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Celeste Koeleveld


Clifford Chance, New York
Practice area Litigation & dispute resolution
Tel +12128783051

Celeste Koeleveld


Celeste Koeleveld has over 25 years of experience in government enforcement, regulatory and civil litigation matters that span federal, state and local government in the United States. Over the course of her career, she has held senior positions in the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) and the New York City Law Department.

Celeste represents clients, both corporates and individuals, with regulatory compliance, internal investigations, and all phases of civil, criminal and regulatory litigation, from inception through the appellate process. Her significant government experience imparts a particularly insightful perspective to her advice and counsel in matters involving regulatory agencies.

Prior to joining Clifford Chance, Celeste served on the executive committee of DFS, joining in 2016 as General Counsel, and ultimately serving as Deputy Superintendent and Special Counsel. During her time at DFS, she handled a broad spectrum of regulatory and enforcement actions, including disciplinary and enforcement proceedings, licensing matters, implementation of legislation and promulgation of regulations. In particular, as General Counsel, Celeste was instrumental in the development and implementation of DFS cybersecurity and transaction monitoring regulations.

In addition to her recent role at DFS, Celeste previously served for 16 years in the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, rising to serve as the Chief of the Criminal Division. In that role, she led a team of more than 160 Assistant US Attorneys and oversaw all criminal investigations and prosecutions. She also served as the Chief Appellate Attorney of the SDNY for four years, overseeing the extensive appellate practice. During her tenure with the SDNY, she also served as the Chief of the General Crimes Unit.

Prior to joining DFS, Celeste served for eight years as Executive Assistant Corporation Counsel at the New York City Law Department. In this role she oversaw several litigation and trial divisions and provided legal advice to City agencies responding to governmental investigation from a variety of federal, state and local prosecutors and investigative bodies.

Career and qualifications

  • Harvard University (BA) 1986
  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Kenneth Conboy, U.S. District Court Judge, Southern District of New York 1989
  • Admitted as an Attorney-at-Law in New York 1990
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney (SDNY), U.S. Department of Justice 1991
  • Adjunct Professor, Columbia University School of Law 2006
  • Executive Assistant Corporation Counsel, New York City Law Department 2008
  • General Counsel, New York State Department of Financial Services 2016
  • Deputy Superintendent & Special Counsel, New York State Department of Financial Services 2017
  • Joined Clifford Chance as a Partner 2018
  • Speaks English and Dutch

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