Victor L. Hou’s practice focuses on litigation, including government enforcement work, white-collar criminal defense, securities litigation, corporate governance, and general commercial litigation.

He has represented numerous financial institutions and multinational corporations in securities, antitrust and other complex litigation, as well as in criminal and regulatory matters involving the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and state attorney general’s offices. Victor regularly conducts internal investigations involving allegations of violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, financial and accounting fraud, and insider trading. He has also advised boards of directors on corporate governance.

Victor joined the firm in 2007 and became a partner in 2010. From June 2001 until July 2007, he worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. As a prosecutor, Victor investigated and prosecuted numerous federal offenses, including racketeering, terrorism, murder, securities fraud, money laundering, mail fraud, wire fraud and international narcotics trafficking. He worked on several high-profile prosecutions, has tried over a dozen jury trials and has briefed and argued numerous appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Prior to government service, Victor was a litigation associate at another major law firm.

Notable Experience

  • National Amusements Inc. (NAI), Shari Redstone, and Sumner Redstone in Delaware Chancery Court litigation against CBS Corporation and certain members of its board of directors concerning CBS’s attempt to dilute NAI’s voting control of CBS, ending in a favorable settlement rescinding dilutive stock dividend and dismissal of all claims.

  • In California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) v. ANZ Securities Inc. et al., the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Second Circuit’s IndyMac decision holding that the class action tolling rule does not apply to the statute of repose established by Section 13 of the Securities Act of 1933. This landmark decision affirms the limits of the liability period for securities issuers and underwriters, as well as corporate officers and directors, and extinguishes actions filed after repose periods expire.

  • Alpha Natural Resources in various matters, including in connection with securities class actions alleging Section 11 claims under the Securities Act filed in West Virginia state court and Pennsylvania state court.

  • A financial institution in the successful resolution of an investigation by FINRA regarding the collapse of MF Global and related underwriting of MF Global debt securities, resulting in no charges against the client.

  • A Fortune 500 company in connection with an internal investigation involving securities/accounting disclosures.

  • Goldman Sachs in class actions and ongoing individual civil actions asserting antitrust claims in the foreign exchange markets.

  • Goldman Sachs in multiple actions asserting antitrust claims in the municipal derivatives market and obtained complete dismissal of all claims.

  • International corporate clients in the U.S., Europe and Asia in ongoing FCPA and U.S. sanctions-related investigations.

  • Underwriter clients in negotiating a comprehensive settlement of a multidistrict securities class action in connection with offerings of Lehman Brothers debt securities; and in securing the dismissal of securities actions against underwriter clients arising from the Lehman’s collapse.

See More

Selected Activities

  • Teaching Fellow, Harvard University, 1999


Three Years After ‘CalPERS’: Still No Flood of Opt-Outs,” Law360, (February 2021) 

Second Circuit Provides Guidance on Identifying ‘Predominantly Foreign’ Transactions That Are Outside the Scope of the Federal Securities Laws,” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, (February 2020)

What to Expect From the Biden Administration,”  Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, (November 2020)

Shareholder Complaints Seek to Hold Directors Liable for Lack of Diversity,” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, (July 2020); republished by Law360 and Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance (August 2020)

Second Circuit Reaffirms Stringent Standard for Pleading Corporate Scienter in Securities Fraud Class Actions,” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, (June 2020)

Second Circuit: Criminal Fraud Statutes Do Not Require Prosecutors to Show that Tippers in Insider-Trading Cases Received a ‘Personal Benefit,’” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, (January 2020) 

U.S. Criminal Prosecution Based on Panama Papers Hack Raises Novel Legal Issues,” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo (January 2019); republished by The Columbia Law School Blue Sky Blog (January 2019)

Delaware Chancery Court Opinion Raises New Considerations for Special Litigation Committees,” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo (December 13, 2019) co-authored with Jared Gerber, Roger Cooper, Rahul Mukhi, Rishi Zutshi, and Mark McDonald; republished by the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation

Lessons Learned from the CBS-NAI Dispute: Rights of Board Members to Access Privileged Communications with Company Counsel,” Cleary M&A and Corporate Governance Watch blog (October 2018); republished by Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation (November 2018)

Cleary Gottlieb Wins Supreme Court Ruling That Securities Act’s Statute of Repose Is Not Subject to Class-Action Tolling,” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo (June 2017)

“U.S. Securities Law: How the SEC’s Whistleblower Rules Under Dodd-Frank Affect Non-U.S. Companies,” Practical Law Guide (2015)

Contributing Editor, “Jury Selection in High Profile Criminal Cases,” Jury Selection (Aspen Publishers 4th Ed. 2011)

“Impact of New Amendments to Sentencing Guidelines on Compliance & Ethics Programs,” Wall Street Lawyer (July 2010)