Lance Wade’s practice focuses on criminal defense, government and internal investigations, and high-stakes civil litigation.  He has guided corporations, senior corporate executives, and public officials through intense government investigations and prosecutions.  Lance has represented and counseled seven current and former CEOs of some of the world’s largest corporations (including two in the Fortune 25, and three in Fortune 500), numerous chief executives of private companies, senior government officials, and candidates for high office.  His corporate clients have included numerous Fortune 500 public companies, large private companies, pension funds, and audit and law firms.

Lance has been recognized for excellence in the practice of law by numerous publications.  Washingtonian magazine named him one of the top white collar criminal defense lawyers in Washington, D.C. Chambers USA has ranked Lance among the leading lawyers in Washington, D.C. in the category of Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations and described him as "an excellent client lawyer, a strong advocate and a creative thinker," who "brings every bit the dogged approach to cases Williams & Connolly is known for."  He was named a BTI Client Service All-Star in 2018, and one of the "World's Leading White Collar Crime Lawyers" by Euromoney's Expert Guide that same year.  Super Lawyers magazine has named him a Super Lawyer in the area of white collar crime. 

Lance’s cases have involved a wide array of substantive allegations – including securities fraud, mail and wire fraud, antitrust crimes, insider trading, insurance fraud, bank fraud, money laundering, public corruption, cyber crimes, embezzlement, tax fraud, false claims, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations, health care fraud, environmental crimes, and numerous other civil violations.

Lance has represented clients in trial and on appeal, and before an array of investigating authorities, including:

  • United States Attorneys’ offices in 20 different districts
  • Department of Justice divisions and branches, including Antitrust, Criminal Fraud, Civil Fraud, Public Integrity, and Environmental and Natural Resources
  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
  • Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
  • Federal Inspectors General offices for numerous agencies
  • State attorneys general

In addition to his criminal and government investigations practice, Lance defends clients who are under investigation in parallel civil proceedings, including class actions, derivative actions, and regulatory enforcement actions. His civil practice has also included securities and financial services litigation, as well as professional liability defense.

Lance graduated from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, and went to Law School at Boston College Law School, where he was the Managing Editor of the Boston College Law Review.  He clerked for Judge Harris L Hartz on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.  Lance lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland with his wife and three children.  He was born and raised near the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, where his defense career began as an ice hockey goalie. 

Lance is Chair is a member of its business intake committee and also runs the firm's pro bono criminal defense program in Montgomery County, Maryland.  As part of that program, Williams & Connolly lawyers represent indigent criminal defendants in trial-level felony cases in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Representative Experience

Lance Wade has served as lead counsel for:

  • the CEO of a Fortune 500 company in a public corruption investigation
  • a Fortune 500 conglomerate in an SEC insider trading investigation
  • a Fortune 100 public company in a joint CFTC-DOJ fraud investigation
  • a senior white house official in an Independent Counsel investigation
  • a Fortune 100 public company in a fraud and embezzlement investigation
  • a national medical device company in a healthcare fraud investigation
  • a major audit firm in a criminal investigation
  • a multi-billion-dollar pension fund in a public corruption investigation
  • a telecommunications executive in the first contested criminal case involving alleged fraud in the FCC Lifeline program
  • a senior executive of a Japanese auto-parts supplier in a criminal antitrust investigation
  • a Fortune 100 company in a DOJ fraud investigation
  • a major public company in a CFPB investigation

Along with his firm colleagues, Lance has also represented:

  • the CEO of a Fortune 500 technology company in an indicted securities fraud case
  • the CEO of a Fortune 25 company in a joint DOJ-SEC FCPA investigation
  • the CEO of a Fortune 25 company in a joint DOJ-SEC securities and accounting fraud investigation
  • a candidate for President of the United States in a public corruption investigation
  • a Fortune 500 technology company in a securities and accounting fraud investigation
  • the president of an international fashion company in a public corruption investigation
  • a Fortune 100 pharmaceutical company in a healthcare fraud investigation
  • a multi-national auto-parts supplier in a criminal antitrust investigation




“Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (D.C.),” Chambers USA, 2015-2024

"Litigation Star" in the category of White Collar Crime, Benchmark Litigation, 2021-2024

"National Litigation Star," Benchmark Litigation, 2021-2024

“Washington’s Top Lawyers,” in the category of Criminal Defense & White Collar, Washingtonian magazine, 2013, 2015, 2017-2018

BTI Client Service All-Star, 2018

"World's Leading White Collar Crime Lawyers," Euromoney's Expert Guide, 2016, 2018, 2020

Selected to Super Lawyers, 2014-2021

Recognized as one of The Best Lawyers in America ® for Criminal Defense: White Collar, 2021


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