Burck, William

William A. Burck



William “Bill” Burck is co-head of the Washington, D.C. office of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP and Chair of the firm's D.C. White Collar and Corporate Investigations Group.  Mr. Burck is a trial lawyer who represents companies, boards of directors and senior executives in investigations, sensitive matters, corporate crises, litigation and other disputes involving the federal and state governments of the United States (including the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), District Attorney's Offices, State Attorneys General, other law enforcement and regulatory agencies, and the United States Congress) and governments of Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.  He has been repeatedly recognized by leading legal periodicals such as Chambers USA, Law360 and Benchmark Litigation as one of the best white collar litigators in the United States.

Mr. Burck's practice focuses on solving clients' most difficult legal and regulatory challenges, whether in the context of civil, criminal, congressional or parallel probes. He advises clients on a host of white collar matters, including: Congressional investigations; the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA); political issues; antitrust and market manipulation matters; the securities laws; whistleblower cases; the False Claims Act; government contracting; Dodd-Frank regulatory issues; transnational tax investigations; export controls; and national security and defense. Mr. Burck has considerable experience defending clients in multi-jurisdictional investigations and litigation conducted cooperatively by United States, European, Middle Eastern, Asian and African government authorities.

Mr. Burck is former Special Counsel and Deputy Counsel to President George W. Bush in Washington, D.C., and a former federal prosecutor in New York City. In his role as a senior official at the White House, Mr. Burck provided legal advice to the President and senior White House officials on a wide range of issues, including congressional and other government investigations, national security and foreign affairs, the financial crisis of 2008, and complex constitutional questions. During his time as a senior official in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice and as an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, Mr. Burck investigated and prosecuted a variety of white collar and other criminal cases. He was a member of the trial team in United States v. Martha Stewart, and was lead prosecutor in a number of jury trials.

  Notable Representations

Selected Recent Public Criminal Cases:

  • United States v. Robert McDonnell & Maureen McDonnell – Defense counsel for Maureen McDonnell, former First Lady of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in a federal criminal case charging Mrs. McDonnell and her husband, former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell, with political corruption, extortion, obstruction of justice, and bank fraud.
  • United States v. Kim Dotcom et al. –  Defense counsel for Kim Dotcom and Megaupload Limited, one of the world’s largest online cloud storage services, in the U.S. Department of Justice’s largest prosecution of alleged criminal copyright infringement.
  • United States v. Joseph Sigelman –  Defense counsel for Joseph Sigelman, a successful American entrepreneur, charged with alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) when he was co-CEO of PetroTiger, an oil and gas company he co-founded.
  • United States v. Andreas Bachmann –  Defense counsel for Andreas Bachmann, a Swiss banker charged with assisting U.S. taxpayers evade taxes while working at a Credit Suisse subsidiary.

 Selected Recent Non-Public Criminal Investigations:

  • Representation of several major Swiss Private Banks and individual bankers in the U.S. Department of Justice’s investigations of their cross-border banking activities, including allegedly facilitating tax evasion by U.S. taxpayers.
  • Representation of a multinational logistics and transportation company based in Switzerland in an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice of alleged violations of the FCPA.
  • Defense of a multinational mining conglomerate and its senior executives in parallel investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and the UK Serious Fraud Office of alleged FCPA and UK Bribery Act violations in Central Asia and Africa.
  • Representation of a multinational technology and manufacturing company before the SEC and the U.S. Department of Justice in an investigation of alleged FCPA violations in its operations in India, China and Southeast Asia.
  • Defense of one of the world’s largest insurance companies in a criminal investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for allegedly making false submissions to regulators. 
  • Defense of a former senior campaign official in an investigation of political corruption in New York City by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY).
  • Representation of a multinational pharmaceutical company based in Europe in an investigation of alleged FCPA violations in its operations in Southeast Asia.
  • Defense of a senior executive of a large European bank in connection with a tax fraud prosecution brought by the Department of Justice.
  • Defense of a multinational airline services company based in Europe in an investigation of alleged kickbacks and fraud in Asia and Europe by the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • Representation of a bulge-bracket investment bank in an investigation of alleged tax and wire fraud by the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • Defense of a South African entrepreneur on the board of a US-listed company in an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and the SEC of alleged violations of the FCPA by the client and the company on whose board he sits.

Selected Recent U.S. Congressional Investigations:

  • Representation of Steven Miller, former Acting Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, in connection with Congressional investigations of alleged targeting of conservative groups by the IRS.
  • Representation of a senior executive of CGI, the company contracted to build the ObamaCare website, in Congressional investigations of the website’s rollout problems.
  • Defense of the U.S. military's largest suppliers of jet fuel to troops in Afghanistan in a Congressional investigation of alleged corruption in Central Asia and follow-on investigations conducted by foreign authorities.
  • Defense of a leading US law firm in a Congressional investigation of its representation of a class of Native American plaintiffs suing the US government for billions of dollars.
  • Representation of AIG in Congressional investigations of executive compensation and bonuses at its subsidiary AIGFP in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008.
  • Representation of a large U.S. oil-spill cleanup company in connection with Congressional and other government investigations of the Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Representation of a senior Obama Administration official in Congressional investigations arising from the Department of Energy’s funding of Solyndra and the company’s subsequent bankruptcy. 

Selected Recent Civil Cases:

  • In re: North Sea Brent Crude Oil Futures Litigation – Defense counsel for Trafigura AG in class action litigation alleging manipulation of crude prices by a group of large oil companies.
  • Representation of one of the world’s largest insurance companies in parallel investigations by federal and state authorities under the False Claims Act and state laws and regulations for allegedly conducting certain business activities without a license.
  • Representation of a major US/European telecommunications company with extensive operations in Africa in claims for fraud against contractors in South Africa, Nigeria, and the US.
  • Representation of a major financial firm in an investigation by the SEC of alleged securities fraud.
  • Defense of a multinational commodities trading company in CFTC and FSA investigations of alleged market manipulation in the energy market.
  • Representation of one of the world's largest mining companies in claims against competitors for conspiracy to defraud in connection with concessions in Africa worth billions of dollars.  
  • Representation of a multinational oil trading company before OFAC in connection with its operations in countries subject to US and European trade sanctions.

  Practice Areas

  • White Collar & Corporate Investigations
  • Transnational Litigation
  • Securities Litigation


  • Yale Law School
    (J.D., 1998)
    • Yale Law Journal:
      • Editor-in-Chief
  • Yale University
    (B.A., magna cum laude, 1993)


The District of Columbia Bar; The State Bar of New York; United States Supreme Court; United States Courts of Appeals: Second Circuit; United States District Courts: Southern District of New York

  Prior Associations

  • Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP:
    • Partner, 2009-2012

  • Special Counsel and Deputy Counsel to President George W. Bush:
    • 2007-2009

  • Department of Justice:
    • Senior Official, Criminal Division, 2007

  • United States Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York:
    • Assistant United States Attorney, 2003-2005

  • Law Clerk to the Hon. Anthony M. Kennedy:
    • United States Supreme Court, 1999-2000

  • Law Clerk to the Hon. Alex Kozinski:
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1998-1999


  • Ranked in Washington D.C. White Collar Crime and Government Investigations, Chambers USA, 2014.
  • Named a "Litigation Star" for White-Collar Crime in the U.S. by Benchmark Litigation, 2010-2014.
  • Named a "Local Litigation Star" for White-Collar Crime Litigation in Washington, D.C. by Benchmark Litigation, 2011-2014.
  • Named a "Rising Star" for White Collar Law by Law360, 2011.

Publications and Lectures

  • "Financial Regulatory Reform: An Overview of The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act," July 15, 2010, Financial Regulatory Reform Center.
  • "Advice for Corporations and Their Counsel in Dealing with the Government," Fall 2009, In-House Litigator, Vol. 24, No. 1.

Professional Activities

  • Conciliator, International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (Appointed by the President of the United States)
  • Member, Public Interest Declassification Board (Appointed by the Minority Leader of the Senate)
  • Member, Bar of the City of New York