ProfessionalsRoberto J. Gonzalez
Roberto J. Gonzalez, former Deputy General Counsel of the U.S. Treasury Department, is a litigation partner with experience spanning economic sanctions, anti-money laundering, consumer financial protection regulation, cybersecurity, and Dodd-Frank, as well as constitutional and administrative law. He focuses on representing financial institutions and other clients in trial and appellate litigation, white-collar and regulatory defense, internal investigations and congressional proceedings.
Roberto joined the firm after serving six and a half years in senior legal positions at the Treasury Department, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the White House. With his expertise from these three vantage points in the Executive Branch, Roberto is well-positioned to help clients navigate the evolving regulatory environment by providing strategic counseling on compliance and risk management, responding to government inquiries and investigations and, when necessary, challenging rulemakings and other agency actions. Having represented agencies and senior officials in high-profile matters combining litigation, congressional investigations and intense media scrutiny, Roberto is also an experienced crisis manager able to assist clients in coordinating the legal, communications and legislative strategies essential to addressing complex problems.
Roberto was named a “D.C. Rising Star” by The National Law Journal, a “Rising Star in Banking” by Law360 and a “Top Lawyer Under 40” by the National Hispanic Bar Association. At Treasury, Secretary Jacob J. Lew awarded Roberto the Treasury Medal in recognition of his accomplishments and leadership as Deputy General Counsel.
Roberto served as Deputy General Counsel of the U.S. Treasury Department from September 2013 to September 2015. He advised the Treasury Secretary and senior staff on a range of legal and policy issues, managed major litigations and congressional investigations and supervised more than 100 lawyers in areas including Dodd-Frank implementation, banking and other financial regulation, economic sanctions, anti-money laundering (AML), the Anti-Terrorism Act and cybersecurity in the financial sector. His tenure saw significant developments in the sanctions regimes involving Russia/Ukraine, Iran, Cuba and malicious cyber activity, as well as landmark enforcement actions for both sanctions and AML violations. He also counseled on issues as diverse as the debt limit, Puerto Rico's fiscal situation and the Affordable Care Act. Roberto supervised the legal function for, among others, Treasury's Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) and the Federal Insurance Office.
From January 2011 to September 2013, Roberto served at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), where he was Principal Deputy General Counsel and Deputy Associate Director. As second in charge of a legal department of over 55 attorneys, he oversaw the legal review of all enforcement actions, rulemakings and significant supervisory matters. A leader in the CFPB's start-up, Roberto supervised a team of lawyers in resolving foundational questions about the Bureau's jurisdiction and authority, and he negotiated coordination frameworks with the banking agencies, the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department. In addition to helping develop the CFPB's approach to unfair, deceptive and abusive practices (UDAAPs) and fair lending, among other topics, Roberto played a lead role in the agency's mortgage rulemakings and also its expansion of oversight to nonbank sectors such as payday lending, debt collection and credit reporting.
Roberto served in the White House from January 2009 to January 2011. As Associate White House Counsel and Special Assistant to the President, he advised on a broad portfolio of issues, including financial regulation, criminal justice, homeland security, energy and environmental regulation and he represented the White House in investigations by Congress and the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. He advised the White House's National Economic Council and served as the White House's primary legal liaison to the Departments of Treasury, Homeland Security, Energy and Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Roberto would collaborate with those agencies' senior lawyers on their most difficult litigation, regulatory, and oversight issues.
Previously in private practice, he represented clients in appellate and trial-level litigation involving antitrust, the Alien Tort Claims Act, foreign-law claims, criminal and civil securities fraud and criminal procedure.
Roberto clerked for Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and, before that, for Second Circuit Judge Guido Calabresi. He graduated from Stanford Law School, where he was Senior Articles Editor and Managing Board member of the Stanford Law Review and received the Urban A. Sontheimer Third-Year Honor. He received his A.B. from Duke University.