Jake Gardener


212 335 2965


A skilled trial and appellate lawyer, Jake represents corporations and individuals in civil, criminal, and regulatory matters. He has considerable experience managing internal and government investigations and complex commercial disputes, as well as briefing and arguing civil and criminal appeals. Clients value Jake’s rigorous analytical skills, aptitude for distilling complex material into clear-cut legal arguments, and commitment to building long-term relationships.

Jake has successfully prosecuted and defended a wide range of high-stakes civil cases, including commercial contract disputes, shareholder derivative actions, mortgage-backed securities litigation, constitutional litigation, and lawsuits involving alleged violations of federal, state, and municipal law. Jake has had particular success challenging unlawful government action, including several high-profile victories against New York state and New York City for violating the rights of active and retired municipal workers and public housing tenants. He has also helped lead internal investigations into high-profile matters involving alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and securities laws. He has significant in-court experience, including briefing and arguing numerous civil and criminal appeals and dispositive trial motions.

Jake maintains an active pro bono practice and is a member of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit’s pro bono panel. He has represented on appeal and retrial indigent defendants convicted of murder. He also worked with the New York State Justice Task Force to prevent wrongful convictions and assisted with the filing of a civil rights class action on behalf of indigent criminal defendants deprived of their right to counsel.

Before joining WMHW, Jake practiced law at a preeminent global firm, where he assisted with internal FCPA and securities fraud investigations and handled complex commercial disputes. He also served for several years as a New York City firefighter, assigned to Ladder 43 in East Harlem.

Jake is an active contributor of legal scholarship. His academic work on procedural justice and campaign finance law has been published in Northwestern University School of Law’s Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology and Boston University’s Journal of Science & Technology Law, respectively. In addition, he has co-authored a chapter on employee rights in Global Investigations Review’s 2019, 2020, and 2021 The Practitioner’s Guide to Global Investigations.

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Rising Star, New York Law Journal (2021)

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch, Criminal Defense: White-Collar, Best Lawyers (2021, 2022)


Professional Affiliations

  • Member, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit – Pro Bono Panel (2021-2023)

Community Activities

  • Big Brother (2012-present)