Melissa B. Coffey



Melissa Coffey is a partner with Foley & Lardner LLP, where she is vice chair of the Government Enforcement Defense & Investigations Practice. Her practice concentrates on representing companies and individuals in investigations and proceedings involving the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and other regulators. Melissa also has extensive experience conducting internal investigations. 

Melissa has experience with False Claims Act qui tam (whistleblower) investigations and litigation, representation of public companies and their officers, directors and employees in SEC enforcement matters, representation of accounting firms in PCAOB enforcement matters, and internal and government investigations and related litigation, all involving a variety of alleged wrongdoing. She also has diverse experience with complex civil litigation. Melissa has represented individuals and private and public companies in the accounting, retail, financial services, pharmaceutical, home health, medical supplies, automotive and high technology industries, among others.

Melissa also has extensive experience with facilitating the efficient review of large volumes of electronic data, including through predictive coding, in connection with internal and government investigations. She is a member of the firm’s e-Discovery committee.

Prior to joining Foley, Melissa worked for WilmerHale LLP in Boston, where she focused on securities litigation and enforcement matters, pharmaceutical investigations and other white-collar matters, and complex commercial litigation.

Representative Experience

Melissa’s representative experience includes:

  • Closing of SEC insider trading investigation involving a broker-dealer
  • Favorable resolution of DOJ False Claims Act investigation and related litigation involving home health agency, part of a major healthcare services company
  • Representation of retailer in an internal and SEC investigation involving alleged accounting fraud relating to the accounting for markdowns
  • Representation of accounting firms in a variety of PCAOB enforcement investigations
  •  Representation of securities lending executives in civil litigation and an SEC investigation of a major financial institution, which the SEC declined to pursue
  • Representation of current and former employees of pharmaceutical companies in federal grand jury investigations involving potential False Claims Act allegations
  • Winning a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction on behalf of an international insurance company


  • Selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the fields of Criminal Defense: White-Collar and Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom and Energy) (2019 - present)


Melissa received her bachelor’s degree from Harvard University (A.B., cum laude, 2001) and her law degree from Boston College Law School (J.D., magna cum laude, 2004). She was a member of the Boston College Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. Following law school, Melissa served a judicial clerkship with the Honorable D. Brock Hornby of the U.S. District Court, District of Maine.

Admissions and Professional Memberships

Melissa is a member of the Florida Bar Civil Procedure Rules Committee (2017 – 2020), the American Bar Association, and the Women’s White Collar Defense Association (

She is admitted to practice in Florida and Massachusetts, and before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. District Court for the Middle, Northern, and Southern Districts of Florida; the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Florida; the First Circuit Court of Appeals; the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals; and the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.