David McGill


Washington, D.C.

David McGill is an innovative litigator that represents industry leaders in high-stakes disputes and investigations. Rated as a "Band 1" enforcement lawyer by Chambers USA, David acts as lead counsel for companies and key executives involved in complex disputes and investigations, often with significant regulatory implications.

The Legal 500 reports that David has earned a reputation among clients for dispensing “invaluable and practical, business-oriented advice,” and his approach to disputes has been praised as “insightful, uber responsive and fearless.”

Known as an aggressive advocate, David is frequently retained by financial firms to design creative solutions for investigations and disputes involving allegations of market misconduct across an array of financial products, commodities, and other asset classes. He has successfully persuaded the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to walk away from threatened charges in numerous contexts, and his recent litigation wins include obtaining the first-ever dismissal of a criminal spoofing scheme charge in a commodities futures case. Alternative asset managers and technology companies often turn to David for advice on regulatory and compliance issues, including in the areas of digital currency and exchange enforcement.

David’s practice also extends to intellectual property disputes and investigations into alleged workplace misconduct. He regularly represents technology, sports, and media companies in matters involving allegations of trade secret misappropriation, licensing disputes, unfair competition, and employee/insider misconduct.

  • Financial Products & Services Litigation

    • Representation of financial firm and key employees in responding to multi-year investigations by the CFTC and DOJ related to allegations of market manipulation and fraudulent trading, resulting in closure of all investigations without action.
    • Successful defense of a proprietary trading firm in civil action alleging disruptive trading and market manipulation in U.S. Treasury futures markets, resulting in dismissal of all claims.
    • Successful defense of a proprietary trading firm in arbitration involving allegations of illegal “spoofing” activity in relation to U.S. Treasury futures on the Chicago Board of Trade exchange, resulting in award in client’s favor inclusive of attorneys’ fees.
    • Successful defense of algorithmic trader in arbitration involving allegations of manipulation of digital currency markets, resulting in dismissal of all claims without any payment by the client.
    • Successful representation of major financial firm in international arbitration over disputed natural gas swaps transaction under an International Swap Dealers Association agreement, resulting in award in client’s favor.

    Class & Derivative Actions

    • Successful defense of individual defendant in an antitrust class action concerning alleged price fixing in various bond markets, resulting in dismissal of all claims against client.
    • Representation of a European company specializing in hedge fund administration in putative class action filed by investors in so-called feeder funds that held securities with Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.

    Government Enforcement Defense

    • Lead counsel in defending John Pacilio against charges of wire fraud, commodities fraud, and spoofing arising from trading activity in commodities futures markets.
    • Lead counsel in representing technology firm in responding to DOJ investigation related to alleged computer fraud and abuse.
    • Representation of individual digital currency trader in responding to CFTC investigation relating to alleged manipulation of discrete digital currency markets.
    • Representation of Michael Coscia, a high-speed commodities trader, in post-conviction initiatives (including expected appeal to the U.S Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit) following his conviction at trial arising from allegations of commodities fraud and spoofing in futures markets. Mr. Coscia is the first individual ever charged under the federal criminal anti-spoofing statute.
    • Representation of trader at proprietary trading firm in investigation conducted by U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Connecticut and the SEC into common stock trades made in prominent software company.
    • Representation of an audit committee of the board of directors at an international consulting firm in connection with internal investigation into revenue recognition practices under investigation by the SEC.
    • Representation of Pankesh Patel in the highly publicized, eight-week-long “Foreign Corruption Practices Act (FCPA) sting” trial in Washington DC, resulting in judgment of acquittal in favor of Mr. Patel on an alleged substantive violation of the FCPA and money laundering charge and subsequent dismissal of all remaining charges with prejudice.
    • Representation of the board of directors of an international natural resources company in conducting an internal investigation over alleged FCPA violations and the World Bank sanctions regime.

    Joint Venture & Partnership Disputes

    • Representation of Bahamian resort development in dispute with Chinese contractor over failure to complete construction of luxury resort in accordance with contractual guarantees.
    • Advice to a Russian high-net-worth individual regarding potential claims arising from aircraft purchase agreements and related transactions and transfers.
    • Representation of a private equity firm and a limited liability company (LLC) that acquired a popular collectibles company in seeking to recover US $12 million in damages incurred as a result of breach of contract, fraud, and other wrongdoing by the selling company and its officers, directors, and affiliated companies.
    • Defense of an investment firm and its founder in an action brought by the court-appointed trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC arising from third-party investment in the LLC.

    Intellectual Property & Technology Litigation

    • Lead counsel for Fortune 50 company in dispute pertaining to technology licensing.
    • Lead counsel for a media technology company in a dispute with competitor involving allegations of misappropriation of IP and computer fraud.
    • Representation of multinational technology company and video-sharing company in landmark copyright infringement case brought by a global media conglomerate, culminating in the successful dismissal of all claims on summary judgment based on the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Among other things, David played a critical role in preparing and defending his clients’ founders and top executives in conjunction with depositions taken during the course of the litigation.
    • Representation of UK media company in prosecuting claims for breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets against a multinational media conglomerate, resulting in finding of liability in client’s favor on summary judgment.
    • Representation of online media company in responding to cease-and-desist letter from competitor alleging unfair competition, deceptive advertising and copyright infringement.