Tai H. Park is a veteran trial lawyer specializing in white collar criminal and regulatory defense, securities litigation and complex commercial disputes. A fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers since 2006, Mr. Park served as a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, where he was Senior Trial Counsel in the Securities & Commodities Fraud Task Force. In private practice, for over 22 years, Mr. Park has achieved success for his clients in virtually every major corporate or industry scandal pursued by governmental agencies nationwide. In cases where he was engaged by clients early in governmental investigations, Mr. Park has persuaded the government to decline prosecution, even after it initially threatened imminent indictment. Where charges cannot be avoided or were already lodged before Mr. Park was engaged, he is one of the leading trial lawyers to whom clients turn. Peers describe him as “a real trial lawyer who masters the facts and has the ability to suddenly effect his strategy in complex criminal cases.” (Chambers 2021). One client reported: “When we’re in a difficult position, he always finds a way out – it’s amazing how he can always find a solution for our issues.” (Chambers 2018).
In his corporate representations, Mr. Park has led dozens of internal investigations on a broad range of criminal and regulatory topics that cross borders and disciplines, including allegations of securities fraud, accounting fraud, insider trading, FCPA violations, commercial and public bribery, antitrust violations, breaches of internal controls, environmental crimes, and workplace sexual assault. He regularly counsels corporate management or boards regarding reports to the government, as well as the design and enforcement of effective corporate controls.
Mr. Park’s achievements extend well beyond white collar matters. He has regularly led the successful defense of companies and executives in securities class action litigation as well as in complex commercial disputes in both judicial and arbitral forums. He is frequently brought into complex cases on the eve of trial, including a jury trial in 2022 where Mr. Park’s cross-examination of plaintiff’s lead witness promptly led to settlement of the case on very favorable terms. He was one of 40 leading practitioners invited by the judges of the Southern District of New York to help devise a pilot program on the efficient management of complex litigation in that courthouse.
In recognition of his deep experience in both civil and criminal federal litigation, Mr. Park has served for many years on a select panel of lawyers who vet candidates for United States Magistrate Judges in the Southern District of New York, the Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel. He was recently appointed by the Board of Judges as Chair of that panel. He was also appointed an Integrity Monitor by multiple government agencies to oversee the internal controls of an organization for four years. He was one of just four leading lawyers whose names were submitted to the judge presiding over the Michael Cohen prosecution to serve as special master. Mr. Park has also been asked to file amicus briefs in the Second Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court to address broad legal issues of critical importance to the criminal justice system, and he has published detailed scholarship in law review articles that analyze problems endemic to the federal criminal laws. One of them, relating to the government’s controversial “right to control” theory of mail and wire fraud, was heavily cited by defendant-appellants in the so-called “Buffalo Billions” prosecution, and the Supreme Court is widely expected to strike down the theory of fraud, reversing the convictions. He regularly speaks on panels addressing legal trends and has taught at the Hague’s International Criminal Court, as well as the South Korean Ministry of Justice.
Pro bono service has been a lifelong commitment for Mr. Park. He currently serves as the co-founder and co-chair of the Alliance for Asian American Justice, a consortium of over 90 leading law firms nationally, created to address the escalating violence against Asian Americans. In recognition of his work as co-chair, the American Lawyer nominated Mr. Park for the 2022 Lawyer of the Year award. Mr. Park is also on the board of the Federal Defenders of New York, as well as the board of New York Appleseed, a not-for-profit, which has as its signature initiative the integration of New York City’s public school system. Mr.Park has also represented indigent criminal defendants for decades, in one instance leading a team to exonerate a man wrongfully convicted of murder.
Criminal/Regulatory Corporate Engagements
- Co-lead counsel for Canada’s then-largest telecommunications company in two separate class action litigations alleging securities fraud, as well as in related criminal and SEC investigations and derivative lawsuits.
- Lead counsel for AmLaw 20 law firm, defending it and two of its partners in a major investigation in the Southern District of New York relating to the GM ignition switch product failures.
- Lead counsel for a Big Four audit firm during the course of high-profile investigation by U.S. and Korean authorities into allegations that founding chairman of conglomerate client of the accounting firm had engaged in systematic bribery of top Korean officials.
- Lead counsel for U.S. subsidiary of a Korean conglomerate in connection with bribery, tax and money laundering investigation into former Korean President.
- Co-lead counsel for DeBeers Centenary AG in its historic resolution, through a corporate plea, of long-standing criminal antitrust charges pending in the United States that enabled DeBeers to finally enter the U.S. market.
- Lead counsel for Big Four audit firm in connection with monitoring Section 10A investigation by firm’s public issuer client into accounting fraud.
- Lead counsel for Fortune 500 company in dealing with Section 10A investigation instigated by audit firm and successfully defending company before SEC to decline filing of FCPA charges.
- Lead counsel for prominent hedge fund in connection with U.S. Senate investigation into off-shore tax shelter practices.
- Lead counsel for prominent hedge fund in connection with insider trading investigation.
- Co-lead counsel for global financial institution in connection with multiple investigations stemming from Argentina’s default on bonds.
- Served as Integrity Monitor for large not-for-profit organization whose previous CEO was convicted of kickback scheme in high profile prosecution brought by New York Attorney General’s Office. Analyzed internal controls and financial processes. Reported to multiple New York State and City agencies for four years.
- Co-lead counsel in Monitorship of global oil & gas services company after it agreed to non-prosecution agreement with DOJ and SEC following multi-year FCPA investigation.
- Led independent investigation on behalf of Board of Trustees of a university reviewing complex facts relating to occupation of university facilities by students seeking the ouster of University President.
- Led dozens of corporate investigations reporting to Board or senior management of public companies and privately owned portfolio companies of private equity firms in connection with: accounting and/or disclosure misrepresentations in financial statements, FCPA violations, mail and wire fraud, bribery and kickbacks, insider trading, obstruction, Reg FD violations, and improper asset allocation and self-dealing by portfolio managers.
Criminal/Regulatory Defense of Individuals
- Co-lead trial counsel for a Macau billionaire who was accused by Southern District prosecutors and the DOJ’s FCPA unit of bribing UN officials to build UN conference centers in Macau.
- Lead counsel for portfolio manager of prominent hedge fund whom the government threatened with imminent arrest on insider trading charges. After Mr. Park’s presentation, prosecutors agreed not to charge the client, while the firm and its chief executive were charged.
- Co-lead trial counsel for Iranian American wrongfully charged with violation of Iran Sanctions law. Principal charges were reversed on appeal and Mr. Park obtained a presidential pardon for remaining false statement charge.
- Co-lead trial counsel for former CFO of technology company charged with 22 counts of securities fraud. After jury was hung on all charges, Mr. Park persuaded the new U.S. Attorney to decline retrial and instead offer client plea to a single tax count with no jail term.
- Co-lead counsel for former CEO of manufacturing company, who had already been convicted of securities fraud, in connection with post-trial forfeiture and sentencing proceedings. Obtained drastically reduced sentencing and forfeiture order than terms sought by government.
- Lead counsel for client charged with fraud. After suppression hearing at which Mr. Park successfully excluded the results of a search warrant, charges were dismissed, and he successfully defended the order on appeal.
- Lead counsel for investment advisor in connection with FINRA investigation into insider trading based on concerns that client’s brother was the investment banker of M&A deal just before client traded in stock. Charges declined.
- Lead counsel for chief medical officer of pharmaceutical company in connection with governmental investigations into off-label marketing. No charges brought.
- Co-lead counsel for corporate officer who traded just ahead of news of FDA action on cancer product, leading to client’s arrest and incarceration. Based on multiple presentations of facts to prosecutors, government was persuaded to defer prosecution.
- Lead counsel for individuals in virtually every high profile corporate or industry investigation in New York between 2009 and 2020, in which none of the clients was criminally charged, including:
- an executive at Toyota U.S., dealing with the Southern District’s “sudden acceleration” investigation;
- partners at three of the Big-Four audit firms in various securities fraud investigations;
- multiple portfolio managers of hedge funds and officers of public companies in insider trading investigations;
- Former director of human resources for major movie production company whose founder was criminally investigated and prosecuted for pattern of sexual assault;
- Company and its president investigated for role in corrupt payments in the real estate construction industry in New York City;
- High level New York State public official in connection with corruption investigations involving State legislative leaders.
Amicus Curiae Submissions
- United States v. Moshe Porat, on behalf of Criminal Law Professor Stephen Smith, filed amicus brief to the Third Circuit addressing government’s novel use of fraud law to prosecute defendant for efforts to inflate U.S. News rankings for business schools.
- United States v. Raj Rajaratnam – on behalf of Professor G. Blakey of Notre Dame Law School, filed amicus brief to Second Circuit and to U.S. Supreme Court addressing the government’s misuse of the wiretap powers.
- United States v. Ahuja – on behalf of the New York Council of Defense Lawyers, filed amicus brief to Second Circuit addressing the district courts’ blanket preclusion of recross examinations in criminal trials.
- Dailey v. State of Florida – on behalf of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, filed amicus brief to U.S. Supreme Court urging remand for new trial the conviction of a defendant on death row.
- Co-lead trial counsel for Sedgewick Co., in a contract-based case brought by Hartford Insurance in New York State Supreme Court, Commercial Part. After Mr. Park’s cross-examination of plaintiff’s lead witness, plaintiff agreed to favorable settlement.
- Lead counsel for global manufacturing company in multiple contract-based disputes with counterparties in international arbitration hearings, leading to award for the client or favorable settlement.
- Lead counsel for LG Electronics in multiple consumer fraud class action cases filed in District Courts in New Jersey and in California. Led negotiations of early and favorable settlements.
- Co-lead trial counsel brought in on the eve of trial by The Renco Group and its chairman Ira Rennert, in connection with bankruptcy trustee action alleging fraudulent conveyance.
- Lead counsel for Boston Scientific in civil RICO action filed by the Republic of Iraq in connection with the “oil for food” program during the Hussein regime. Complaint dismissed.
- Lead counsel for Brown Brothers Harriman in connection with civil action brought to compensate victims of misconduct by Cuban government. Case against client dismissed on stipulation.
- Lead counsel for Bank of Beirut in connection with civil action brought by victims of Hezbollah attacks. Case against client dismissed on an early motion.
- Lead counsel for Societe Generale in contract-based action filed in New York State court by former customers alleging mismanagement of investment funds. Case dismissed on an early motion.
- Co-lead counsel for Merrill Lynch in contract-based action filed in Southern District of New York by former customer of bank alleging mismanagement of investment fund. Case dismissed on an early motion.
- Co-lead counsel for the CEO and CFO of Nortel Networks in connection with a securities class action complaint filed by shareholders.
- Co-founder and co-chair of the Alliance for Asian American Justice, a national consortium of over 90 leading law firms and General Counsels of public companies devoted to pro bono services for each victim of anti-Asian violence in the United States.
- Recipient of the Legal Aid’s Pro Bono award for leading the team that exonerated a defendant who had been wrongly convicted of murder in state court and who had already spent over a decade in prison.
- Utilizing an unprecedented interpretation of the Individuals with Disability Education Act, Mr. Park obtained a preliminary injunction requiring school district to fund tuition enabling client learning-disabled child to attend appropriate private school education during pendency of litigation. Case was later settled on terms that required the district to continue to fund private education through graduation, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars to the parents.
- Persuaded the U.S. Attorney’s Office to nolle (or dismiss) an indictment against an indigent defendant facing 15 years in prison based on Mr. Park’s independent factual investigation of the circumstances surrounding the incident.
- For over 12 years, Mr. Park has served on the board of Appleseed or its affiliate, New York Appleseed, a not-for-profit organization that has as one of its signature projects the integration of New York City’s public school system.
- Member of the Criminal Justice Act panel in the Southern District of New York for several years, representing indigent defendants in federal court.
- New York University School of Law
- Columbia College, Columbia University
(B.S., Philosophy major, with concentration in English Literature, 1983)
- New York State Bar
- United States District Courts:
- Southern District of New York
- Eastern District of New York
- United States Court of Appeals:
- Second Circuit
- Park Jensen Bennett, LLP
- Co-Founding Partner
- Shearman & Sterling LLP
- United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York
- Assistant U.S. Attorney, 1989 – 1999
- Chief, Narcotics Unit, 1996 – 1998
- Senior Trial Counsel, Securities & Commodities Fraud Task Force, 1998 – 1999
- Recognized by Lawdragon 500 as a Leading Litigator in White Collar, Securities, and Commercial Litigation, 2022
- Consistently ranked by Chambers USA as a leading lawyer in the White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations category;
- Selected as New York Super Lawyer each year;
- Nominated as Lawyer of the Year by American Lawyer Industry Awards, 2022
- Ranked in Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense by Legal 500 USA, 2022;
- Ranked in The Best Lawyers in America, 2022;
- Ranked in The Best Lawyers in America, Criminal Defense: White Collar; 2023
- Legal Aid’s Pro Bono Award, 2011;
- Trailblazer’s Award - Korean American Lawyers’ Association of Greater New York, 2009;
- U.S. Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service, 1997;
- DOJ Director's Award for Superior Performance, 1996
- "Right to Control" Theory of Fraud: When Deception Without Harm Becomes a Crime, Vol. 43, Cardozo Law Review (2021). This article was cited by defendant-appellants in both their petitions for a writ of certiorari as well as their merits briefing before the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the government’s controversial “right to control” theory of mail and wire fraud. Appeal is pending, but based on the oral argument, it is widely expected that the Court will strike down the theory of fraud and reverse the convictions.
- Newman/Martoma: The Insider Trading Law’s Impasse and the Promise of Congressional Action, Vol. 25, Fordham Journal of Corporate and Financial Law, 2019.
- Global Anti-Corruption Enforcement: American Style, 53 Securities & Commodities Regulation (May 13, 2020).
- “Lorenzo v. SEC: Disseminating false information can create Rule 10b-5 liability even for those who did not “make” the false statement.” White & Case Client Alert, April 2019.
- Inside the Minds: Managing White Collar Legal Issues, Aspatore Books, October 2008.
- "Asset Forfeiture Hits the Suites," The National Law Journal, July 21, 2008.
- "Are the Sentencing Guidelines More Than 'Advisory'?" Business Crimes Bulletin, May 2008.
- “Does Cooperation Obscure the Truth?” Business Crimes Bulletin, June 2004.
- “The ‘Inherently Wrongful’ Doctrine in Federal Law,” NYLJ, March 2000.
- Panelist – New York City Bar Association: "(Webcast) Ethical Considerations for Corporate Investigations: View from All Sides," Sept. 2021, New York City.
- Panelist – International Conference on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 2019.
- Panel Discussion: "Legal, Compliance and Financial Gatekeepers as Defendants: The Realities of New, Rising Prosecution Risks Confronting Individuals", Dec. 2019, Washington, DC.
- Panelist – New York City Bar Association's International White Collar Crime Symposium, Panel Discussion: "Global Enforcement Trends", Dec. 2019, New York City.
- Panelist – NAPABA Conf.: “The Intersection of White Collar Criminal Prosecutions and National Counterintelligence, A New Legal Challenge.” Nov. 2018, Chicago.
- Panelist – PLI Conf. on White Collar Crime: “Ethical Issues in White Collar Investigations,” Oct. 2016, New York City.
- Panelist – NYC Bar Assoc. White Collar Crime Inst.: “The Government’s Call for Cooperation by and Against Companies – A Game Changer or More of the Same?” May 2015, New York City.
- Instructor -- International Criminal Court – Trial Advocacy Training Program (seminar for War Crimes Prosecutors), Oct. 2011, the Hague, Netherlands.
- Instructor -- South Korean Ministry of Justice: “International Symposium on Presentence Investigation and Pretrial Detention,” October 2010, Seoul, Korea.
- Panelist – ACI Conf.: “Screening Third Parties: Due Diligence Procedures for Freight Forwarders, Agents, Consultants and Joint-Venture Partners, May 2008, Chicago.
- Panelist – PLI Conf.: “FCPA 2008 – Coping with Heightened Enforcement Risks,” April 2008, New York City.
- Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers (admitted 2006);
- Chair, Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel (SDNY);
- Board Member - New York Federal Defenders;
- Board Member - New York Council of Defense Lawyers;
- Former Commissioner on the Civilian Complaint Review Board overseeing the conduct of the world’s largest police force, the New York City Police Department;
- One of 40 leading lawyers in New York City who were appointed by the board of federal judges in the Southern District of New York to help devise a pilot program for complex litigation in federal court;
- Member, Federal Bar Council;
- Member, Asian American Bar Association of New York;
- Member, Council of Korean Americans