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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance
Ernie Gao

Ernie Gao

Associate General Counsel – US

Associate General Counsel – US
Ernie Gao

Ernie Gao advises clients facing government investigations, criminal charges, or complex commercial litigation. Ernie has represented corporations and individuals before the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and other government agencies, in matters involving securities fraud, price fixing, sanctions or export controls, money laundering, corruption, and asset forfeiture.

Ernie has also represented corporations and individuals in commercial litigation involving fraud allegations, contract disputes, and bankruptcy claims.

  • Representation of former FIFA Vice President in DOJ prosecution of corruption in organized soccer in the EDNY
  • Representation of underwriters' counsel in SEC investigation of municipal bond offering
  • Representation of a senior executive in multi-jurisdictional investigation and prosecution of price-fixing conspiracy among ocean shipping lines
  • Representation of a senior executive in the multi-agency international investigation arising from a top financial institution's multi-billion dollar trading loss, and in the related SEC enforcement action in the SDNY
  • Representation of CDO collateral manager in an SEC enforcement action in the SDNY; SEC’s charges of securities fraud and negligence were dismissed after briefing and oral argument
  • Representation of European aerospace services company in the DC Circuit, successfully upholding its deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ settling violations of US sanctions and export control laws, and in the preceding multi-agency investigation by the DOJ, OFAC and the US Commerce Department
  • Advising an international financial Institution with respect to investigations by DOJ, New York County District Attorney's Office and OFAC into USD payment processing for US-sanctioned parties

News and client work

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Contact details

Career and qualifications

  • New York University (BA, Philosophy and Comparative Literature) 2005
  • Fordham University (JD) 2009
  • Admitted as an Attorney-at-Law in New York 2010
  • Admitted as an Attorney-at-Law in United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York 2011
  • Joined Clifford Chance 2012