Christopher L. Garcia is a partner in the Firm’s Securities Litigation and White Collar Defense and Investigations practices, where he focuses on defending companies and individuals in connection with regulatory and criminal investigations, conducting internal investigations, and litigating securities class actions in state and federal courts across the US. He also counsels boards of directors, executives, broker-dealers, and investment advisers on securities and corporate governance issues, and regulatory compliance, among other things.
Currently, Mr. Garcia represents numerous confidential clients in connection with alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA); a former senior trader at a major financial institution in connection with the DOJ’s ongoing criminal investigation into alleged manipulation of LIBOR; a former senior director at another major financial institution in connection with a CFTC investigation into alleged manipulation of ISDAFix, the benchmark rate for the swaps market; and a confidential client in connection with an investigation of alleged price fixing in the market for oil futures and other energy derivatives. Since joining Weil, Mr. Garcia has also represented General Electric Company and several of its senior officers in connection with securities class action litigation in the Southern District of New York relating to statements made concerning GE’s dividend, access to the commercial paper markets, and exposure to subprime and noninvestment grade debt. Other representative clients include Morgan Stanley, Barclays, AIG, DirecTV, and Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Other recent experience includes:
- Representing numerous confidential clients in connection with SEC and DOJ investigations relating to alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act;
- Representing Aeropostale, Inc. and its senior officers in connection with a securities class action in the Southern District of New York related to alleged misstatements made concerning Aeropostale’s earnings;
- Representing a major foreign financial institution in a well-publicized, high-profile SEC investigation concerning Chesapeake Energy Corp. – the second-largest US natural gas production company – and its chief executive officer;
- Representing a prominent US financial institution in an SEC investigation arising out of a high-profile but failed 2012 initial public offering;
- Representing a prominent financial institution in an SEC investigation and related civil securities litigations in federal and state courts arising out the underwriting of a secondary offering;
- Representing a financial services company in connection with an antitrust investigation;
- Representing the co-president of a prominent computer company in connection with an SEC investigation;
- Representing a broadcast satellite services provider in connection with SEC and FINRA investigations; and
- Representing the CEO of a major pharmaceutical company in a proceeding in federal court.
Prior to joining Weil, Mr. Garcia was Chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force in the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. In this role, he led a unit of more than 35 prosecutors, law enforcement agents, and staff in all aspects of securities fraud investigations, trials, appeals, and other litigations, including those The New York Times highlighted as underpinning “the government’s widespread crackdown on insider trading on Wall Street.” During his tenure, Mr. Garcia supervised the investigation and prosecution of more than 300 cases, including matters arising out of the 2008 financial crisis and in areas of corporate fraud, insider trading, fraudulent investment schemes, and the FCPA. Notable cases from Mr. Garcia’s time in government include: a high profile investigation of an entity responsible for structuring fraudulent tax shelters, where Mr. Garcia helped negotiate a resolution that resulted in approximately $554 million in forfeiture and penalties; a criminal investigation of Toyota Motor Corp. relating to vehicle defects that in 2014 resulted in a $1.2 billion settlement; and an investigation of insider trading at hedge fund SAC Capital that in 2013 resulted in a guilty plea. He also personally conducted ten federal jury trials and successfully litigated numerous appeals.
As a prosecutor, Mr. Garcia received numerous awards, including the DOJ’s Director’s Award for Superior Performance for having successfully convicted, after trial, Refco’s past president and former owner, Tone N. Grant. Mr. Garcia also received several awards for his work in helping forfeit more than approximately $8 billion dollars in connection with various cases. Since joining Weil, Mr. Garcia has likewise obtained a number of awards from legal and business publications. In 2013, he was recognized as a “Recommended Lawyer” in the Securities Litigation and White Collar areas by Legal 500 US, featured as one of 12 “Rising Stars” nationwide by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association in Diversity & The Bar, selected by Law360 as one of five “Rising Stars” nationwide in the White Collar area, and recognized by New York Law Journal as one of 44 “Rising Stars” in New York. Most recently, he was recognized by Ethisphere as one of seven “Up and Comers” nationwide in the publication’s “Attorneys Who Matter” list, which represents the “best and brightest in the legal field.”
Mr. Garcia is a fixture in the academic and legal community. He is a regular speaker and writer on securities litigation, enforcement, and white collar topics, including cybersecurity, Social Media communications and related SEC disclosure issues, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and anti-corruption enforcement, and insider trading. He has been a featured speaker at events coordinated by Bloomberg/Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Practising Law Institute, the New York City Bar Association, the American Bar Association, FINRA, SIFMA, and governmental agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice. He also has been featured in Bloomberg, Forbes, and Reuters, among other publications.
Mr. Garcia is Chair of the New York Regional Committee of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Criminal Justice Section’s White Collar Crime Committee, and Co-Chair of the Securities Fraud Sub-Committee of the ABA’s Business Law Section. He also is a member of the Federal Bar Council’s Membership Committee.
Mr. Garcia received his law degree from Harvard Law School, where he served as Senior Editor of the Journal of Law and Public Policy and as President of the Board of Student Advisers. He also received his A.B., magna cum laude, from Harvard College.