Michael J. Walsh, Jr.



Michael J. Walsh, Jr. is a partner and litigation attorney with Foley & Lardner LLP. Based in the firm’s D.C. office, he is a member of the Government Enforcement Defense & Investigations Practice.

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 since August 2019. In this role as Chief Legal Officer, Mike oversaw more than 600 attorneys and was responsible for all legal 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 the 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 Counsels 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 department leaders while coordinating with White House counsel and interagency lawyers on legal issues.

In private practice, 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.

Representative Matters (Private Practice)

Securities and Shareholder Derivative Litigation

  • Represented a government sponsored enterprise in complex, federal multi-district securities class action and parallel individual securities and shareholder derivative actions arising out of the financial crisis of 2008 and alleging upwards of $40 billion in damages
  • Represented government sponsored enterprise in complex, federal multi-district securities action arising out of accounting restatement and alleging upwards of $9 billion in damages as well as accompanying regulatory and internal inquiries
  • Represented Real Estate Investment Trust in shareholder derivative litigation regarding allegedly improper payment of management compensation

Financial Services and ERISA Litigation

  • Represented government sponsored enterprise in all litigation stemming from allegations of constitutional takings and violations of the Administrative Procedure Act in connection with amendment to Treasury’s preferred stock purchase agreement
  • Represented 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 government sponsored enterprise named as defendants in ERISA class action case stemming from financial crisis of 2008
  • Represented government sponsored enterprise and senior officers and directors named in ERISA class action stemming from accounting restatement

Congressional Investigations

  • Coordinated multi-firm effort to respond to requests for documents and other information regarding financial crisis from House Oversight Committee
  • Led team of attorneys collecting, reviewing and producing responsive documents. Coordinated with senior client officers to formulate responses to committee staff requests for information
  • 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 client by customer

Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission

  • Worked regularly with Commission Staff in connection with all aspects of inquiry into financial services client
  • Represented witnesses as first chair in connection with Staff interviews and assisted former officers of client with preparation for public hearings
  • Supervised team of attorneys responding to requests for documents, data and other information from Staff

Telecommunications Litigation

  • Managed successful representation of incumbent local exchange carrier in arbitration before Federal Communications Commission
  • Managed representation of incumbent local exchange carrier in litigation of inter-carrier compensation dispute in two states


  • Selected for inclusion to 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