William Schwartz, Partner

William J. Schwartz is a partner in the Securities LitigationCommercial Litigation, and White Collar & Regulatory Defense practice groups in the Litigation department at Cooley LLP, and is resident in the New York office. He is a member of the Firm's Compensation Committee and a former member of the Management Committee. Mr. Schwartz is also the Chair of the Firm's White Collar & Regulatory Defense practice group. He joined Kronish Lieb Weiner & Hellman LLP in 1987, which was merged into Cooley Godward Kronish LLP in 2006.

Mr. Schwartz practices in the areas of white collar criminal defense and complex commercial litigation. He has represented numerous corporations and individuals in state and federal grand jury investigations and at trial throughout the country, and before regulatory agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission. Among the many criminal investigations in which he has had significant representations are those involving GAF, Drexel, Crazy Eddie, Iraq-gate, Con Edison, Christie's, Mitsubishi, Tyco, AOL-Time Warner, Kazakh oil, Refco and the New York State Comptroller's Office. In his civil practice, Mr. Schwartz has handled virtually every kind of commercial dispute from securities fraud to antitrust to breach of contract, for clients ranging from international finance firms to large domestic and foreign conglomerates, small corporations and individuals. A particular focus of his practice has been the representation of lawyers and law firms in cases involving allegations of malpractice or securities fraud, and in insurance and partnership disputes. 

Before joining the Firm, Mr. Schwartz served as Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York where he was Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division and where he successfully tried a number of major white collar cases including United States v. Stanley Friedman (RICO political corruption prosecution of a Bronx Democratic leader and city officials).

Mr. Schwartz earned a JD from Columbia University School of Law in 1978, where he served as Articles Editor of the Columbia Law Review. He received his BA, magna cum laude, from Yale University in 1974. Following graduation from law school, Mr. Schwartz clerked for the Honorable Marvin E. Frankel and the Honorable Abraham D. Sofaer, both of the United States District Court, Southern District of New York.

Mr. Schwartz is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Among other publications, he has been recognized by Chambers USA – America's Leading Business Lawyers, New York Magazine – The New York Area's Best Lawyers, The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers, Legal 500, Benchmark Litigation Legal Guide, The Best Lawyers in America and New York Super Lawyer.

Mr. Schwartz is admitted to practice in New York.


  • Columbia University School of Law
    JD, 1978
  • Yale University
    BA, 1974, magna cum laude

Court Admissions

  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York

Bar Admissions

  • New York


  • American Bar Association
  • American College of Trial Lawyers
  • New York Council of Defense Lawyers
  • The Association of the Bar of the City of New York

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