Edward A. McDonald


Edward A. McDonald

Senior Counsel

New York | Three Bryant Park, 1095 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY, United States of America 10036-6797
+1 212 698 3672 | +1 212 698 3599


Edward A. McDonald focuses on white collar criminal defense, securities enforcement matters and complex civil litigation. He also conducts internal investigations for businesses and labor unions. Mr. McDonald is a former federal prosecutor who, as Attorney-In-Charge of the Federal Organized Crime Strike Force in New York, was repeatedly honored for his successes on trial and his supervision of some of the Justice Department’s most important cases.

Mr. McDonald is consistently recognized by Super Lawyers, New York Magazine, Benchmark Litigation and other attorney reference guides as one of the best lawyers in his areas of practice. The Legal 500 US has said, “The ‘excellent’ Edward McDonald lives up to his reputation as ‘one of the best criminal defense attorneys in New York.’” Since 2007, Mr. McDonald has been regularly recognized by Best Lawyers in America for his white collar criminal defense practice.

Mr. McDonald’s clients have included mutual fund companies, hedge fund managers, domestic and foreign banks and bank officials, other international financial institutions and their employees, accounting firms, health care providers, insurance companies, real estate development and management firms, construction and design firms, labor unions and their officers, public officials throughout the New York area, attorneys, and physicians. He recently represented one of the world’s most prominent recording artists and currently represents the New York City Policeman’s Benevolent Association. He has also represented a large South African business conglomerate, one of the world’s largest airlines, the former chairman and deputy chairman of the Russian Securities Commission, a member of the Saudi royal family, Lebanese and Saudi businessmen, and many other businesses and individuals throughout the world. He regularly represents one of the nation’s largest waste management companies. He has extensive experience in matters concerning alleged violations of securities (including insider trading), tax, money laundering, antitrust, customs, immigration, bankruptcy, public corruption, environmental, and RICO statutes.

In addition to trying countless cases in federal and state trial courts and arguing almost 70 appeals in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the New York Court of Appeals, and the Appellate Division, First Department, Mr. McDonald has represented numerous clients before the SEC, FINRA, the Federal Reserve Board, the EEOC, and other federal, state, and local agencies. He has conducted several internal investigations for businesses and labor unions and has substantial experience with government-imposed monitorships. He has also frequently advised corporate boards and officers in both criminal and civil matters.

As a federal prosecutor, Mr. McDonald directed many of the Justice Department’s most complex and most successful white-collar and organized crime prosecutions. He and his staff obtained convictions against many businessmen, labor racketeers, and organized crime figures for criminal activities in the savings and loan, pension fund, air freight, commercial moving and storage, construction, fuel oil distribution, and other major industries. He also coordinated successful prosecutions of the hierarchies of the Gambino, Colombo, Lucchese, and Bonanno crime families.

His courtroom victories as a federal prosecutor include the convictions of Bronx Congressman Mario Biaggi and Brooklyn Democratic Leader Meade Esposito, the Abscam case against New Jersey Senator Harrison Williams, the Boston College basketball point-shaving case, the infamous Lufthansa robbery case, and many other major trials. He also personally participated in the investigations and successful prosecutions of Congressmen John Murphy of New York, Frank Thompson of New Jersey, and Michael Myers and Raymond Lederer of Pennsylvania.

Mr. McDonald also served as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan, where he tried many cases and argued more than 40 appeals. When he left the office, he was District Attorney Robert Morgenthau’s senior appellate staff attorney.

A member of the Screen Actors Guild since 1990, Mr. McDonald has appeared in such films as Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas,” in which he recreated his real-life role as the prosecutor, and Barbet Schroeder’s “Kiss of Death,” in which he also played a lawyer.

Mr. McDonald is a nationally recognized authority in such areas as white collar criminal defense, labor racketeering, public corruption, and the infiltration of organized crime into legitimate businesses. He has appeared frequently on television programs, including Nightline, The Today Show, The Charlie Rose Show, Court TV, and the network evening news shows. He has been interviewed on many occasions by both the national and local print media. In addition, he is a frequent lecturer on trial and appellate practice and was an adjunct faculty member at Brooklyn Law School for eight years.

  • Boston College, 1968
  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 1971
  • New York
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Honorable Anthony J. Travia