Alexandra Shapiro principally represents individuals and institutions in appeals, criminal and regulatory matters, and complex civil litigation. She also conducts internal investigations and advises on compliance matters.
Alexandra is an experienced trial lawyer and appellate advocate. She has tried numerous cases and argued many appeals in federal and state appellate courts, including a major insider trading case in the Supreme Court of the United States. She has expertise in a broad range of substantive areas, including securities law, public corruption, tax fraud, criminal law, and intellectual property. A particular focus of her practice has been the defense of lawyers and law firms.
Over the past decade Alexandra has won a series of appellate reversals of criminal convictions in significant white collar prosecutions. These victories include three Second Circuit rulings granting judgments of acquittal to clients who had been convicted of insider trading or tax shelter fraud in the Southern District of New York, as well as several decisions granting new trials for other clients convicted of tax-related crimes, insider trading, accounting fraud, and obstruction of justice.
Alexandra has conducted internal investigations on behalf of corporations, corporate boards, and Audit Committees and has assisted clients in developing and implementing regulatory compliance programs. She served as President of the New York Council of Defense Lawyers, a not-for-profit professional association of about 250 experienced lawyers whose principal area of practice is the defense of criminal cases, particularly in the federal courts in New York.
Prior to co-founding Shapiro Arato LLP in 2009, Alexandra was a partner of Latham & Watkins LLP for nine years, and before that, an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where she also served as Deputy Chief Appellate Attorney. In addition, she served as an attorney-adviser in the Office of Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice.
White Collar Criminal and Regulatory Defense and Appeals
- Lead counsel for petitioner in Salman v. United States, criminal insider trading case argued in the Supreme Court of the U.S. in October 2016.
- Representing former New York Senate majority leader Dean Skelos in his Second Circuit appeal.
- Obtained Second Circuit reversal of conviction of former Deutsche Bank broker David Parse on charges related to Jenkens & Gilchrist tax shelters. The Court held that our client was deprived of his constitutional right to an impartial jury by a juror who perpetrated a massive fraud to get on the jury and was biased against him, and granted a new trial.
- Won Second Circuit appeal reversing insider trading convictions of Todd Newman and Anthony Chiasson, and directing an acquittal on the grounds that insider trading liability requires proof that tippee knew that the insider disclosed material nonpublic information in exchange for personal benefit; that the government failed to prove such knowledge; and that the government failed to prove that the insiders acted for personal benefit.
- Won Second Circuit appeal reversing conviction of tax lawyer and former partner of Ernst & Young arising from his work on the firm’s tax shelter practice.
- Won Second Circuit appeal granting new trial for former chief marketing officer of U.S. subsidiary of Royal Ahold who had been convicted of securities fraud and related offenses.
- Counsel of record for New York Council of Defense Lawyers on amicus briefs cited in two Supreme Court opinions involving the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, United States v. Booker and Rita v. United States, and brief filed on related issue in United States v. Gall.
- Represented former CEO of telecommunications company in Tenth Circuit appeal of insider trading conviction raising complex issues under the federal securities laws and the Classified Information Procedures Act. Obtained ruling reversing conviction and granting new trial. After en banc Court vacated panel opinion, 5-4, obtained ruling reversing sentence based on district court’s misinterpretation of insider trading guideline and forfeiture statute.
- Co-authored brief for Arthur Andersen in U.S. Supreme Court appeal reversing criminal conviction for alleged obstruction of justice.
- Represented CEO of public company in criminal insider trading case in Southern District of New York. Obtained dismissal of §10(b) count before trial and judgment of acquittal on remaining §14(e) count after two trials, including one resulting in hung jury. Successfully defended judgment of acquittal before Second Circuit.
- Represented various officers and directors in connection with options timing investigations by Board Special Committees, the S.E.C., and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, as well as parallel civil class action and derivative suits, including Eighth Circuit appeal of injunction and related Minnesota Supreme Court appeal on standard of review of special litigation committee decisions. Clients in these matters included the former Chairman and CEO of a major health insurance company.
Internal Investigations and Compliance
- Serve as Independent Consultant for NYSE Euronext, pursuant to SEC Order, charged with conducting a comprehensive review of the market data delivery systems, and the policies, procedures and practices regarding compliance with Rule 603(a) of Regulation NMS of NYSE’s securities exchanges to ensure that the systems comply with Rule 603(a).
- Conducted internal investigation on behalf of Audit Committee of publicly-traded financial institution into whistleblower allegations of financial impropriety and provided recommendations for enhancing internal controls.
- Conducted internal investigation on behalf of independent directors and Audit Committee of publicly-traded mortgage bank into issues related to $700 million restatement of earnings and negotiated company’s settlement with S.E.C.
- Represented corporate and individual clients in connection with investigations by the S.E.C., the New York Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, of potential state and federal securities law violations related to mutual fund late trading and market timing.
Complex Civil Litigation and Appeals
- Representing Level the Playing Field, a non-partisan, non-profit organization not affiliated with any candidate, in connection with efforts to reform the rules for general election presidential debates so that an independent candidate unaffiliated with either major party can participate in 2020. Won summary judgment in D.C. District Court declaring that the Federal Election Commission was arbitrary and capricious in dismissing our clients’ administrative complaints and petition for rule making.
- Won D.C. Circuit appeal by Unity08, a non-partisan group seeking to nominate an independent presidential candidate, of ruling permitting Federal Election Commission to regulate the group as a “political committee” under Federal Election Campaign Act.
- Successfully defended former directors and officers of publicly-traded Canadian mining company against federal securities fraud claims.
- Represented General Cigar Company in complex lawsuit filed by Cuban company asserting trademark infringement, violation of international trademark treaties, and related claims arising from General Cigar’s use of COHIBA mark on cigars sold in the U.S. Obtained ruling by Second Circuit vacating injunction and successfully opposed certiorari.
- Represented Playtex Products, Inc. in successful Second Circuit appeal in false advertising case and successful Federal Circuit appeal in patent case.
- Represented major financial institution in NYSE arbitration involving claims by former brokers alleging damages of $90 million, which panel dismissed after hearing.
- Recognized as an “Appellate MVP” by Law 360 in 2015.
- Recognized as one of The Best Lawyers in America in the specialty of Appellate Law.
- Recognized multiple times by Super Lawyers as one of the top appellate practitioners and top 50 women lawyers in New York.
- Listed in Guide to the World’s Leading White Collar Crime Lawyers and Guide to the World’s Leading Women in Business Law.
- President, New York Council of Defense Lawyers, 2014-2015; Vice President, January 2013-February 2014; Secretary/Treasurer, 2011-12; Member, Board of Directors, 2006-08 and 2016-present; Co-Chair of Amicus Committee, 2005-2010.
- Member, Lawyers’ Advisory Committee to U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Selection of Members of Criminal Justice Act Panel.
- Member, Pro Bono Panel, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.
- Member, Criminal Justice Act Panel, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 2001-2006 and 2013-2015.
- Adjunct Professor, Columbia University School of Law (taught Federal Criminal Practice Seminar, 2001-05).
- Member, Board of Editors, White-Collar Crime Reporter, 2006-present.
- Winner, Burton Award for excellence in legal writing, June 2005.
- Named one of Second Circuit’s 10 “Standout” Lawyers by National Law Journal, April 2001.
- Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service, June 1997.
- Author of paper on “Ethics and Best Practices in Internal Investigations” for the Practicing Law Institute’s 29th Annual Institute on Securities Regulation, and numerous articles on white-collar criminal law and securities fraud for legal publications including New York Law Journal, Wall Street Lawyer, White-Collar Crime Reporter, and law.com.
- Co-author of “Criminal Violations of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,” chapter in David M. Brodsky & Daniel J. Kramer, Federal Securities Litigation: Commentary and Forms.
- Have spoken in a variety of forums on topics related to securities fraud, corporate governance, criminal investigations, the federal sentencing guidelines and appellate advocacy.