delaware chancery court in a shareholder derivative suit challenging a $600 million related-party transaction
  • The directors of a major natural resources company in shareholder litigation challenging compensation practices
  • The underwriters of securities offerings by a REIT in a securities class action in federal court in Virginia


Mr. Duggan is consistently recognized for his work in the legal industry:

  • Law360 – “Securities Litigation MVP of the Year,” 2013 and 2017
  • Chambers USA – Securities Litigation 
  • Benchmark Litigation – “Star”: New York
  • The Legal 500 U.S. – Securities Litigation: Defense

Of Note

  • Member, American Law Institute
  • Mr. Duggan represented firm clients in the negotiation and implementation of the $206 billion nationwide settlement of state government tobacco litigation.

Professional History

  • Partner, Davis Polk, 2002-2004 and 2005-present
  • Special Assistant and Associate Counsel to the President of the United States, 2004-2005
  • Associate, Davis Polk, 1996-2002
  • Law Clerk, Hon. Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court of the United States, 1995-1996
  • Law Clerk, Hon. Laurence H. Silberman, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, 1994-1995

Bar Admissions

  • State of New York
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Connecticut
  • U.S. District Court, E.D. New York
  • U.S. District Court, S.D. New York
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims


  • A.B., Harvard University, 1990
    • magna cum laude
  • J.D., Harvard Law School, 1994
    • magna cum laude
    • Editor, Law Review