Hector Gonzalez

hector-gonzalez

Hector Gonzalez

Partner

New York | Three Bryant Park, 1095 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY, United States of America 10036-6797
+1 212 698 3621 | +1 212 698 3599

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Hector Gonzalez, the Chair of Dechert’s global litigation practice and a member of the firm's Policy Committee, is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. The College is recognized as the preeminent organization of trial lawyers in North America. He advises corporations and executives on a wide range of matters, with a focus on complex commercial and securities 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 and has extensive experience working on matters in Latin America. 

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 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 tried several complex bench trials and arbitrations. He recently served as a Special Master in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in a discrimination case brought by the Department of Justice against the New York City Fire Department.

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 served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Appeals Bureau of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. As a Fulbright Fellow, Mr. Gonzalez served as a visiting lecturer of trial advocacy in the post-graduate law degree program at the University of San Carlos in Guatemala City.

Experience

Litigation and Trials

  • The former Chief Risk Officer of Fannie Mae in connection with securities fraud charges filed by the SEC in the Southern District of New York
  • The Bank of New York Mellon in litigation relating to its role as Indenture Trustee and Auction Agent in student loan securitizations (U.S. Education Loan Trust IV, LLC v. The Bank of New York Mellon, Index No. 654415-2017 (Supreme Court, New York County))
  • The Bank of New York Mellon in all aspects of litigation and SEC and CFTC investigations relating to the bankruptcy of Sentinel Management Group
  • 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 settlement with Bank of America Corp. in connection with 530 RMBS trusts
  • 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
  • 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
  • A Big Four accounting firm in connection with malpractice litigation arising out of its audit of manufacturer client

Automotive Industry

  • 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
  • A global automotive supplier in an internal investigation relating to allegations of manipulating inspection data that was provided to customers
  • An automobile manufacturer in investigations by the Department of Justice and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration relating to the adequacy and timeliness of recalls
  • A European automotive supplier in a Department of Justice investigation relating to test data irregularities

Investigations

  • A senior executive of a global construction industry supplier in a Department of Justice investigation of allegations of FCPA violations
  • A senior executive of a major European media company in the Department of Justice’s investigation of FIFA
  • A hedge fund in connection with an SEC investigation of trading practices
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • A former chief operating officer of a Fortune 20 company in a civil (SEC) and federal criminal (SDNY) investigation alleging accounting fraud
  • 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
  • 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
Education
  • 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
Admissions
  • New York
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
  • 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 District of New Jersey
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Languages
  • Spanish
Memberships
  • New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, Board of Directors (2003 to 2018); 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)
  • New York City Bar, 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
Speaking Engagements
  • Managing a Corporate Crisis: Strategies for Isolating a Crisis and Controlling the Public Narrative While Meeting Your Ethical Obligations and Maintaining Privilege — In-House Toolkit: The Nuts and Bolts Presented by ACC of NYC, New York, NY (June 15, 2017)
  • Managing a Corporate Crisis: Strategies for Containing a Crisis and Controlling the Public Narrative While Meeting Ethical Obligations and Maintaining Privilege - New York, NY (May 2, 2017)
  • A Price Worth Paying?: Proactive Risk Management for Corporate Counsel - New York, NY (April 27, 2017)
  • Financial Crisis Litigation in the Commercial Division and Federal Courts — New York State Bar Association Commercial and Federal Litigation Section Annual Meeting, New York, NY (January 23, 2013)
  • New FCPA Guidance and Key Take-Away's from 2012 FCPA and UK Bribery Act Enforcement: Assessing Your Company's Risks, Implementing Effective Internal Controls and Best Practices — ACC America - Greater New York Chapter, New York, NY (December 10, 2012)
  • Risks and Threats of Corruption and the Legal Profession — International Bar Association Workshop, Panama City (December 6, 2012)

    Participant, "Risks and Threats of Corruption and the Legal Profession" workshop.
  • Corruption and Bribery: Identifying and Minimizing Risks from the Use of Intermediaries — Association of Corporate Counsel Greater New York Chapter, New York, NY (May 1, 2012)
  • The Growing Bureaucracy: What Happens When They Knock on Your Door — Education Finance Council Annual Membership Meeting, (March 11, 2011)
  • International Enforcement: What Does a U.S. Lawyer Need to Know — Practising Law Institute, White Collar Crime 2010: Prosecutors and Regulators Speak, (October 18, 2010)
  • Sentencing and Plea Negotiations — Practising Law Institute, White Collar Crime 2009: Prosecutors and Regulators Speak, New York, NY (October 5, 2009)
  • Navigating the Waters of State and Multistate Attorneys General Investigations — IN FOCUS: Corporate Litigation Web Series, (June 30, 2009)
  • When Prevention Fails: Internal Investigations and Disclosure Issues — Practising Law Institute, The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 2009: Coping With Heightened Enforcement Risks, (May 29, 2009)
  • Responding to Investigations by Regulators — CLE International's Subprime Lending Litigation Conference, (May 8, 2009)
  • Sentencing Guidelines in a Post-Booker Era — Practising Law Institute, White Collar Crime 2008: Prosecutors and Regulators Speak, New York, NY (September 25, 2008)
  • How to Deal with Internal Investigations –Practical Advice — Practising Law Institute's 38th Annual Institute on Securities Regulation, (November 8, 2006)
  • Federal Criminal Practice Institute — New York County Lawyers Association, New York, NY (May 4, 2006)
  • What Every Criminal and Corporate Lawyer Needs To Know About Monitors — Association of the Bar of the City of New York, New York, NY (December 6, 2005)
  • Taking and Defending Depositions — Association of the Bar of the City of New York, (February 8, 2005)
  • The Sentencing Guidelines — New York County Lawyers Association, Federal Criminal Practice Institute, New York, NY (October 16, 2004)
  • The Ethics and Practice of Plea Bargaining and Cooperation in Federal and State Courts — Hispanic National Bar Association, New York, NY (March 22, 2004)
  • Proyecto Pro Bono — Co-sponsored by the American Embassy in El Salvador, New York, NY (June 18, 2001)
  • The ABCs of Federal Criminal Litigation — Association of the Bar of the City of New York, (February 28, 2001)
  • Ethical Issues in Federal and State Prosecutions — Criminal Justice Forum, (January 1, 1994)