Michael J. Walsh, Jr. is a partner and litigation attorney with Foley & Lardner LLP. Based in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, he is a member of the Government Enforcement Defense & Investigations and Government Solutions Practice Groups. He also is a member of Foley’s Manufacturing, Energy, and Technology Sectors.
Mike’s practice focuses on advising U.S. and multinational companies and venture capital funds in the manufacturing, energy, and technology sectors on all aspects of international cross-border investment, including national security, CFIUS, export controls, Department of Commerce Entity Listings, ITAR and DDTC requirements, OFAC sanctions and anti-money laundering compliance, forced labor compliance, and Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Affairs (BEA) BE-13a survey compliance. Mike also advises companies regarding compliance with the laws and rules governing classified facilities and employee clearances. Finally, Mike provides strategic counseling regarding company interactions with executive branch agencies and Congress.
Prior to joining Foley, Mike served as chief of staff at the U.S. Commerce Department, and he also performed the duties of the general counsel from August 2019 to January 2021. In his role as Chief Legal Officer, Mike oversaw more than 600 attorneys and was responsible for all matters within the Department. He also served as the senior advisor to the Secretary of Commerce on the most important legal and strategic policy matters involving the 47,000-person Cabinet department, with a $9 billion budget. Mike worked on a number of important legal issues, including export administration and enforcement, emerging technologies, supply chain risk management, GDPR, and CFIUS. Mike managed critical litigation in federal district and appellate courts throughout the country and coordinated the determination of Department positions on Supreme Court cases.
Mike worked with CEOs, boards of directors, and other executives regarding critical business before joining the Commerce Department. He also interacted with foreign heads of state, ministers, and other officials while representing the United States in bilateral trade talks. He worked with Cabinet members, their chiefs of staff and general counsel, and the White House on important administration policies and then executed those priorities within the Department. He also provided legal and strategic advice to the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, and other senior leaders while coordinating with White House counsel and interagency lawyers on legal issues.
Manufacturing – CFIUS and International Compliance Counseling
- Represented a large multinational manufacturer in connection with CFIUS issues associated with U.S. acquisitions and reorganizations
- Represented a multinational engine manufacturer on international trade, national security, and export compliance issues in a cross-border transaction
- Represented an Irish-domiciled American multinational equipment manufacturer on CFIUS and other national security issues related to U.S. acquisitions
- Represented a North American private equity firm on CFIUS, ITAR, DDTC, and other national security issues related to U.S. acquisitions
- Represented a multinational cleaning product manufacturer on international trade, national security, and export compliance issues on a cross-border transaction
Energy – CFIUS and International Compliance Counseling
- Represented a U.S. subsidiary of a Korean conglomerate on CFIUS, export controls, national security, and forced labor compliance
- Represented a U.S. subsidiary of a North American solar supplier on forced labor compliance and international trade and national security issues
- Represented a U.S. subsidiary of a North American solar developer on CFIUS, national security, and forced labor compliance issues
- Represented a U.S. solar developer in connection with international supplier procurement
Technology – CFIUS and International Compliance Counseling
- Represented numerous non-U.S. venture capital companies in connection with CFIUS and other national security considerations on investments in U.S. technology businesses
- Represented numerous U.S. technology companies in connection with CFIUS and other national security considerations when seeking investment from non-U.S. companies
- Represented non-U.S. technology companies making greenfield investments in the U.S.
- Represented technology companies on anti-money laundering and sanctions compliance in lending agreements
In private practice prior to joining the Department of Commerce, Mike advised companies on their highest-profile litigation matters and counseled them about sensitive congressional and other government investigations and enforcement matters. He has years of experience defending companies in complex multidistrict securities class action cases and parallel shareholder derivative and ERISA cases.
Securities and Shareholder Derivative Litigation
- Represented a government-sponsored enterprise in a complex federal multidistrict securities class action and parallel individual securities and shareholder derivative actions arising out of the financial crisis of 2008, alleging upwards of $40 billion in damages
- Represented a government-sponsored enterprise in a complex federal multidistrict securities action arising out of accounting restatement, alleging upwards of $9 billion in damages, as well as accompanying regulatory and internal inquiries
- Represented a real estate investment trust in shareholder derivative litigation regarding allegedly improper payment of management compensation
Financial Services and ERISA Litigation
- Represented a government-sponsored enterprise in all litigation stemming from allegations of constitutional takings and violations of the Administrative Procedure Act in connection with an amendment to Treasury’s preferred stock purchase agreement
- Represented a health insurer in multiple ERISA class actions and individual actions stemming from allegations of improper overpayment recovery processes and procedures
- Represented senior officers and directors of a government-sponsored enterprise named as defendants in an ERISA class action case stemming from the financial crisis of 2008
- Represented a government-sponsored enterprise and senior officers and directors named in an ERISA class action stemming from an accounting restatement
- Coordinated a multi-firm effort to respond to requests for documents and other information regarding the 2008 financial crisis from the House Oversight Committee
- Lead attorney in responding to requests for information from the Minority side of the House Oversight Committee regarding allegations of improper preferential treatment for senior officers of the client by a customer
- Selected for inclusion on the Super Lawyers Rising Star list (2013 – 2018)
- Selected as a “Leading Lawyer” by the Legal 500 in the field of Securities: Shareholder Litigation (2015 – 2018)
- Recognized, Friend of Children (for pro bono work) Justice for Children (2011)
- Co-author, “Courts Deny Plaintiffs Over Section 304 Suits,” International Financial Law Review (March 2006)
- Co-author, “Digimarc: The Final Nail in the SOX 304 Coffin,” Securities Law 360 (January 2009)
- Columbia Law School (J.D., 2002)
- Boston College (B.A., magna cum laude, 1999)
- New York
- Washington D.C.
- United States District Court for the District of Columbia
- United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- United States Court of Federal Claims
- United States Supreme Court