William Devaney

William Devaney

Baker & McKenzie LLP


William (Widge) Devaney is a partner in the Firm's North America Litigation Group in New York, chair of the North America Government Enforcement Practice and co-chair of the Global Investigations, Compliance & Ethics Practice.

Since 2011, Mr. Devaney has been listed in New York Metro Super Lawyers in the Criminal Defense: White Collar category. Mr. Devaney is co-chair of the ABA's Transnational Crime Subcommittee, and an officer of the IBA's Business Crime Committee. He previously served on the Criminal Justice Act Panel for the Southern District of New York, representing indigent clients in federal criminal matters. Mr. Devaney served as law clerk to the Honorable Oliver Gasch on the US District Court for the District of Columbia from 1993 to 1994.

Practice Focus

Mr. Devaney's main areas of practice are white collar criminal defense, investigations, compliance, and complex civil litigation. He has significant trial and appellate experience, as well as significant experience leading cross-border investigations and multi-jurisdictional enforcement matters and assisting clients with corporate compliance, especially in the anti-corruption area.

He was an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of New Jersey, where he was a member of the Securities Fraud Unit. As a federal prosecutor, Mr. Devaney investigated and prosecuted numerous cases involving securities fraud, bank fraud, mail and wire fraud, tax evasion, money laundering, terrorism, government program fraud, computer trespass, and sanctions violations. He served as the lead criminal tax prosecutor in the District of New Jersey and headed the Money Laundering Task Force.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Represented a global transportation and logistics company in a DOJ/SEC FCPA investigation.
  • Represented a UK multi-national in a SFO / DOJ criminal investigation.
  • Represented a global financial services company in an internal FCPA / UK Bribery Act investigation in Asia.
  • Represented an individual defendant in the FIFA prosecution.
  • Represented an individual in the Volkswagen investigation.
  • Represented a pharmaceutical executive in a DOJ antitrust investigation.
  • Represented an executive of a global pharmaceutical company in a DOJ / SEC FCPA investigation.
  • Represented a large multinational government contractor in a DOJ FCPA and procurement fraud investigation.
  • Represented a bank executive in the LIBOR investigation.
  • Represented a technology corporation in an internal investigation regarding potential FCPA violations in Asia.

Professional Honors

  • Recognized individual in Criminal Defense: White Collar, New York Metro Super Lawyers, 2011 - 2018

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • ABA White Collar Crime Section, Sub-Committee on Transnational Crimes - Co-Chair
  • Officer of the IBA Business Crime Committee
  • Criminal Justice Act panel for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York - Past member
  • Federal Bar Council and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers - Member


  • New York~United States (1992)


  • Cambridge University (LL.M., Honors) (1995)
  • Georgetown University Law Center (J.D.) (1991)
  • Georgetown University (A.B., cum laude) (1988)


Interview, "Baker McKenzie: ESG as New Risk Frontier", Ethisphere Magazine, The Super
ESG Issue, Winter 2019

Author, "FCPA Year in Review 2013, Part 3," Corporate Compliance Insights, April 2014

Author, "FCPA Year in Review 2013, Part 2," Corporate Compliance Insights, March 2014

Author, "FCPA Year in Review 2013, Part 1," Corporate Compliance Insights, March 2014


Presenter, "Life Sciences Forum on Distributor Audits: 'Monitor Internal Processes to Increase Visibility of Distributor Activities, Identify and Assess Risk and Accomplish Operational Integrity," July 2014