Jacob Gardener

Senior Counsel

212 335 2965


A skilled trial lawyer, Jake represents corporations and individuals in criminal, civil, and regulatory matters. He has considerable experience managing internal and government investigations and complex commercial disputes, as well as briefing and arguing criminal and civil appeals. Clients value Jake’s rigorous analytical skills, aptitude for distilling complex material into clear-cut legal arguments, and commitment to building long-term relationships.

Jake has helped lead internal investigations into high-stakes matters involving alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and securities laws. He has also successfully handled civil cases in a variety of areas, such as commercial contract disputes, mortgage-backed securities litigation, shareholder derivative actions, bankruptcy, and employment law. He has significant in-court experience, including briefing and arguing several criminal and civil appeals, a Rule 29 motion in a federal wire fraud trial, and motions to enjoin illegal state action in various civil suits.

Jake maintains an active pro bono practice and is a member of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit’s pro bono panel. He has represented indigent defendants convicted of murder on appeal and retrial–notably, he helped secure the release of one client who was wrongfully sentenced to death. He also worked with the New York State Justice Task Force to prevent wrongful convictions and assisted with the filing of a civil rights class action on behalf of indigent criminal defendants deprived of their right to counsel.

Before joining WMH, Jake practiced law at a preeminent global firm, where he assisted with internal FCPA and securities fraud investigations and handled complex commercial disputes. He also served for several years as a New York City firefighter, assigned to Ladder 43 in East Harlem.

Jake is an active contributor of legal scholarship. His academic work on procedural justice and campaign finance law has been published in Northwestern University School of Law’s Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology and Boston University’s Journal of Science & Technology Law, respectively. In addition, he co-authored a chapter on employee rights in Global Investigations Review’s 2019 and 2020 The Practitioner’s Guide to Global Investigations.

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Rising Star, New York Law Journal (2021)

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch, Criminal Defense: White-Collar, Best Lawyers (2021, 2022)


Professional Affiliations

  • Member, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit – Pro Bono Panel

Community Activities

  • Big Brother (2012-present)