Jesse Smallwood’s practice focuses on complex civil litigation, with an emphasis on cases involving financial products and transactions.  Jesse has experience in a range of substantive areas, including securities law, commercial disputes, class actions, antitrust law, and bankruptcy law, and he has handled cases in federal and state courts and in arbitration proceedings across the United States.  He has also represented clients in criminal and regulatory investigations before the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, FINRA, and state attorneys general, among others.

In recent years, Jesse’s practice has focused primarily on three areas: defending financial institutions and mortgage originators in high-stakes litigation relating to the sale of residential mortgage loans and the issuance of mortgage-backed securities; defending financial institutions in putative class-action antitrust lawsuits involving alleged anticompetitive conduct with respect to certain financial markets and products; and bankruptcy-related litigation, including defending clients in adversary proceedings and against claims brought by liquidating trusts. 

Jesse was born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area and graduated from Davidson College, cum laude, in 2000.  He received his J.D., summa cum laude, from Duke University, where he served as Executive Editor of the Duke Law Journal and was a member of the Order of the Coif.  Jesse served as a law clerk to Judge David Levi, Chief U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of California. Jesse joined Williams & Connolly in 2006. Jesse is currently a member of the Bankruptcy Practice Group.

Representative Experience

  • Counsel to several mortgage originators in defense of breach-of-contract and indemnification claims brought by liquidating trust of defunct mortgage-loan securitizer relating to the origination, sale and securitization of residential mortgage loans.  In connection with these litigations, second-chaired both a jury trial and a bench trial in Minnesota federal court. 
  • Counsel to mortgage originator in defense of adversary complaint brought by bankrupt mortgage-loan securitizer seeking indemnification relating to the origination, sale and securitization of residential mortgage loans.
  • Counsel to financial institution in putative class-action antitrust lawsuits relating to alleged anticompetitive conduct in the secondary market for the sale of GSE Bonds. 
  • Counsel to financial institution in defense of securities claims relating to the sale of RMBS. 
  • Counsel to financial institution in antitrust investigation by the DOJ, SEC, and States’ Attorneys General relating to alleged anticompetitive conduct in the municipal derivatives and reinvestment market, as well as the related civil antitrust lawsuits filed by various municipal entities.

Education

Clerkships

Recognitions

Selected to Washington, D.C. “Rising Stars” list, Super Lawyers, 2014-2018

Admissions

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