LaVigne, Christopher L.

Christopher L. LaVigne


Christopher LaVigne is counsel in the Litigation Group. He previously served as a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York from 2005-2013. As a federal prosecutor, Mr. LaVigne was a member of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force and earned a reputation as one of the Office’s best trial lawyers. Mr. LaVigne’s practice focuses on white collar criminal defense, regulatory enforcement defense, internal investigations, and complex litigation matters.

In 2014, Mr. LaVigne was named by Law360 as one of five White Collar Rising Stars, which recognizes “attorneys under 40 whose legal accomplishments belie their age.”

As a federal prosecutor and member of the SDNY’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force, Mr. LaVigne prosecuted a wide array of securities fraud offenses. Among other cases, Mr. LaVigne served as lead trial counsel in the high-profile insider trading trial of United States v. Doug Whitman, in which the founder of the Whitman Capital hedge fund was convicted of all insider trading counts after a multi-week trial. Mr. LaVigne also investigated and prosecuted numerous other insider trading offenses at hedge funds and those involving expert network firms, including the successful prosecution of John Kinnucan, the president of Broadband Research LLC. In addition, Mr. LaVigne prosecuted cases involving investment adviser fraud, hedge fund overvaluation schemes, and broker-dealer markup schemes. Mr. LaVigne’s work in the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force involved coordinating parallel proceedings with attorneys at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Mr. LaVigne also worked in the SDNY’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit, where he served as lead counsel in several of the Office’s highest profile international criminal prosecutions. Mr. LaVigne’s noteworthy cases include the successful prosecution of individuals charged with conspiring to export military parts and carbon fiber (which may be used for uranium enrichment) from the United States to Iran and China, in violation of OFAC and other regulations. In recognition of his efforts on this counter-proliferation case, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence awarded Mr. LaVigne with the Counterintelligence Award for Excellence in 2013. Mr. LaVigne also served as trial counsel in the well-publicized trial of an MIT-educated neuroscientist who was convicted of attempted murder of FBI agents and U.S. Army officers in Afghanistan, and all other related counts after trial. Mr. LaVigne was also lead trial counsel in the successful prosecution of two individuals who were convicted after trial of conspiring to ship large amounts of narcotics into the United States by attempting to bribe high-ranking, African officials. In addition, Mr. LaVigne prosecuted several cases involving foreign terrorist organizations such as al Qaeda and al Shabaab; export and money laundering offenses relating to Iran and other embargoed countries and entities; and cases involving foreign corruption.

A seasoned trial lawyer, Mr. LaVigne has conducted multi-week, complex trials involving securities fraud, terrorism, international narcotics trafficking, foreign corruption, and document fraud. Mr. LaVigne has also argued numerous cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

In addition to his Government service with the Department of Justice, Mr. LaVigne clerked for the Honorable Kevin Thomas Duffy, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, and worked as an associate at the New York law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett where he focused on white collar criminal defense and securities litigation.

Selected Experience

  • Representation of financial institution executive charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York with mail and wire fraud-related offenses concerning the institution’s foreign exchange practices.
  • Representation of hedge fund in insider trading investigation conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the SEC.
  • Representation of financial institution in Department of Justice, CFTC, and other regulatory investigations into the bank’s LIBOR rate-setting practices.

Selected Publications

  • Co-author, “Trends and Strategies in Today’s White Collar Law Cases,” Inside the Minds: Managing White Collar Legal Issues, 2014
  • Co-author, “Strange Bedfellows: Insider Trading and Political Intelligence,” Bloomberg BNA, 2013
  • Co-author, “New SEC Admission Policy May Be Tested Sooner Than Later,” Law360 Expert Analysis, 2013

Speaking Engagements

  • “The Rising Popularity of Participating in Fantasy Sports Leagues for Cash,” Cardozo Sports Law Symposium, March 2014, New York
  • “Insider Trading and Beyond: Recent Enforcement Trends in the United States and the United Kingdom,” Alternative Investment Management Association Panel, January 2014, London, UK
  • Mr. LaVigne has frequently given CLE presentations on trends in insider trading and enforcement
  • Mr. LaVigne has been a panelist at the Department of Justice’s National Advocacy Center on prosecuting export-related offenses


  • Northwestern University School of Law, J.D., 2002, cum laude
    • Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology
    • George A. Spiegelberg Award for Best Oral Advocate of the 2002 National Trial Competition
  • University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 1998, cum laude


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