James G. Cavoli


F +1-212-822-5172

New York

55 Hudson Yards

New York, NY US 10001-2163

T +1-212-530-5172

F +1-212-822-5172

James G. Cavoli is a partner in the New York office of Milbank and a member of the firm’s Litigation & Arbitration Group.

Primary Focus & Experience

Mr. Cavoli’s practice focuses on white collar defense and related internal investigations on a variety of subjects. He also handles a range of complex commercial litigation.

Mr. Cavoli represents companies and individuals in government enforcement matters, both criminal and civil, and has substantial experience conducting complex internal investigations. He represented a global financial institution in domestic and international LIBOR-related investigations conducted by the DOJ, the CFTC, numerous State Attorneys General, the UK FCA, the JFSA, and various other authorities, and an international bank in connection with the industry-wide auction rate securities investigation by the SEC and numerous state regulators. He investigated FX trading practices on behalf of a major financial institution, and possible front-running of block future trades at one of the world’s largest banks. Mr. Cavoli handles complex BSA/AML-related matters, defended against bid-rigging allegations by the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, and represented a major Wall Street bank in connection with SEC allegations of improper trading, and the former president of a major international bank in the context of a DOJ investigation into possible OFAC violations.

Mr. Cavoli also has substantial experience in private civil litigation, focusing primarily on securities and complex commercial disputes. He has represented five of the largest mutual fund complexes against excessive fee claims under the Investment Company Act of 1940, three of which he tried to victory in United States District Court in California and New Jersey. He also represented one of the world’s largest commercial banks in major litigation stemming from the Adelphia Communications bankruptcy, several leading energy producers in international commercial disputes concerning LNG contracts, and prominent financial institutions in various multi-million-dollar FINRA arbitrations.


Mr. Cavoli began his career in 1992 at Rogers & Wells (now Clifford Chance LLP), where he focused on antitrust litigation. In February 1998, he became an Assistant United States Attorney, Criminal Division, Southern District of New York. While there, Mr. Cavoli led a wide variety of criminal investigations and successful prosecutions, focusing primarily on white-collar matters. He was a member of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Unit, where he handled cases involving accounting fraud, insider trading, and hedge fund manager bribery, and worked closely with SEC staff conducting parallel civil investigations. Mr. Cavoli was also a member of the Major Crimes Unit, where he prosecuted health care fraud, bank, mail and wire fraud, money laundering, extortion, and obstruction of justice offenses, among others, and served as health care fraud coordinator. Mr. Cavoli served as Deputy Chief Appellate Attorney for the Office as well, one of six supervisors in charge of overseeing briefing and argument of all appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. As an Assistant, he handled numerous jury trials and appellate arguments.

Recognition & Accomplishments

Mr. Cavoli has been recognized by Chambers USA as a leading lawyer in Litigation: White Collar Crime & Government Investigations. He has also written a number of articles, including “‘U.S. v. Connolly’: The Consequences of Outsourcing Government Investigations to the Private Sector (2019)”, “Fund Profitability in Mutual Fund Fee Litigation” (2012), “Pleading Fraud In New York: CPLR 3016(b)’s Heightened Pleading Standard and Why It’s Important” (2011), “NSMIA Preemption and its Impact on the New York Attorney General’s Action Against Bank of America” (2010), “The SEC’s Mutual Fund Fee Initiative: What to Expect” (2010), and “Court Finds Implied Private Right of Action Under the Investment Company Act” (2009). While in law school, Mr. Cavoli served as the lead articles editor for the Albany Law Review.

Additional Details
  • Albany Law School, J.D.
  • Siena College, B.S.
  • New York
  • US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • US District Court for the Southern District of New York