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, and antitrust 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 heavily on 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, as well as antitrust claims involving alleged anticompetitive conduct with respect to certain financial markets and products.

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.

Representative Experience

  • Counsel to financial institution in defense of securities claims relating to the sale of RMBS. 
  • Counsel to mortgage originator in defense of breach-of-contract claims brought by RMBS Trustee relating to the origination and sale of residential mortgage loans. 
  • 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.
  • Counsel to mortgage originator in defense of breach-of-contract and indemnification claims brought by liquidating trust for defunct mortgage-loan securitizer relating to the origination and sale of residential mortgage loans.
  • Counsel to financial institution in defense of putative class-action antitrust lawsuits relating to alleged anticompetitive conduct in the treasuries market. 
  • Counsel to investors in REIT asserting breach-of-contract and breach-of-fiduciary duty claims arising out of going-private LBO transaction.

Education

Recognitions

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

Admissions

Government Service

Law Clerk, Judge David Levi, United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, 2004-2005

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