Breon Peace’s practice focuses on white-collar defense, regulatory enforcement matters, and complex civil litigation.

Breon regularly conducts sensitive internal investigations on behalf of boards of directors and management of leading corporations. He represents domestic and multinational corporations and business executives in regulatory and criminal investigations involving, among other things, allegations of fraud, insider trading, money laundering, and corruption. He also advises boards of directors and audit committees on corporate governance issues and compliance programs. Breon frequently handles matters involving authorities in the United States and abroad, including the Department of Justice, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, various state attorneys general, and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. In addition, he represents corporations, officers, and directors in complex commercial litigation matters.

Breon joined the firm in 1996 and became a partner in 2007. He left the firm in 1999 to join the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York where he served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. In that position, he handled a wide array of federal criminal investigations and prosecutions trying cases to verdict and arguing appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. From August 2002 to July 2003, Breon was an Acting Assistant Professor of Clinical Law at New York University School of Law where he taught the Prosecution Clinic. He rejoined the firm in September 2003.

Notable Experience


  • BNP Paribas in federal court litigation related to the Madoff Ponzi scheme and the bankruptcy of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities in which over $1 billion is being sought.

  • CARBO Ceramics in a federal securities class action litigation under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 in securing dismissal of the complaint. 

  • IMAX Corporation in federal securities class action litigation relating to accounting errors that led to a restatement.

  • HSBC in federal class action antitrust and market manipulation litigations concerning the setting of benchmark interest rates in Singapore and the setting of the Bank Bill Swap Rate in Australia.

  • HSBC in federal class action antitrust and market manipulation litigations concerning the setting of benchmark interest rates in Singapore and the setting of the Bank Bill Swap Rate in Australia.

  • Doral Financial Corporation in federal securities class action litigation, arising out of earnings restatements.

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White-Collar Defense and Investigations

Because of the nature of Breon’s assignments, many of his successful matters have not resulted in public charges and remain confidential.

  • HSBC in various parallel investigations being conducted by, among others, the DOJ, the CFTC, the SEC, the UK Financial Conduct Authority, the European Commission, and other authorities in Latin America, Europe, and Asia regarding allegations of manipulation and collusion in the foreign exchange market, as well as in similar investigations relating to LIBOR and other benchmark reference rates.

  • BHP Billiton, Vale and Samarco to conduct the investigation into the cause of the collapse of the Fundão tailings dam in Brazil.

  • A Brazilian citizen and senior executive in DOJ criminal investigation concerning FIFA bribery scandal.

  • Internal investigation for BNDES in Brazil into allegations of bribery relating to transactions with JBS and El Dorado.

  • A former executive of Avon Products Inc. in connection with the DOJ’s FCPA investigation of that company.

  • Internal investigation for a major medical institution into potential FCPA violations related to payments to Saudi officials. 

  • A significant hedge fund with operations in the U.S., Europe, and Asia in connection with a review of its anti-corruption compliance program.

  • A major financial institution in a DOJ criminal money laundering investigation.

  • A major financial institution in criminal investigations by DOJ, UK Serious Frauds Office, and other authorities into potential bribery and money laundering by Unaoil in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

  • Many clients in insider trading investigations that focus on trading in advance of particular transactions or announcements.

  • IMAX Corporation in SEC investigation into alleged accounting fraud. 

  • Paradigm Capital Management in its settlement with the SEC resolving an investigation into a series of tax loss trades and related disclosures, resolving the first-ever charge of whistleblower retaliation by the SEC.

  • The audit committee of a leading fine jewelry retailer in internal and SEC investigations of accounting issues that resulted in a financial restatement.

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Selected Activities

  • Appointed by the Honorable Nicholas Garaufis of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York to serve as a Special Master in the U.S. and The Vulcan Society, Inc., et al. v. City of New York discrimination case involving the Fire Department of the City of New York

  • Member, Criminal Justice Act Advisory Committee, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

  • Member, Board of Directors, Office of the Appellate Defender

  • Member, Lawyers Committee of the Innocence Project

  • Member, New York Council of Defense Lawyers

  • Member, Federal Bar Council


Second Circuit Holds General Statements of Regulatory Compliance Cannot Sustain Securities Fraud Claim,” Breon Peace, Alexis Collins, Roger A. Cooper, Jared Gerber, Matthew D. Slater, and Lisa Vicens, Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memorandum, March 8, 2019.

“Roundtable: Lava Jato and Its Impact on Investigations in Latin America,” in The Guide to Corporate Crisis Management - First Edition, published by Latin Lawyer, January 2019.

CFTC Approves Amendments to Whistleblower Rules Including Significant Enhancements of its Anti-Retaliation Protections,” Breon Peace, Jennifer Kennedy Park, Robin M. Bergen, and Nowell D. Bamberger, Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memorandum, May 25, 2017. 

Cleary Gottlieb Reviews CFTC’s New Cooperation Guidelines for Enforcement Actions,” Breon Peace, Jennifer Kennedy Park, Robin M. Bergen, and Nowell D. Bamberger, Columbia Law School’s Blog on Corporations and the Capital Markets, February 6, 2017

The Future of SEC Administrative Proceedings,” Breon Peace, Lisa Vicens, and Darryl Stein, Law360, January 4, 2017

Fighting the SEC on Its Home Turf,” Breon S. Peace and Elizabeth Vicens, Law360, October 28, 2016 republished in Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, November 12, 2016

Ethical Considerations When Outside Counsel Conduct Internal Investigations,” Breon S. Peace, Elizabeth Vicens and Sue S. Guan, Westlaw Journal White-Collar Crime, February 2015, pp. 3-6.

Ex-Duane Reade CEO Case A Model For VWPA Restitution,” Lewis J. Liman and Breon S. Peace, Law 360, October 8, 2014.

Why Financial Statements Matter: Enforcement and Litigation Implications,” Breon S. Peace, Jonathan S. Kolodner, and Tamara J. Britt, The Banking Law Journal, October 2013, pp. 794-812.

A Timely Update on Recovering Legal Fees And Costs Through Criminal Restitution,” Lewis J. Liman, Breon S. Peace, and Benjamin J.A. Sauter, The White Collar Crime Report, Vol. 08, No. 08, April 19, 2013, pp. 1-5.

“The New FCPA Guidance: Key Points for CCOs” Breon S. Peace and Jonathan Kolodner, Compliance Reporter, December 3, 2012, pp. 10-11.

“The FCPA Statute of Limitations—a Way Out for Wal-Mart?” Breon S. Peace, Ryan T. Becker, and Elizabeth M. Hanly, The United States Law Week: Case Alert and Legal News, September 25, 2012, pp. 433-441.

“Unanswered Questions: The SEC v. Urban Case Creates Significant Uncertainty Around In-House Counsel’s Liability as Supervisors,” Giovanni Prezioso, Breon S. Peace, and Steven A. Haidar, International Financial Law Review, April 2012.

The Impact Of EU Data Protection Laws On U.S. Government Enforcement Investigations,” Breon S. Peace and Jennifer Kennedy, The International Adviser and The Lawyer’s Brief, June 2008.


  • Participated on a panel entitled “A responsabilização dos conselheiros em casos de corrupção (The Accountability of Directors in Corruption Cases),” in São Paolo, Brazil, May 4, 2018
  • Participated on a panel entitled “Cross-Border Investigations: Navigating an Increasingly Challenging Landscape,” hosted by the Association of Corporate Counsel in Zurich, Switzerland, June 13, 2017.  
  • Participated on a panel entitled “Whistleblower Psychology,” at the New York City Bar Association’s 6th Annual White Collar Crime Institute, May 11, 2017.
  • Participated on a panel entitled “Compliance and Corruption Concerns: how to keep them from killing your M&A deal,” at Latin Lawyer’s 7th Annual M&A Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, December 3, 2016.  
  • Participated on a panel entitled “Dealing with Compliance, Corruption Issues,” at Latin Lawyer’s 6th Annual M&A Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, December 4, 2015.
  • Participated on a panel at a conference entitled “The Anticorruption Law’s first year: lessons, regulatory trends, and preventive strategies,” in São Paolo, Brazil, November 5, 2014.
  • Participated on a panel entitled “Assessing the Regulators: Enforcement,” at Latin Lawyer’s 3rd Annual Corporate Finance Conference in São Paolo, Brazil, March 27, 2014.
  • Participated on panels entitled “Ethical Considerations for Corporate Investigations” (September 15, 2011; September 29, 2014; September 10, 2015; September 21, 2016; and September 27, 2017); “Anatomy of a Trial: Tips & Strategies To Win Your Cases” (November 14, 2013); “Securities Enforcement Update: Department of Justice Investigations and Prosecutions” (June 9, 2011); and “Standards for Prosecuting Corporate Fraud by Federal & State Agencies—The Impact of the Revised Justice Department Charging Guidelines,” (June 23, 2009) for the New York City Bar Association.
  • Presented on “Financial Statements in Legal Practice: Enforcement and Litigation Implications and Recent Cases,” as part of PLI’s How to Read Financial Statements April 2013, March 2014 and April 2015 CLE programs.
  • Participated on the “Enforcement and Compliance” panel at PLI’s Tenth Annual Directors’ Institute on Corporate Governance, September 12, 2012.
  • Participated in the Conference Board’s Corporate Governance and Compliance Crash Course and presented on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and U.K. Bribery Act: “What Do They Mean for Board Oversight?” June 9, 2011.