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David M. Stuart

Partner, Litigation

David M. Stuart is a partner in Cravath’s Litigation Department. He focuses on government and internal investigations, regulatory enforcement and compliance, and securities and derivative litigation. In the past several years, his engagements have involved issues related to financial reporting and disclosure, accounting restatements, improper payments and foreign corruption, insider trading, market manipulation, trade sanctions, whistleblower claims, cyber breaches and sexual harassment claims. He has appeared before the SEC, DOJ, U.S. Attorneys’ offices, state Attorneys General offices, PCAOB, CFTC, FINRA, and the New York Mercantile Exchange. Mr. Stuart has also conducted comprehensive reviews of corporate compliance programs and advised organizations on implementation of best practices in regulatory compliance. He participates in the Firm’s efforts related to blockchain and financial technology (FinTech).

From 2000 to 2006, Mr. Stuart served in the Division of Enforcement at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C. While at the SEC, he was Branch Chief for the SEC’s Financial Fraud Task Force and regularly coordinated multinational investigations with the FBI, the Department of Justice, and multiple international regulators and law enforcement agencies. For this work, Mr. Stuart twice received the Director’s Award for outstanding contribution to the enforcement of the federal securities laws. After leaving the SEC, Mr. Stuart served as Senior Counsel of Investigations and Regulatory Affairs for the General Electric Company. Mr. Stuart returned to Cravath in 2008.

Mr. Stuart was recognized for his work in securities regulatory enforcement by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business from 2015 through 2019 and The Legal 500 United States from 2015 through 2019. He was also recognized as a “Local Litigation Star” in New York for his white collar criminal defense and investigations work by Benchmark Litigation from 2015 through 2020. Mr. Stuart was recognized for his work in securities regulation by The Best Lawyers in America (2019‑2020). He was named one of Ethisphere Institute’s “Attorneys Who Matter” and was recognized for his white‑collar criminal defense work by The Legal 500 United States from 2016 through 2019. Mr. Stuart and his colleagues earned the Firm a top-tier ranking for Criminal Defense: White Collar in the U.S. News-Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” survey in 2018, as well as recognition in the investigations and criminal defense categories of both Chambers USA (2015-2019) and Legal 500 US (2016-2019) and the FCPA category of Chambers USA (2018‑2019).

Mr. Stuart is a frequent speaker, expert columnist and author on the subjects of regulatory compliance and corporate investigations. He is the managing editor of four editions of the SEC Compliance and Enforcement Answer Book, published by the Practising Law Institute.

Mr. Stuart was born in Dearborn, Michigan. He received his B.A. with high honors in 1990 from Wesleyan University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and his J.D. in 1995 from New York University School of Law, where he was Senior Staff Editor of the Environmental Law Journal. After graduating from law school, Mr. Stuart clerked for the Hon. John Gleeson in the Eastern District of New York.

Mr. Stuart is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the International Bar Association, the Association of SEC Alumni, and the SEC Historical Society.

Mr. Stuart may be reached by phone at +1‑212‑474‑1519 or by email at

Mr. Stuart is admitted only in New York and Connecticut.

+1 (212) 474-1519
+1 (212) 474-3700