Codinha J William

J. William Codinha

Moving between the public and private sectors, Bill Codinha has led some of the highest profile governmental investigations conducted in the past 20 years and now defends corporations and individuals caught up in similar investigations. Bill brings his unique and effective experience to the defense of all of his clients.

What do you focus on?

I leverage my years of experience defending individuals and corporations who are the subject of government investigations. As a prosecutor, I tried jury trials in all of the courts in Massachusetts and ran major investigations for the federal government in Washington, DC. Currently, I focus on the defense of investigations and cases brought by myriad federal agencies and United States Attorneys’ offices as well as investigations and cases brought by the various state attorneys general offices.

Congressional Investigations

I spent five years in Washington, D.C., as chief counsel to two Senate investigative committees. The first was leading the Senate Select Committee Vietnam POW/MIA investigation (the Kissinger hearings, leading to the ultimate reopening of normalized U.S./Vietnam relations after the Vietnam war) and next was as chief counsel to the Senate Banking Committee, leading the Whitewater investigation (involving President Clinton and the Madison Guarantee Trust). Relatively few lawyers have actual experience running these investigations, nor do they know the senators and congressman (and their aides who assist the committees) and thus do not know how to best defend their clients during the investigation. I, and others at NP, have this experience.

Other Federal Investigations

I’ve successfully defended clients against False Claims Act (FCA), civil and criminal securities fraud, and RICO as well as numerous other civil and criminal charges. I have defended domestic and international Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) cases, including foreign companies alleged to have committed U.S. securities fraud violations. I also recently defended a foreign citizen alleged to have committed U.S. Arms Export Control Act violations.

State Investigations

As the federal government has refocused many of its investigation priorities, the various state attorneys general offices have also become much more aggressive, routinely issuing Civil Investigative Demands requiring extensive discovery of potential wrongdoing. I recently defended a Fortune 75 company, located in Minnesota, against alleged bid rigging and false claims allegations. The risk assessment of potential damages to this multinational company could have run well into the billions of dollars had a prosecution and debarment occurred. The case was successfully resolved with no admission of liability.


Fundamentally, I remain a trial lawyer, having tried over 100 jury trials during the course of my career, from organized crime cases as a prosecutor, to civil trials obtaining multi-million-dollar verdicts for my clients. I have taught trial tactics and trial strategy locally and at the national level.

What do you see on the horizon?

I expect the recent passage of the 2.2 trillion dollar CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act), the largest stimulus package in U.S. history, will engender numerous congressional, IG, and quasi-investigative commission investigations and prosecutions. If the past is precedent, we will see a robust investigative landscape involving CARES related cases for years to come. We will continue working with our clients to both avoid them being the target of these investigations and to successfully defend these cases should they be brought.


  • Special Commission Concerning State and County Buildings in Massachusetts (Ward Commission)
  • Harvard Law School—Adjunct Faculty
  • Chief Counsel, U.S. Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs (Kissinger Hearings)
  • Chief Counsel, U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs (Whitewater Investigation)
  • Special Counsel to the Massachusetts Commission on Judicial Conduct to investigate a sitting Massachusetts Judge—appointed by Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
  • Commissioner—Massachusetts Judicial Nominating Commission, by appointment of Governor Deval Patrick

Representative Cases

False Claims/Qui Tam

  • National counsel in the ongoing defense of a national telecommunications company for various state FCA charges (MA, RI, PA, DC, MN, IA, NC, AL, GA, IL)
  • Successful defense of target national office supplies corporation of federal False Claims Act, Mass. False Claims Act, NH False Claims Act charges (U.S. attorney criminal/civil—MA; MA AG; NH AG)
  • Defense of target national gun manufacturer for alleged violations of False Claims Act, fraud, and RICO violations (U.S. Atty—NH.; Dept of Defense; Department of Homeland Security)
  • Successful defense of target national corporation of False Claims Act, fraud, and money laundering charges (U.S. Atty—CT; CT AG).
  • Successful defense of major NYC medical school for qui tam violations (U.S. Atty—SDNY).
  • Successful defense of major national health care institution in state and federal qui tam investigations (U.S. Atty.—MA; MA AG).
  • Defense of national pharmaceutical company during Main Justice qui tam investigation involving AWP charges to Medicaid (DOJ; various states AGs).

Securities Fraud

  • Successful defense of chairman of the audit committee of a Chinese company (SEC, securities class action)
  • Successful defense of target CEO in an insider trading investigation (SEC—MA).
  • Successful defense of target manager at Prudential in the “market timing” investigations (NY AG; MA AG; SEC; U.S. Atty—MA).
  • Successful defense of target CEO and target CFO in “options timing” investigations in MA and CA. (SEC; U.S. Atty—MA; U.S. Atty—CA)
  • Successful defense of target analyst at Merrill Lynch in the New York Attorney General’s “dot-com” investigation (NY AG; SEC).
  • Successful defense of major trading companies in CS/First Boston IPO investigation (U.S. Atty.—SDNY; SEC).

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act/Money Laundering

  • Successful defense of international metal refining company for EPA violations and FCPA violations (EPA; U.S. Atty—MA).
  • Successful defense of multi-national metal refining company for money laundering and tax fraud (U.S. Atty—MA; U.S. Atty—FL).


  • Defense of target national corporation in bribery, bid-rigging, and RICO investigation (U.S. Atty—IL; IL AG).
  • Successful defense of main target of Teamsters Election fraud investigation—criminal RICO case (U.S. Atty.—SDNY; Congressional hearings).


  • Successful defense of national tutoring company in NCLB investigations (NYC, IG; CPS, IG)
  • Successful defense of various syndicators and developers accused of fraud and equity skimming (HUD—OIG and U.S. Atty.—various districts).
  • Successful defense of CEO target of publicly traded company (FDA; FTC; U.S. Atty.—Greenbelt; Congressional Hearings).
  • Defense of CEO in Lacey Act criminal environmental investigation (DOJ criminal environmental division).

Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office Investigations

  • Successful defense of a multi-national telecommunications corporation for state FCA/CID investigation brought by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office—Public Protection Bureau.
  • Ongoing defense of Porsche in the Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” marketing, sales practice, and products liability litigation—Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, FCA, and Public Protection Bureau.
  • Defense of a national solar energy provider for state FCA/CID investigation brought by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office—Insurance and Financial Services Division.
  • Successful defense of a Fortune 75 company in response to confidential CID in a case involving alleged violations of Chapter 93A and the Massachusetts False Claims Act (MFCA) brought by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office—Public Protection Bureau.
  • Defense of an Ohio manufacturing company in response to a confidential CID brought pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 93A by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office—Public Protection Bureau.
  • Successful defense of the former president of a nonprofit organization for breach of fiduciary duty allegations in response to a confidential CID—MA AG —charitable bureau.
  • HomeServe USA—Successfully defended company in Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office—Public Protection Bureau investigation claiming violation of Chapter 93A. Obtained favorable result with no admission of liability and no civil penalty.
  • W. B. Mason—Defended a state and federal Chapter 93A and False Claims Act matter brought by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office—Public Protection Bureau for this Massachusetts-headquartered office products dealer. Successfully had the case transferred from the criminal to the civil division and resolved it with no FCA finding and no admission of liability.
  • State Farm Insurance—Successfully defended insurance company in two separate Chapter 93A matters using confidential CIDs brought by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office—Public Protection Bureau. The cases were dropped with no findings of liability.
  • HCA Healthcare—Defended worldwide private operator of health care facilities in an MFCA/Medicare/Chapter 93A claim brought by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. The case was resolved without findings of liability.

Mass. top court nixes 911 suit, bars LLC whistleblowers

Law360 | August 06, 2018

Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Bill Codinha and Complex Commercial Disputes associate Chris Queenin are mentioned in this story as counsel to telephone provider Paetec Communications Inc. in an ongoing matter regarding emergency dispatch surcharges paid to Massachusetts.


J. William Codinha



Phone: 617-345-1325

Fax: 866-947-1684

Boston University School of Law, J.D.

Ohio Wesleyan University, B.A.


District of Columbia

U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts

U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit

  • Selected, through a peer-review survey, for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2021 in the fields of Commercial Litigation and Criminal Defense: White-Collar; listed since 2014.
  • Named by The BTI Consulting Group, Inc. as a 2019 Client Service All-Star—the only independently researched, client-driven ranking of attorneys’ client service
  • Recognized for exceptional standing in the legal community in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2020 for Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Massachusetts); also recognized in Chambers in previous years
  • Named as one of “Boston’s Top Rated Lawyers” in the 2012-2018 Editions, White Collar
  • “Massachusetts Super Lawyer” in Criminal Defense, White Collar, based on a peer-review survey by Thomson Reuters (2004–2018)
  • Appointed by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court as Special Counsel to the Commission on Judicial Conduct to investigate a sitting Massachusetts judge (2011–2013)
  • Commissioner, Massachusetts Judicial Nominating Commission, by appointment of Governor Deval L. Patrick (2013–2015)
  • Received an AV Preeminent® Peer Review RatingTM from Martindale Hubbell®, the highest possible rating for ethics and legal ability
Back to top