Adam S. Hoffinger is co-chair of the firm’s White Collar Defense & Government Investigations Group. Adam focuses his practice on complex civil and white collar criminal matters, including securities, health care, False Claims Act (“qui tam”), the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), export sanctions, criminal tax, money laundering, antitrust and bankruptcy. He conducts internal investigations on behalf of corporate boards of directors, bankruptcy trustees and public authorities. He counsels corporations and individuals in compliance matters, government investigations, and Congressional and regulatory matters. He also represents corporations and individuals in high-stakes civil litigation. Adam has defended numerous high-ranking executives and general counsel from some of the world’s largest companies, as well as high-profile staff and members of the Senate, Congress, White House and various government agencies, faced with federal and state criminal investigations and indictments. Adam is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and has successfully tried cases throughout the country.

Adam has been recognized in Chambers USA as “an absolutely fearless criminal defense lawyer” as well as for his “immense talent as a trial lawyer” and “strong advocacy skills,” in The Legal 500 US as “an aggressive trial advocate,” and in Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys as a “celebrated government investigations practitioner.” He has also been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America, Expert Guide to the World’s Leading White Collar Crime Lawyers, Who's Who Legal: Business Crime Defence, Global Investigations Review, Washingtonian Magazine and Washington DC Super Lawyers. Adam was named “Government Investigations Attorney of the Year” for 2015 and “Life Sciences Star” from 2013 to 2019 in LMG Life Sciences. In addition, he was recognized in the National Law Journal’s “Hot Defense List” for his jury trial victory on behalf of a former pharmaceutical executive in a criminal case charging conspiracy and violations of the federal Anti-Kickback statute. From 1985 to 1990, Adam served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. He received the Director’s Award for Superior Performance from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in 1990. He is an adjunct professor at The George Washington University Law School and has been an instructor at Georgetown University Law Center’s National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) since 1992. He also serves on the alumni board of the Fordham University School of Law.


US Sanctions

Represent former Chairman and CEO of government contracting and procurement company charged with violating sanctions laws in connection with providing food to U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Following extensive litigation, DOJ entered into a non-prosecution agreement with our client and indictment was dismissed in its entirety.  

Washington Metro (WMATA)

Won dismissal of False Claims Act lawsuit on sovereign immunity and other grounds, in Williams v. WMATA, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Mehta, J.)

Defended WMATA in two False Claims Act lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. Both cases were dismissed voluntarily by the plaintiffs following the filing of WMATA’s motion to dismiss. 

Conducted internal investigation on behalf of Board of Directors Ethics Committee, into ethics violations by WMATA's chairman.

Conducted internal investigation on behalf of WMATA into circumstances surrounding train derailment.

Foreign Agent Registration

Represent former software engineer at leading social media company charged with violating laws governing registration of agents for foreign governments.

Agricultural Bank of China

Represent third-largest Chinese bank in U.S. litigation. Defeated motion to hold bank in contempt and impose $150 million in fines for resisting enforcement of third-party subpoena.

Diesel Emissions Investigations

Represent former senior executive of VW automotive group in investigation by DOJ into alleged fraud in connection with diesel engine emissions testing.

Represent executive of Audi automative group in investigation by DOJ into alleged fraud in connection with diesel engine emissions testing.

FCPA Investigations

Represent former executive of multinational mining and trading company in DOJ investigation of FCPA violations. 

Represent president of international minerals mining company in DOJ investigation of FCPA violations.

Represented former senior executive of global retailer Walmart in investigation by DOJ, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other agencies into possible violations of the FCPA in Mexico.

Represented former president of a Fortune 500 oil services conglomerate in an FCPA investigation into improper payments to government officials in Africa.

Investigation of MF Global

Conducted investigation, on behalf of trustee in bankruptcy, into collapse of global financial broker once led by the former governor of New Jersey and CEO of Goldman Sachs. Prepared report for the court and brought suit for breaches of fiduciary duty.

Pennsylvania Charter Schools 

Represented former chairman of PA Cyber, Pennsylvania’s largest charter school corporation, against charges of fraud and tax evasion.

Public Corruption Investigation

Represented commercial real estate developer in investigation of alleged bribery and “pay to play” arrangements with municipal governments and high-ranking public officials.

International Tax Investigation

Represented banker at one of the oldest banks in Switzerland in investigation by DOJ into alleged federal tax evasion related to undeclared offshore accounts.

Health Care Fraud Trial

Won complete jury defense victory on behalf of a former pharmaceutical sales executive in a criminal case charging conspiracy and violations of the federal Anti-Kickback statute. Following a two-week trial in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, in Boston (U.S. v. Bruens, et al.), a jury took less than three hours to fully exonerate our client who faced up to 15 years in prison.

Corporate Looting Investigation and Trials

Represented the former chairman and chief executive officer of Kansas public utility in DOJ and IRS investigations, related shareholder litigation and arbitration proceedings (dubbed by the media the “Enron of Kansas”). Lead counsel on three-month trial that ended in a hung jury; second trial ended in conviction but was reversed on appeal and subsequently dismissed.

Health Care/Pharma Prosecutions and Investigations

Represent former chief medical officer of opiod manufacturer.

Served as counsel to global pharmaceutical company in multiple civil and criminal actions and investigations.

Represent former chief compliance officer of a global pharmaceutical company in investigation of alleged “off-label” (not approved by FDA) marketing of anti-addiction medication.

Represented former president of a global biotech company in criminal and related civil and administrative proceedings concerning off-label promotion of prosthetic bone cement used in spinal surgery.

Represented a former senior executive of a Fortune 500 health care and pharmaceutical company in connection with investigation of company’s good manufacturing practices (“GMP”) and recall of children’s medication.

False Claims Act Litigation

Represented major pharmaceutical companies in qui tam litigation concerning Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement violations, off-label promotion and other health care fraud-related claims. Won complete dismissal of qui tam lawsuit on behalf of pharmaceutical company.

Freddie Mac

Represented senior executive at Freddie Mac in connection with earnings manipulation investigations conducted by SEC and DOJ.

Defense of Investment Bank Officer in SEC Investigation

Defended a former officer of an investment bank in DOJ and SEC investigations alleging failure to supervise a conflict of interest transaction involving a substantial referral fee. No government action was ultimately taken against our client, after multiple settlement offers from the SEC were turned down.

Investigation of Energy Company

Selected by court-appointed examiner to advise and assist with a federal court’s investigation of a multi-billion-dollar energy company (SemCrude) and preparation of examiner’s report following over $2 billion of trading losses and other irregularities.

Campaign Finance/Public Corruption Investigations

Represented various public officials and congressional and campaign staffers in campaign finance and public corruption investigations, including chief of staff to U.S. Senator; campaign finance director for U.S. Senate campaign; press secretary to the First Lady; campaign finance director for U.S. Senator; and communications director for Congressional Caucus. Also represent private donors and business lobbyists in campaign finance inquiries, independent and special counsel investigations.

Antitrust Investigations

Represent former executive of pharmaceutical company in price-fixing investigation.

Represented Fortune 100 Company in an international criminal antitrust investigation.

Represented executive of global company in investigation of alleged international cartel activity.

Money Laundering Trial

Won complete acquittal of client in multi-defendant trial of money laundering and tax charges.

Export Controls

Represent companies and individuals in investigations of export control, trade and embargo violations.

Steroid/HGH Investigations

Represented sports figures in investigations conducted by DOJ and Major League Baseball into use of performance-enhancing substances.

Ruby Ridge

Represented a member of the FBI Hostage Rescue Team in civil and criminal proceedings stemming from the confrontation at Ruby Ridge, Idaho that resulted in the deaths of a U.S. marshal and two civilians. All criminal charges against our client were dismissed.


“A General Counsel’s Guide to Preparing for Coronavirus Investigations,” Bloomberg Law, May 2020

“Economic Sanctions,” Successful Partnering Between Inside and Outside Counsel, April 2020 

“White Collar Enforcement During the Coronavirus Crisis,” SRZ Alert, March 27, 2020

“To Feed US Troops, Businessman Violated Iran Sanctions, Charges Say,” The New York Times, December 2018 (quoted) 

“Extraterritorial Regulatory and Criminal Enforcement,” The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Business Crime 2018 (co-author)

Profiled in “A Q&A with Adam Hoffinger of Schulte Roth & Zabel,” LMG Life Sciences, September 2015

“BHP Billiton Settles with SEC for $25 Million for Providing Foreign Officials with Luxury Travel to Olympics,” SRZ Alert, May 21, 2015 (co-author)

“Reasonable Doubt,” Beyond A Reasonable Doubt (Phoenix Books), November 2006

“Regulatory Fervor: Don’t Make a Federal Case Out of It,” Washington Business Journal, August 2002 (co-author)

“Broad-Reaching Anti-Terrorism Legislation Will Significantly Impact Financial Institutions,” January 2002

“Building Trust and Preserving Rights During Government Investigations,” March 2000

“Medical Integrity and Law Enforcement Issues,” Mealey’s Managed Care Liability Report, February 1999

Speaking Engagements

“False Claims Act: Offense and Defense,” Celesq Webinar, April 2020

“Mastering Qui Tam & the False Claims Act,” Rossdale CLE Webinar, September 2019, January 2020

“Location Tracking, the CLOUD Act, and More: A Year in the Life of the Fourth Amendment (Ethics), PACDL 2018 White Collar Practice, Washington, D.C., November 2018

ILIs Chinese Delegation Seminar on Rights and Defenses of Suspects, New York, October 2018

AGS Legals International White Collar Compliance Seminar, Frankfurt, Germany, September 2018

“Getting Redress for Victims — Prosecutors, Liquidators and Civil Fraud Lawyers, KNect365 Law Asset Recovery Americas: Fraud Litigation, Enforcement and Contentious Insolvency, September 2018

“Transatlantic White Collar Crime,” Rotary Club Kronberg, Germany, March 2018

SRZ Insider’s Guide to Government Investigations: Winning Strategies for Investment Funds, New York, June 2017

SRZ Insider's Guide to Government Investigations: Winning Strategies for Investment Funds, New York, April 2017

“Regulatory Focus: AML, Cybersecurity and FCPA,” SRZ 26th Annual Private Investment Funds Seminar, New York, January 2017

“Hedge Funds and Private Equity: Evolving Enforcement from the SEC and DOJ and Best Practices to Avoid Pitfalls,” ABA 2016 Business Law Section Spring Meeting, Montreal, April 2016

“Navigating Risks in the New Enforcement Environment,” SRZ 25th Annual Private Investment Funds Seminar, New York, January 2016

“Audit Committee Investigations: Best Practices and Parallel Proceedings,” ABA 2015 Business Law Section Annual Meeting, Chicago, September 2015

Judicial Cooperation in International Pursuit of Stolen Assets and Escaped Suspects and Recovery of Assets, International Law Institute Seminar, New York, August 2015

“Obtaining and Negotiating Corporate Deferred and Non‑Prosecution Agreements,” ABA 2015 Business Law Section Spring Meeting, San Francisco, April 2015

“Navigating Through the Global Anti-Bribery Maze: Ensuring Compliance in an Enforcement-Oriented Environment,” ACI 14th Annual National Summit on Reducing Legal Risks in the Sale and Marketing of Medical Devices, Chicago, April 2014

New York City Bar Association Committee on Criminal Advocacy and Committee on Criminal Law Forum on International Criminal Investigations, New York, February 2014

“Thwarting Individual Accountability:  What Does Reinvigorated Enforcement Mean for Responsible Corporate Officers and Counsel?” ACI 12th National Summit on Reducing Legal Risks in the Sales and Marketing of Medical Devices, Chicago, April 2012

“Erosion of Criminal Intent,” ABA Criminal Justice Section Fourth Annual Sentencing & Reentry Institute and Criminal Justice Legal Educators Colloquium, Washington, D.C., October 2011

“Off-Label Promotion of Drugs and Medical Devices - Criminal and Civil Liabilities 2010,” PLI Webcast, October 2010

“Avoiding Indictment When the FDCA is Violated,” ACI 7th National Forum on Off-Label Communications, Philadelphia, July 2010

“Implications of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for Investment Advisers,” Investment Advisors Association Regulatory & Compliance Webinar Series: International Issues for Investment Advisers, June 2009

“Avoiding Corporate Financial Mistakes: Lessons from the Recent Past,” Georgetown Law Thirteenth Annual Corporate Counsel Institute, Washington, D.C., March 2009


  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Board of Directors, Council for Court Excellence
  • Fellow, International Academy of Financial Crime Litigators


  • Listed as a leading litigation and trial attorney in many publications, including:
    • Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys
    • The Best Lawyers in America
    • Chambers USA 
    • Expert Guide to the World’s Leading White Collar Crime Lawyers
    • Global Investigations Review
    • Who's Who Legal: Business Crime Defence
    • The Legal 500 US
    • National Law Journal’s “Hot Defense List”
    • Washington DC Super Lawyers
      • Washington DC Top 100
    • Washingtonian Magazine
      • Top Lawyers: Criminal Defense, White Collar
    • "Government Investigations Attorney of the Year,” LMG Life Sciences (2015)
    • “Life Sciences Star,” LMG Life Sciences (2013-2019)

Prior Experience

  • Morrison & Foerster, 2006-2015
  • DLA Piper, 1998-2006
  • Schwalb Donnenfeld Bray & Silbert, 1990-1998
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York, 1985-1990
    • Assistant U.S. Attorney