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Burck, William

William A. Burck

Direct Tel: +1 202-538-8120
Washington, D.C.
Tel: +1 202 538 8000 Fax: +1 202 538 8100
New York
Tel: +1 212 849 7000 Fax: +1 212 849 7100

William “Bill” Burck is Global Co-Managing Partner of the Firm and Co-Chair of the firm’s Crisis Law and Strategy Group, the Government and Regulatory Litigation Group, and the Investigations, Government Enforcement and White Collar Criminal Defense Group.  Mr. Burck, who is a member of the Washington, D.C. and New York Bars, is also resident in the New York office.  The New York Times has declared him the modern day “Washington superlawyer” in the model of Edward Bennett Williams, famously known as “the counsel to the situation.”  He is widely recognized as one of the country’s top lawyers and has been named the “D.C. White Collar Crime & Government Investigations Lawyer of the Year” by Chambers USA, the world leader in lawyer rankings, which lauds Mr. Burck as a “Star” of the Washington D.C. white collar bar, its highest rank.  He has been named for four consecutive years as a top five white collar defense lawyer in the U.S. by Law360.  Benchmark Litigation has named Mr. Burck the “White Collar/Investigations/ Enforcement Lawyer of the Year,” noting he is lauded by peers as “the best of the best” and one of the top trial lawyers in the United States.  Mr. Burck is co-leader of the practice that has been named, amongst other accolades, “Transatlantic Investigations Team of the Year” by The American Lawyer, “White Collar Practice of the Year” four years in a row by Law360, and “Most Impressive Investigations Practice of the Year” by Global Investigations Review.

The international media has called Mr. Burck an expert in cross-border cases, and he is described by leading legal periodicals as a “very charismatic trial lawyer,” a “great strategist in adversarial proceedings,” and a “Trailblazer” in white collar defense and corporate investigations. Additionally, Chambers USA notes that Mr. Burck is described as “masterful, passionate and articulate” in the courtroom, praised for his “appropriate sensitivity to client needs and objectives,” and recognized as “an amazing talent” and “a highly sought-after adviser to major corporations and high-profile individuals facing major criminal trials and cross-border regulatory investigations.”  Chambers USA further states Mr. Burck is an “extraordinary advocate” who “has a fantastic reputation and he's involved in virtually every large white-collar case that comes out,” adding that "he's always up to speed, tactical and is a very impressive guy."  The national press has further described his advocacy for clients as “brilliant, asymmetrical defense.”

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), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), 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.  Mr. Burck also has extensive first-chair experience as a civil litigator and trial lawyer in securities, antitrust, political and commercial disputes.  

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: financial crimes; the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA); Congressional investigations; 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.

  • Yale Law School
    (J.D., 1998)
    • Yale Law Journal:
      • Editor-in-Chief
  • Yale University
    (B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, 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
    • Fourth Circuit
    • Fifth Circuit
    • Eleventh Circuit
  • United States District Courts:
    • Eastern District of New York
    • Southern District of New York
    • DC District Court
  • 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 by Leaders League in Dispute Resolution, Investigations & White-Collar Crime: Excellent, 2024
  • Awarded by Chambers as USA Commercial Litigation Law Firm of the Year, 2024
  • Ranked as a “Star Individual” in Washington, D.C. for White Collar and Government Investigations, Chambers USA, 2023-2024, and noted as “an amazing talent” and “a highly sought-after adviser to major corporations and high-profile individuals facing major criminal trials and cross-border regulatory investigations.” 
  • Ranked by Who’s Who Legal, Thought Leaders Global Elite, Business Crime Defense – Corporates, 2024
  • Ranked by Lawdragon 500 “Leading Litigators in America” for White Collar, Investigations, 2024.
  • Named to the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” list for the United States by Benchmark Litigation, 2016-2024.
  • Named a “National Practice Area Star” for White-Collar Crime in the U.S. by Benchmark Litigation, 2010-2024.
  • Recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a Litigation Star, 2023 and 2024.
  • Ranked in Band 1 in Washington, D.C. for White Collar and Government Investigations, Chambers USA, 2019-2022 and quoted as a "very smart and strategic lawyer and has a lot of experience negotiating settlements" and a "brilliant advocate and is highly respected by the authorities."
  • Ranked in Washington, D.C. for White Collar Crime and Government Investigations, Chambers USA, 2014-2023.
  • Ranked in Nationwide for FCPA, Chambers USA, 2018-2024.
  • Listed as one of The Best Lawyers in America for Criminal Defense: White-Collar, 2019-2023.
  • Ranked by Chambers Global in Corporate Crime & Investigations (Latin America-International Counsel) Band 3, 2023.
  • Ranked by Chambers Global in USA: FCPA – Band 2, 2023.
  • Named a "Top FCPA Practitioner" by Global Investigations Review, 2021-2023.
  • Ranked in Latin America-wide for Corporate Crime & Investigations, Chambers Latin America, 2016-2024.
  • Washington, D.C. White Collar Crime & Government Investigations Lawyer of the Year, Chambers USA, 2019.  
  • Ranked by Who’s Who Legal for Business Crime Defence, 2019.
  • Recognized in Who’s Who Legal: Investigations, 2019.
  • Named a “Local Litigation Star” for White-Collar Crime Litigation in Washington, D.C. by Benchmark Litigation, 2011-2022.
  • Named a “White Collar MVP” by Law360, 2015-2018.
  • Named a “Thought Leader” for Business Crime Defense: Corporates, and Investigations by Who's Who Legal, 2018.
  • Named the “White Collar/Investigations/Enforcement Lawyer of the Year” by Benchmark Litigation, 2017.
  • Ranked as a “Top Ten White Collar/Investigations Practitioner” in the United States by Benchmark Litigation, 2017.
  • Named a “Trailblazer” in White Collar by The National Law Journal, 2016.
  • Named by Legal 500 as a top practitioner in White Collar Defense, 2015.
  • Named as a Washington, D.C. Super Lawyer, White Collar Criminal Defense, 2015.
  • Named a “Rising Star” for White Collar Law by Law360, 2011.
  • Firm Memorandum: DOJ Announces Change to Guidelines Regarding Corporate Cooperation, (December 2018).
  • "Representing Individuals in Interviews: the U.S. Perspective,” January 12, 2017, Featured in: The Practitioner’s Guide to Global Investigations (William Burck, Ben O’Neil and Daniel Koffmann).
  • “White Collar Crime 2016: Prosecutors and Regulators Speak,” September 30, 2016 in New York, NY, FCPA Investigations and Enforcement: Developments and Updates.
  • “Internal Investigations and Criminal Discovery After the Yates Memo,” April 5, 2016, The FCPA Report, Vol. 5, No. 7.
  • "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.
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • 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
  • Member, New York State Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Federal Bar Council
  • Member, International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA)
  • Member, The Economic Club of Washington, D.C.
  • Member, Governing Board of Beauvoir, The National Cathedral Elementary School