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Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

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Jonathan Polkes

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Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP


Jonathan Polkes, Co-chair of Weil’s Litigation Department, is recognized as a top securities lawyer in the U.S. He supervises investigations, regulatory and criminal matters, and securities litigation for financial services and other public companies. A former federal prosecutor, he was lead counsel to many companies involved in the financial crisis, including AIG and Lehman Brothers. He currently represents a financial institution in a variety of significant regulatory investigations and litigation, and a major insurance broker in an MDL relating to the Stanford Financial fraud, among other matters.


Haverford College (BA, 1981); New York University School of Law (JD, 1984).

United States: Dispute resolution

Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense

Within: Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense

Led jointly by Steven Tyrrell in Washington DC and Christopher Garcia in New York, the team at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP represents a broad mixture of corporate and individual clients in enforcement matters and multi-agency criminal and civil investigations. Highlights for the co-chairs include the representation of Sanofi in a DOJ FCPA investigation, in which they secured a declination for the client and a successful resolution to a parallel SEC investigation. Alongside Holly Loiseau, Tyrrell also represented Vantage Drilling in an investigation into allegations relating to Operation Carwash, leading to a series of declinations and no enforcement action. Among other high-profile individual representations, Tyrrell is currently defending the head of engine development and former head of brand development at Volkswagen against criminal charges filed by the DOJ in Detroit, arising from allegations of manipulation of emissions control systems. Other key names include Sarah Coyne and Jonathan Polkes in New York and Washington DC's Adam Safwat.

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M&A litigation: defense

Within: M&A litigation: defense

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in New York has a practice that is 'smart, hardworking, collaborative and knowledgeable', according to one client. Another describes the firm as 'a repeat player in this market with unparalleled experience, which brings a sophisticated and pragmatic approach to bear on litigation'. Leading lights John Neuwirth and Joseph Allerhand are co-heads of the securities litigation practice, in which clients highlight the talents of partners Joshua Amsel, Jonathan Polkes, Greg Danilow and newly promoted Evert Christensen. Neuwirth's track record of high-profile cases continued last year when he secured the complete dismissal of a class action against Brookfield Asset Management concerning its $2.8bn acquisition of Rouse Properties, Inc. The case raised issues of whether Brookfield was a controlling stockholder and owed fiduciary duties to Rouse’s shareholders. Danilow is representing Straight Path in high-profile litigation relating to its $3bn acquisition by Verizon Communications.

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Securities litigation - defense

Within: Securities litigation - defense

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in New York is praised by one client for the 'unrivaled success and experience and the creative and sophisticated approach it brings to litigating in this area'. The firm has an impressive client roster of publicly traded corporations, financial institutions and private equity firms. Practice heads Joseph Allerhand and John Neuwirth and key partners Joshua Amsel and Evert Christensen are described by one client as 'best-in-class professionals in this space'. Neuworth and Amsel represented pharmaceutical company Sanofi in connection with federal class and individual securities actions arising from statements regarding the results of Phase 3 clinical trials for multiple sclerosis drug Lemtrada. They secured the dismissal of all claims. 'Amazing advocate' Jonathan Polkes and up-and-coming partner Caroline Zalka (who is 'knowledgeable and smart, and always on top of her cases') are highly recommended. Allerhand and Stacy Nettleton acted for Signet Jewelers in a consolidated securities class action that alleged a five-year securities fraud concerning Signet’s in-house credit program.

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