Skip to main content

Ethics in Context: August 2015

Author(s): Helen V. Cantwell, Jennifer A. Paradise, C. Evan Stewart
Practice Area: Banking, Corporate & Securities, Ethics/Professional Responsibility
Published: Aug 2015
PLI Item #: 56966
CHB Spine #: F266

Helen V. Cantwell is a litigation partner with extensive trial experience. Her practice focuses on white collar criminal defense, regulatory enforcement actions, and internal investigations. Ms. Cantwell represents a wide range of individuals, companies, schools, and nonprofits, and she frequently advises clients on their compliance obligations.

Chambers USA (2014) recognizes Ms. Cantwell as a leading practitioner in white collar criminal defense and investigations matters. Clients note that she is a “very confident advocate” and commend her “standout judgment and attention to detail.”

While much of Ms. Cantwell’s work is not public, some of her representative white collar and regulatory matters include:

  • Toyota Motor Corporation in connection with various state and federal investigations;
  • A top national bank in an investigation by the District Attorney for New York County into allegations of money laundering and fraud;
  • A top national bank in an investigation by the DOJ into mortgage-related matters;
  • A major U.S. bank in various investigations regarding subprime auto lending;
  • A bank executive responsible for the setting of LIBOR in investigations by the SEC, CFTC, and DOJ;
  • The Chief Risk Officer of a hedge fund in civil litigation and investigations relating to the Bernard L. Madoff matter;
  • A payments processing company in an internal investigation regarding accounting fraud and embezzlement;
  • Private equity clients in governmental investigations and litigations relating to fallout from the financial crisis and the collapse of MF Global;
  • Ongoing compliance advice to clients regarding the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the UK Bribery Act, the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB, consumer finance, and anti-money laundering;
  • Current and former corporate executives in DOJ, SEC, and CFTC investigations involving allegations of securities fraud, theft of trade secrets, and other matters;
  • Various matters before the District Attorneys in New York, the New York State Attorney General, the New York State Department of Financial Services, and other state attorneys general; and
  • Ongoing advice and counseling to schools and other educational institutions in sensitive sexual abuse investigations.

Her civil experience includes:

  • Representation of a leading insurance company in the successful settlement after jury selection of a securities litigation arising from its demutualization;
  • Representation of Metromedia International Group in a trial in Delaware Chancery Court (In re Appraisal of Metromedia); and
  • Representation of Syracuse University in a defamation suit arising out of comments made by the basketball coach during an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse.

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Cantwell served for eight years as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. During her tenure in the US Attorney’s Office, she was a member of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force and worked closely with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission and other law enforcement and regulatory agencies. Ms. Cantwell joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2000, after four years as an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office. She is a recipient of the Department of Justice Director’s Award for Superior Performance as a Federal Prosecutor.

Before the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Ms. Cantwell spent a year working in Malaysia with the International Women’s Rights Action Watch, under a fellowship grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.

Ms. Cantwell joined Debevoise in 2008. She earned her J.D. cum laude in 1995 from Harvard Law School, where she was President of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, and her B.A. magna cum laude from Wellesley College in 1992.

Ms. Paradise is General Counsel of White & Case LLP. As such, she advises the Firm's lawyers on issues relating to professional responsibility, serves as the Firm's Employment Counsel, and is a member of the Firm's Global Risk Management Committee.

Prior to joining White & Case, Ms. Paradise practiced in the litigation department at another leading firm where she litigated matters on behalf of financial service and communications industry clients.

Ms. Paradise is a former member of the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility and is a current member of the Committee on Professional Responsibility of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and is a Coordinating Committee Member of the American Bar Association’s Firm Counsel Connect. She frequently lectures on issues pertaining to professional responsibility.

Ms. Paradise is a graduate of Columbia Law School where she was an Editor of the Columbia Law Review and a Stone and Kent Scholar. Ms. Paradise clerked for the Honorable Nina Gershon, United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of New York from 2002-2003.

Professional Associations

Member, American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility
Member, Committee on Professional Responsibility of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York

Bars and Courts

New York State Bar, 2005


JD, Columbia University School of Law, Editor, Columbia Law Review, Stone Scholar, Kent Scholar, 2001

MA, English, Carnegie Mellon University, 1997

BA, Barnard College, cum laude, 1993




United States

Mr. Stewart’s practice focuses principally on the financial services industry, where he handles litigation matters for domestic and international clients before federal and state trial and appellate courts, in arbitration forums, as well as before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation and the U.S. Supreme Court. He advises clients on a range of complex commercial matters, including antitrust, bankruptcy, class action defense, ethics, intellectual property, internal investigations, securities litigation, and tax controversies.

Mr. Stewart was featured by the New York Law Journal in the “Top Trials of 2005” for his successful representation of Theodore Sihpol, the first person in U.S. history to be criminally charged for “late trading” mutual funds. More recently, Mr. Stewart successfully represented Gary Prince against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In May of 2013, after a three week bench trial in federal court, the judge dismissed all six charges of securities fraud against Mr. Prince.

Mr. Stewart previously served twelve years as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for The Nikko Securities Co. International Inc., and as a director of Nikko Financial Services Inc. Additionally, Mr. Stewart served as First Vice President, Associate General Counsel, and Head of Litigation at E.F. Hutton & Company Inc. Since 2003, Mr. Stewart has been tasked by Goldman, Sachs & Co. to, among other things, oversee and litigate all of the disputes arising out of the company’s Private Wealth Management Division.

Recognized as a Super Lawyer for Securities Litigation since 2009, Mr. Stewart has also been hailed as a "Local Litigation Star" by Benchmark Litigation since 2010. In 2016, Mr. Stewart received the Stanford D Levy Award from the New York State Bar Association's Ethics Committee for having "significantly contributed to an understanding of professional ethics by the publication of an article, commentary or a series of articles or commentaries on the subject." In 2008, he received the Modaq Content Award for writing the most popular article in the United States. Since 1980, Mr. Stewart has been AV(R) Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Mr. Stewart is a visiting professor at Cornell University and an adjunct law professor at Fordham Law School. He has been a regularly contributing columnist for the New York Law Journal since 1990 and has published over 200 articles on diverse legal subjects. He is also frequently featured in the national media and regularly speaks across the country on securities, professional responsibility, and complex litigation issues.