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Scott W. Muller
Senior Counsel

Mr. Muller is senior counsel in Davis Polk's Litigation Department, its White Collar Criminal Defense and Investigations Group and the firm's Global Enforcement and Investigations Group. He was a partner at the firm until January 1, 2015. An experienced civil litigator in subject matters ranging from antitrust and securities fraud to contract and professional liability and in complex parallel proceedings involving multiple plaintiff groups, regulators and criminal authorities, Mr. Muller has extensive experience in domestic and cross-border investigations and compliance matters focusing, most recently, on anti-corruption, antitrust, sanctions, tax, banking and fraud matters for both individuals and companies.

He pioneered the use of the corporate "deferred prosecution" to resolve a federal criminal investigation and has advised numerous domestic and foreign companies, boards and board committees on matters relating to compliance, regulatory and criminal enforcement. A former Vice Chairman of the ABA's White Collar Crime Committee, he has lectured widely, taught criminal investigations at Georgetown University Law Center as an adjunct professor and currently teaches a course in the Regulation of Foreign Corrupt Practices at NYU Law School.

Mr. Muller has represented a number of companies in U.S. and non-U.S. investigations involving alleged corrupt practices, including BHP Billiton, Morgan Stanley (in the first-ever publicly announced decision by the SEC and DOJ not to prosecute a corporation for FCPA violations on the grounds of its compliance program and its handling of the investigation), and he represented Siemens AG in its landmark settlements of corruption matters. He has represented a number of financial institutions (including Israel's Bank Leumi) in matters involving alleged assistance to U.S. taxpayers in avoiding U.S. tax and current and former chief compliance officers and other executives in matters ranging from antitrust and fraud to money laundering and OFAC violations.

From October 2002 through July 2004, he served as General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency, and from 1979 to 1982, he served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Mr. Muller clerked for the Watergate Special Prosecution Force and the Honorable Francis L. Van Dusen, U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit.

Work Highlights

Mr. Muller has handled numerous internal investigations and has represented and advised financial and industrial companies in matters before the U.S. Department of Justice, the SEC and other financial regulators and criminal enforcement authorities in the United States and elsewhere. 

Significant Representations
  • Morgan Stanley in the first-ever publicly announced decision not to prosecute a company for FCPA violations based on the quality of its anti-corruption program and its handling of the investigation
  • BHP Billiton in DOJ and SEC investigations relating to, among other things, the 2008 Olympics
  • Two major financial institutions in connection with ongoing, company-specific and industry-wide FCPA investigations
  • Smith & Nephew in connection with a joint SEC and DOJ anti-corruption investigation into practices in the medical device industry
  • A major international industrial company in connection with an SEC investigation into possible improper payments
  • One of a handful of major drug companies in connection with a joint SEC and DOJ anti-corruption investigation into the pharmaceutical industry
  • A multinational corporation in connection with a DOJ, SEC and African Development Bank inquiry into possible corruption issues
  • Siemens in connection with its corruption-related resolutions with DOJ, the SEC and World Bank, including with respect to its ongoing compliance monitorship and related investigations
  • The former chief compliance officers of two large international financial institutions in investigations relating to OFAC and anti-money laundering compliance
  • The chairman and CEO of a major supplier of automotive parts in a worldwide criminal antitrust investigation
  • A former executive of a major foreign airline in connection with an investigation into the airline cargo industry
  • Roche Holdings in criminal and civil antitrust proceedings relating to the vitamins industry
  • Prudential Securities and Prudential Insurance in numerous matters relating to, among other things, the sale of over $3 billion in real estate, oil and gas and other limited partnerships
  • Warner-Lambert (now owned by Pfizer) in criminal investigations relating to drug marketing and environmental compliance
  • Texaco in civil, criminal and derivative matters relating to a civil rights matter
  • Law firms and accounting firms in accounting and professional liability matters


Mr. Muller is recognized as a leading lawyer in several legal industry publications, including:

  • Chambers USA
  • The Legal 500 U.S.
  • Benchmark Litigation
  • Who’s Who Legal

Of Note

Current Membership
  • Member, American Law Institute
Past Memberships and Roles
  • Vice Chairman, White Collar Crime Committee, American Bar Association
  • Chairman of the Board, Center for the Community Interest 
  • Panelist, Practising Law Institute seminars
  • Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University Law Center (taught seminars in advanced criminal process)
  • Speaker on corruption-related topics
  • Member, Audit Committee, National Cathedral Foundation (Washington DC)
  • National Trustee, Boys and Girls Clubs of America (1998-2002) 
  • Member, Board of Governors, St. Albans School (Washington DC)
  • Served on the Board of Trustees of St. Paul's School and as Chairman of its Alumni Fund (Concord, NH)

Professional History

  • Senior Counsel since 2018
  • Counsel, 2015-2017
  • Partner, 1985-2002; 2005-2014
  • Associate, Davis Polk, 1976-1978; 1982-1985
  • General Counsel, Central Intelligence Agency, 2002-2004
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney, Southern District of New York, 1979-1982 
  • Law Clerk, Hon. Francis L. Van Dusen, U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 1975-1976


  • 450 Lexington Avenue
    New York, NY
    P: +1 212 450 4359
    F: +1

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, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, S.D. New York
  • U.S. Tax Court


  • B.A., Princeton University, 1971
    • cum laude
  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1975
    • Case and Notes Editor, Georgetown Law Journal