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Jennifer G. Newstead

Ms. Newstead is a partner in Davis Polk’s Litigation Department. She represents large multinational corporations, financial institutions, boards of directors and board committees in criminal, regulatory and internal investigations of alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, U.S. economic sanctions, securities fraud, breach of fiduciary duties, tax and antitrust issues, and provides related governance and compliance advice. She has represented clients in high-profile U.S. government investigations of alleged industry-wide corruption in the pharmaceutical, life sciences and consumer products industries, with a particular focus in China, Southeast Asia and Russia/Eastern Europe. She handles parallel civil litigation in federal and state courts involving shareholder derivative claims, breach of fiduciary duties and enforcement of judgments.

Ms. Newstead joined Davis Polk after a U.S. Supreme Court clerkship. In 2001, she left Davis Polk to serve as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice, where she received the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service. She served as an Associate White House Counsel from 2002 to 2003 and as General Counsel of the White House Office of Management and Budget from 2003 to 2005. She rejoined the firm in 2005.

Work Highlights

  • A special committee of the board of directors of a global life sciences company in a whistleblower investigation of alleged FCPA violations in China and other jurisdictions

  • A multinational pharmaceutical company in a joint DOJ-SEC global anti-corruption investigation in multiple jurisdictions

  • The audit committee of a global hospitality company in an internal investigation of FCPA and financial accounting issues in Mexico and other markets

  • A Special Litigation Committee of the Board of Directors of John Hancock in an internal investigation in response to a shareholder derivative complaint

  • The audit committee of the board of directors of an energy company in connection with an SEC investigation of reserves accounting

  • Clearstream Banking S.A., a Luxembourg-based clearance and settlement system, in connection with an OFAC and S.D.N.Y. investigation of OFAC sanctions issues and parallel civil litigation

  • Intesa Sanpaolo, the largest commercial bank in Italy, in an investigation by DOJ, the Manhattan DA, the Federal Reserve Bank and the Treasury Department relating to alleged violations of OFAC sanctions and anti-money laundering rules resulting in a public declination to pursue criminal charges

  • A special committee of the board of directors of a consumer corporation in connection with a confidential investigation of the former CEO

  • The audit committee of the board of directors of an energy company in connection with a confidential investigation of a senior officer

  • Hoffmann-La Roche in connection with civil and criminal antitrust investigations of alleged price-fixing in the bulk vitamins industry

  • The audit committee of a health care corporation in connection with a review of compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley and NYSE corporate governance standards

  • The Bank for International Settlements in connection with civil litigation arising out of the default by Argentina on debt obligations and related claims

  • Citibank, N.A. in the successful emergency appeal to the Second Circuit of litigation arising out of the Argentine debt default litigation

  • A financial institution in connection with a review of broker-dealer compliance practices relating to alleged mis-selling of financial products

  • A former senior executive of U.K. defense contractor BAE Systems in FCPA investigations by the DOJ and the U.K. Serious Frauds Office

  • A consumer products company on an ongoing basis with respect to FCPA, anti-contraband and anti-money laundering programs and investigations


Ms. Newstead is consistently recognized for her work in the legal industry, including:

  • Global Investigations Review – “Women in Investigations,” 2015
  • Ethisphere – “Attorneys Who Matter,” 2013 and 2015
  • Benchmark Litigation – “Star”: National and New York; “Top 250 Women in Litigation”
  • Attorney General’s “Award for Exceptional Service,” 2002, DOJ’s highest honor

Of Note

  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, 2002
  • Young Leader of the French-American Foundation, 2008-2009
Recent Memberships
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, New York City Bar Association
  • Member and former Secretary, Judiciary Committee of the New York City Bar Association, 2007-2012
  • Term Member, Council on Foreign Relations, 2002-2007
  • Executive Branch liaison, Section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, American Bar Association, 2004-2005
  • Executive Committee Member and Treasurer, Yale Law School Alumni Association, 2001-2005

Professional History

  • Partner, Davis Polk, 2006-present
  • General Counsel, White House Office of Management and Budget, 2003-2005
  • Associate White House Counsel, 2002-2003
  • Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Policy, U.S. Department of Justice, 2001-2002
  • Associate, Davis Polk, 1997-2001
  • Law Clerk, Hon. Stephen G. Breyer, U.S. Supreme Court, 1995-1996
  • Law Clerk, Hon. Laurence H. Silberman, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, 1994-1995