Hector Gonzalez advises corporations and executives on a wide range of matters, with a focus on complex commercial litigation, criminal and related civil and administrative matters, SEC and CFTC enforcement proceedings and internal, grand jury and state attorneys general investigations. In addition, he regularly represents clients in all aspects of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) matters.
Mr. Gonzalez has been consistently recognized for his white-collar criminal defense practice and his securities and shareholder litigation practice by The Legal 500 US, which praises him as "a great lawyer" in Commercial Litigation, having "an extraordinary amount of expertise" in Securities Shareholder Litigation, and being "an excellent trial lawyer and strategic thinker who won’t waste clients’ time or money." He is ranked in The Best Lawyers in America for his white-collar criminal defense practice. Benchmark Litigation 2015 named Mr. Gonzalez a Litigation Star for his white-collar defense practice and described him as "one of the sharpest and most promising talents doing this work right now."
Mr. Gonzalez has significant trial experience, having tried more than 20 federal and state jury trials and argued more than 30 cases before federal and state appellate courts. He has also advised on commercial, securities, bankruptcy, antitrust and professional liability litigation matters.
Recently, Mr. Gonzalez was appointed as a Special Master by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in a discrimination case involving the New York City Fire Department. Since joining Dechert, he has played an active role in firm leadership and currently serves on the firm’s Policy Committee and as the firm’s Deputy Chair for Diversity and Inclusion.
Mr. Gonzalez previously was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where he served as Chief of the Narcotics Unit and was twice awarded the Department of Justice’s Director’s Award for Superior Performance. He also previously served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Appeals Bureau of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. In 1998, Mr. Gonzalez was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to serve as a visiting lecturer of trial advocacy in the post-graduate law degree program at the University of San Carlos in Guatemala City.
Examples of Mr. Gonzalez’s recent matters include:
- Represent Takata Corporation in connection with investigations of airbag inflator ruptures by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Congress, the Department of Justice and other entities, and in related civil litigation.
- Represent the former Chief Risk Officer of Fannie Mae against securities fraud charges filed by the SEC in the Southern District of New York.
- Represent several executives in connection with various ongoing FCPA investigations involving activity in Latin America and Asia.
- Represent The Bank of New York Mellon in all aspects of litigation and SEC and CFTC investigations relating to the bankruptcy of Sentinel Management Group.
- Represented The Bank of New York Mellon, as trustee of residential mortgage-backed securitization (RMBS) trusts, in litigation seeking the approval of an US$8.5 billion proposed settlement with Bank of America Corp. in connection with 530 RMBS trusts.
- Represented The Bank of New York Mellon, as trustee of RMBS trusts, in litigation concerning various RMBS-related settlements and claims in the bankruptcy of Residential Capital, LLC, and certain of its subsidiaries.
- Represented Science Applications International Corp.’s (SAIC) board of directors in an investigation by the United States Attorney for the SDNY alleging that SAIC’s City Time time-management project involved fraud, kickbacks and bribery.
- Represented a multinational corporation in connection with an internal investigation relating to irregularities in the management of employee benefit plans for the corporation’s U.S. subsidiaries.
- Represented a leading education and finance company in connection with investigations of the student loan industry by the Attorneys General of 10 states and various Congressional committees.
- Represented a Big Four accounting firm in connection with litigation arising out of its audit of a company accused of orchestrating a US$600 million Ponzi scheme.
- Represented a Latin American media company listed on a U.S. exchange in the first-ever up-the-ladder reporting case under Section 307 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
- Represented a former chief operating officer of a Fortune 20 company in a civil (SEC) and federal criminal (SDNY) investigation alleging accounting fraud.
- Represented a senior executive of a major pharmaceutical corporation in a Department of Justice/U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigation concerning the company’s submission of a New Drug Application and allegations of misstatements and/or omissions by the company in its application and in inspections by the Food and Drug Administration.
- Represented a senior executive of a major pharmaceutical corporation in a Department of Justice investigation concerning potential violations of the False Claims Act by the company arising out of the pharmaceutical corporation’s disclosure of information to the public and its promotional/marketing practices.
University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., 1988, Editor, University of Pennsylvania Law Review
Manhattan College, B.S., 1985
City University of New York, M.A., Criminal Justice, 1995
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, Board of Directors (2003 to date); Board Chair (2012 to 2014); Chair, Litigation & Program Committee (2008 to 2012); Board Secretary (2006-2008)
The Climate Museum, Board of Trustees (2015 to date)
New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board (an independent mayoral agency that investigates charges of police misconduct), Chairman (2002-2006); Member (2000-2006)
Manhattan College, Board of Trustees (2004-2009)
LatinoJustice (PRLDEF), Board of Directors (2002-2005)
Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Council on Criminal Justice (2009 to 2012); Nominating Committee (2005); and Criminal Advocacy Committee (2004-2007)
Federal Bar Council
Hispanic National Bar Association
New York Council of Defense Lawyers