Cadwalader Adds White Collar Defense Partner Gina Castellano

February 21, 2023

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP today announced that Gina Castellano, who served most recently as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, has joined the firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations practice as a partner in New York.  

Castellano brings to Cadwalader years of experience prosecuting white collar cases as a member of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force in the Southern District of New York, supervising dozens of criminal cases, leading six criminal trials, and arguing various appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. As a senior member of that task force, she investigated and prosecuted defendants for securities fraud, insider trading, accounting fraud, investment adviser fraud, market manipulation, and crypto-currency related fraud.

She also has considerable experience with corporate investigations, particularly those related to allegations of misconduct surrounding financial irregularity, compliance-related issues, and general risk management.

“From her start in 2014 in the Southern District of New York Gina was a highly respected prosecutor and a top-notch trial attorney. We are very excited that she chose Cadwalader as the firm at which she returns to private practice,” said Cadwalader managing partner Pat Quinn. “We continue to build a market-leading white collar team, and Gina complements our team with her extensive trial and investigative experience.”

Jason Halper, co-chair of Cadwalader’s Global Litigation Group, added: “Gina has been on our firm’s radar for quite some time, and we’re delighted that we were able to finalize an agreement over the past few months. We can’t wait for her to start.”

Added Jodi Avergun, chair of the firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations practice: “As former federal prosecutors ourselves, my partners and I know the cutting-edge nature of the securities fraud matters that Gina oversees regularly, and we understand the demands of being on trial. She has performed with excellence throughout her career, and will clearly be a huge asset to the firm. More importantly, our clients will benefit from her outstanding reputation in the Department of Justice, her expertise in matters of utmost importance to them and her knowledge of the Southern District of New York bench and bar.”

Upon graduating first in her class from Fordham Law School in 2008, Castellano served as a law clerk to the Honorable Denny Chin of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, then-U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York. She then worked at a top New York law firm, where she represented a global financial institution in cross-border tax investigations conducted by the Department of Justice and the New York Department of Financial Services, and also represented financial institutions and hedge funds in SEC investigations. She started as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York in 2014 and served in key roles during her over eight-year tenure.

“Cadwalader is building a truly world-class white collar defense team with its capabilities in the U.S. and in London,” Castellano said. “I am excited to join the team and help our clients as they face complex and high-profile matters.”

Cadwalader has been steadily expanding its Global Litigation Group and white collar practice. Most recently, Martin Weinstein joined the firm as head of government enforcement, compliance and investigations, along with Jeffrey C. Clark. Prior to that, Cadwalader added two high-profile white collar partners in former NY federal prosecutor Kenneth Breen as well as trial attorney Phara Guberman.