Phara A. Guberman is a partner in the Litigation practice of Paul Hastings and is based in the firm's New York office. She is a seasoned trial attorney who is regularly recognized as one of the leading white collar criminal defense attorneys in the country.
Ms. Guberman has successfully handled a wide array of regulatory enforcement and white collar criminal matters, including those involving allegations of corporate and accounting fraud, securities fraud, insider trading, misappropriation of trade secrets, consumer protection issues, cybersecurity issues, and money laundering. She regularly represents clients in court and before the United States Department of Justice ("DOJ"), the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), the Federal Reserve, state attorney generals, FINRA and other self-regulatory organizations, other federal agencies, and international regulators. Ms. Guberman also has substantial experience as a business litigator, representing clients in high stakes civil litigation matters in federal and state courts and arbitration proceedings.
In January 2022, as co-lead counsel at trial and appeal, Ms. Guberman secured a precedent-setting appellate victory in the Second Circuit in U.S. v. Connolly, et al., where all counts of conviction were overturned against our client, Matthew Connolly, and judgments of acquittal directed. Mr. Connolly's win represents the only LIBOR-related criminal case in the U.S. or U.K. to be overturned on sufficiency of the evidence and has received world-wide attention.
Last year, as co-lead counsel at trial and appeal, Ms. Guberman obtained a landmark appellate victory in the Third Circuit in U.S. v. Gibson, et al., where all counts of conviction against David Gibson, the former Chief Financial Officer of Wilmington Trust Corporation, were overturned in a matter of first impression, and the two remanded counts were subsequently dismissed. The American Lawyer deemed it "a stunning reversal of criminal convictions for four executives of Wilmington Trust Corp. in a case dating back to the Great Recession."
In 2021, she was honored by Global Investigations Review as one of 100 notable Women in Investigations around the world in the white collar area of law. In 2019, Ms. Guberman’s work in U.S. v. Connolly, et al., the first LIBOR manipulation case against a U.S.-based trader, was shortlisted by Global Investigations Review (GIR) as the Most Important Case of the Year for its impact on future government investigations and led to her recognition by Law360 as a "Legal Lion" following a significant sentencing departure where, though facing 15 years, Matthew Connolly was spared any prison time. The subsequent complete appellate victory in U.S. v. Connolly, et al. led to Ms. Guberman's recognition by The American Lawyer as its "Litigator of the Week," which also credited the decision as the "second white-collar appellate reversal Kenneth Breen and Phara Guberman of Paul Hastings have won in as many years." Ms. Guberman was nominated twice before as The American Lawyer's "Litigator of the Week" for her more than 10 years of work in U.S. v. Gibson, et al., which led to a landmark appellate victory and the subsequent decision by federal prosecutors not to retry the case. Ms. Guberman was previously recognized by Law360 in 2018 as one of five national "Rising Stars" in White Collar.
- The American Lawyer (2022), Litigator of the Week for securing a "remarkable turnaround" and complete appellate victory in U.S. v. Connolly, et al. (Second Circuit) with a precedent-setting opinion
- Global Investigations Review (GIR) (2021), Honored as one of 100 Women in Investigations in the triennial survey that highlights exceptional female practitioners around the globe in the white collar area of law
- Law360 (2021), White Collar Practice Group of the Year, which recognized the biggest litigation wins of the year, specifically including our appellate win in U.S. v. Gibson, et al.
- The Legal 500 (2021), Dispute Resolution - Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense: Advice to Corporates
- The American Lawyer (2021), Litigator of the Week Nominee for work as co-lead trial and appellate counsel securing a landmark victory in U.S. v. Gibson, et al. (Third Circuit) and following the dismissal of the remaining remanded counts
- Global Investigations Review (GIR) (2019), Recognized as co-lead trial counsel in U.S. v. Connolly, et al. (S.D.N.Y.), shortlisted by GIR as "Most Important Case of the Year" for its impact on future government investigations (2019)
- Law360 (2019), Recognized as a "Legal Lion" for securing a sentencing ruling without any period of incarceration in U.S. v. Connolly, et al. (S.D.N.Y.)
- Law360 (2018), Honored as one of five national "Rising Stars" for White Collar
- Scholarship Plus - Teacher Who Made a Difference Award (2017), Honored for her impact as a mentor by Scholarship Plus, a not-for-profit college student support program for outstanding low-income New York City high school graduates
- Paul Hastings' Strategic Initiative Award (2016), Honored for her pro bono work and partnership with the PENCIL (Public Education Needs Civic Involvement in Learning) organization
- Super Lawyers, The Top Women Attorneys in New York (2014-2021)
- Super Lawyers, Criminal Defense: White Collar (2018-2021)
- Super Lawyers, "Rising Star" in the area of Criminal Defense: White Collar (2014-2017)
- George Washington University Law School, J.D., 2006
- George Washington University, B.A. (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa Society), 2003
Ms. Guberman is a member of the New York bar and is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second and Third Circuits.
Criminal Trials, Investigations, and Regulatory Enforcement Matters
- Represented Matthew Connolly, former manager at Deutsche Bank, in U.S. v. Connolly, et al. as co-lead counsel at trial and appeal in a matter involving allegations of wire fraud in connection with LIBOR submissions brought by the Department of Justice in the Southern District of New York. Following a split jury verdict, our client was not sentenced to any term of incarceration after a significant sentencing departure. The Second Circuit ultimately overturned all counts of conviction and directed judgments of acquittal. Our precedent-setting victory was recognized by The American Lawyer. Our work in this case was previously nominated by Global Investigations Review (GIR) as Most Important Case of the Year in 2019 for its impact on future investigations and by Law360 for securing a sentencing ruling without any period of incarceration.
- Represented David Gibson, former Chief Financial Officer of Wilmington Trust Corporation, in U.S. v. Gibson, et al. as co-lead counsel at trial and appeal in a matter involving allegations of accounting and securities fraud brought by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Delaware. Our client's conviction was overturned on all counts in a matter of first impression for the Third Circuit and the remanded counts were dismissed by the District of Delaware. The related SEC litigation was settled favorably, as was the parallel civil litigation. Our victories in this case have been recognized by The American Lawyer.
- Represented a multinational Latin American conglomerate with U.S. operations in connection with an audit committee investigation relating to accrual accounting issues and whistleblower allegations. The matter was resolved confidentially.
- Represented an international financial services company in an investigation by the CFPB regarding its loan servicing platform and other technology services provided. The matter was concluded without any enforcement action brought against our client.
- Represented a foreign exchange trader in connection with an investigation by the DOJ into alleged currency market manipulation related to swaptions trading as lead counsel. The investigation was concluded without any charges being brought against our client and the civil litigation against our client did not proceed.
- Represented a senior officer of the private banking division of an international investment bank in an investigation by the SEC related to accounting and disclosure issues as co-lead counsel. The matter settled favorably.
- Represented a former portfolio manager of the hedge fund division of a U.K. alternative investment company in an investigation by the SEC and FCA. The investigation was concluded without any charges being brought against our client.
- Represented a real estate investment firm in a joint investigation by the DOJ and the Federal Housing Finance Agency Inspector General's Office. The investigation was kept confidential and concluded without any charges or civil claims being brought against our client.
- Represented a futures, options and equity trading firm and its principal in a Regulation SHO investigation by the SEC and SROs. The investigation was concluded without any charges being brought against our client.
- Represented a hedge fund advisor in investigations by the DOJ and SEC regarding foreign account issues. The investigation was concluded without any charges being brought against our client.
- Represented a large real estate investment firm in an investigation by the NYAG involving "pay-to-play" practices in connection with public pension fund investments. The investigation was kept confidential and concluded without any charges being brought against our client.
- Conducted an internal investigation of a large international corporation involving whistleblower allegations of accounting fraud.
- Conducted internal investigations for a leading state university system involving issues of accounting, disclosures and documentation.
- Conducted an internal investigation for a not-for-profit institution involving alleged misuse of charitable resources.
- Conducted an internal investigation for a major financial institution involving allegations of fraud relating to the institution’s credit lending and audit practices.
- Conducted an internal investigation for a not-for-profit corporation involving allegations of accounting fraud
- Paul Hastings Named ‘White Collar Group of the Year’ by Law360 - January 27th, 2022
- Paul Hastings Celebrated as Most Impressive Investigations Practice at Global Investigations Review’s Annual Awards - November 10th, 2021
- Paul Hastings Named to World’s Top 10 Best Investigations Practices by Global Investigations Review - October 23rd, 2020
Engagement & Publications
- Presenter, "Recent Trends in Civil SPAC Litigation," Paul Hastings Virtual GC Roundtable, November 2021
- Presenter, "Current Attempts to Define Regulator Roles in Cryptocurrency Enforcement Actions," Celesq/West LegalEd Center, July 2021
- Presenter, "Getting SPACs Right," Paul Hastings CLE webinar, June 2021
- Presenter, "PPP Fraud and Investigation Risks for Lenders," Paul Hastings CLE webinar, June 2021
- Moderator, "What to Expect in 2021: Key Issues that Asia Companies with Shares Traded in U.S. Need to Know about New SEC Enforcement Actions under Biden Administration," April 2021
- Presenter, "Who's Liable After GameStop: Litigators' Take," Talks on Law, March 2021
- Presenter, "Regulating the Digital Economy," The George Washington University Law School Second Annual Business and Finance Law Conference, February 2021
- Presenter, "Enforcement and Regulatory Priorities Under the Biden Administration," Paul Hastings CLE webinar, January 2021
- Presenter, "2016 Investigations and Enforcements: Ethical Issues in a Post-Yates World and Related Privilege Concerns," Paul Hastings CLE panel, January 2016
- Presenter, "Ethical Issues Arising in Post-Financial Crisis Litigations and Investigations," Paul Hastings CLE panel, October 2015
- Moderator, "Overview of Investigations and Enforcement Actions by the SEC and SROs," Securities Litigation Academy, May 2012
- Moderator, "The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the Evolving Definition of 'Foreign Officials'," Securities Litigation Training Series, August 2011
- Moderator, "Bounty Hunters: The New SEC Whistleblower," Securities Litigation 101, November 2010
- Moderator, "Issues in Criminal Investigations and Defense," Securities Litigation 101, June 2010
- Moderator, "Conducting Internal Investigations," Securities Litigation 101, April 2009
- "Recent SEC Actions Up the Ante on Cybersecurity Disclosures," Bloomberg Law, co-author with Kenneth Breen and Sachin Bansal, September 2021
- "Prosecutions of Bitcoin Mixers Raise Crypto Privacy Questions," New York Law Journal, co-author with Kenneth Breen and Kenneth Herzinger, May 2021
- "Current Attempts to Define Regulator Roles in Cryptocurrency Enforcement Actions," New York Law Journal, co-author with Kenneth Breen, March 2021
- "Musk's Crypto Tweets Likely Didn't Violate SEC, CFTC Rules," Law360, co-author with Kenneth Breen, March 2021
- "GameStop Stock Trading Poses 'Manipulation' Challenges for Regulators," Bloomberg Law, co-author with Kenneth Breen and Rita Fishman, January 2021
- "2020 SEC Risk Alert Provides Guidance for Private Fund Advisers," Journal of Investment Compliance, Vol. 21 Issue 1, co-author with Kenneth Breen, December 2020
- "How Criminal Rule 4 Is Changing," Law360, co-author with Thomas O'Brien, Daniel Prince, John Nowak and Margaret Buckles, May 2016
- "'Omnicare' and Opinion Statements Liability in Securities Cases," New York Law Journal, co-author with Kenneth Breen and John Nowak, March 2015
- "Expect More SEC Scrutiny Of Defense Attorney Conduct," Law360, co-author with Kenneth Breen and Thomas Zaccaro, January 2014
Pro Bono Counsel
- Pro bono counsel for Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, providing legal support to defend challenges to state gun laws
- Pro bono counsel to Kaiser's Room, a non-profit organization focused on providing arts programming to children with varying developmental profiles
- Pro bono counsel, active volunteer and supporter of PENCIL, a non-profit organization focused on collaborations between businesses and New York City public schools to increase students' college and career readiness
- Pro bono counsel to the Duke Law Wrongful Convictions Clinic's investigations and litigations of North Carolina inmates' claims of actual innocence
- Attorney mentor for the Justice Resource Center, training and preparing New York City public school students for citywide moot court competition, international moot court competition, and statewide mock trial program
- Pro bono counsel for the Bet Tzedek Holocaust Survivors Justice Network, assisting pro bono clients in their applications for pension programs available to Holocaust survivors through the German government for work done while living in German-controlled ghettos throughout Europe during World War II
- Women's White Collar Defense Association
- New York City Bar Association, Women in the Legal Profession: White Collar Crime Subcommittee
- National Association of Women Lawyers, 2018 Challenge Club Member
- American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section
- Executive Council, UJA-Federation of New York White Collar and Securities Enforcement Committee
- Leadership Committee, UJA-Federation of New York Young Lawyers Division
- Luther Rice Society Member, The George Washington University
- Class Committee Member, George Washington University Law School
- Chairperson, Summer Associate Program (New York)
- Co-Chairperson, New York Women's PHAN (Paul Hastings Affinity Network)
- Member of the Firm's Recruiting Committee