Avni P. Patel

Senior Associate

212 335 2041

apatel@wmhlaw.com

An experienced litigator and trial lawyer, Avni represents individuals and corporate clients facing complex, sensitive, and high-profile challenges. She focuses on white collar criminal defense, government investigations and regulatory enforcement, and complex litigation at the federal, state, and local levels.

Avni played a lead role in WMH’s representation of Russian whistleblower Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, one of the most significant whistleblowers in sports history. The firm’s representation–and Dr. Rodchenkov’s unveiling of a state-sponsored doping program in Russia–resulted in the International Olympic Committee’s decision to ban the Russian National Olympic Team from competing under its national flag in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Avni represented Dr. Rodchenkov in providing testimony to the World Anti-Doping Agency, the International Olympic Committee, the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the International Biathlon Union, and various law enforcement agencies in Europe.

Avni also served as Special Counsel as appointed in January 2019 by New Jersey Governor Philip Murphy, pursuant to Executive Order No. 52, to conduct an in-depth examination of the state’s corporate tax incentives as well as investigate possible political and special interest corruption in the legislative design and implementation of the $11 billion tax incentive programs. She has helped spearhead efforts to execute the investigation through an examination of the legislative design, the gatekeeping state entity, the Economic Development Authority, and participant companies.

Avni was part of the WMH trial team that successfully defended a corporate client in a public corruption case in the Southern District of New York (SDNY), winning the only acquittal in a highly contested and publicized four-defendant trial. She also served on the leadership team of an independent monitor named by the U.S. Department of Justice to oversee General Motors’ compliance with its obligations under the deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) stemming from its recall of defective ignition switches.

Prior to joining the firm, Avni spent five years as Assistant District Attorney in the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office, where she tried over 15 felony and misdemeanor cases to verdict–five of them to jury verdict–on charges ranging from attempted murder to grand larceny. She worked on cases across jurisdictions, in other New York state boroughs and countries, and in the SDNY to reach global dispositions and negotiations. After being appointed the Bias Assistant District Attorney by District Attorney Robert T. Johnson, Avni partnered with detectives in the city’s Hate Crime Task Force to prosecute hate crimes in Bronx County vertically, from arrest to indictment, through to eventual disposition, whether at trial or by plea negotiation.

Avni’s prior experience also includes serving the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Boston as a certified prosecutor and as an extern for Congresswoman Kay Khan of Massachusetts.

In addition to her legal work, Avni is a co-founder of the firm’s Women’s Initiative, which brings together prominent women from the legal, political, entertainment, and local communities to support gender equality and create a platform for rising women leaders.

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Recognitions

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch, Criminal Defense: White-Collar, Best Lawyers (2021)

Activities

Professional Affiliations

  • WMH Women’s Initiative
  • South Asian Bar Association
  • New York Women’s Bar Association
  • New York City Bar Association