Uzo Asonye
  1. Partner

Mr. Asonye is a partner in Davis Polk’s Litigation Department, practicing in the White Collar Defense and Investigations Group in the Washington DC office. He is a seasoned trial lawyer who, before joining the firm, spent more than a decade prosecuting complex financial crimes and public corruption. He has deep experience in matters involving insider trading, market manipulation, public corruption and other areas of financial fraud.

At Davis Polk, Mr. Asonye advises companies and individuals in connection with government, grand jury and internal investigations, and represents clients in criminal and civil trials.

Immediately before joining Davis Polk in 2020, Mr. Asonye was Acting Chief of the Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, where he supervised more than a dozen prosecutors. As Acting Chief (and prior to that, Deputy Chief) of that unit, he developed strategic initiatives with law enforcement and financial regulatory agencies, and oversaw the prosecution of a range of offenses, including corporate, securities, healthcare, bank and financial fraud, anti-money laundering, procurement and tax fraud. While serving in government, Mr. Asonye prosecuted some of the biggest financial fraud and public corruption cases of the last decade, and tried numerous multi-defendant, complex cases to guilty verdicts before juries. His notable jury trials include fraud convictions of senior bank officers in a $1 billion bank failure, and bribery convictions of the former Vice Mayor and sitting Treasurer of Norfolk, Virginia.

In 2018, Mr. Asonye served in the Office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller during its investigation into Russian government efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election. He was a key attorney on the trial team that successfully prosecuted Paul Manafort, a former 2016 presidential campaign manager.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Asonye spent several years in private practice defending companies and individuals in a wide range of congressional and other government investigations.

Recognition

  • Recipient of Executive Office for United States Attorneys Director’s Award for Superior Performance as Criminal AUSA, 2016 
  • Recognized by the FBI for outstanding prosecution skills, 2014-2016 and 2020

Professional History

  • Partner, Davis Polk, 2020-present
  • Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Unit, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia
    • Acting Chief, 2019-2020
    • Deputy Chief, 2018-2019
    • Assistant U.S. Attorney, 2010-2020
  • Trial Attorney, Special Counsel’s Office, 2018
  • Associate, O’Melveny & Myers, 2005-2010

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

Education

  • B.S., Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University, 2002
    • with honors
    • Alpern Award for Distinguished Scholarship and Service
  • J.D., Yale Law School, 2005
    • Production and Case Notes Editor, Yale Law & Policy Review