Jonathan A. Willens


(646) 200-6333 

Jonathan Willens has practiced law in New York City since 1986.  His experience includes five years serving in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, where he represented the government in False Claims Act cases, constitutional litigation and many other matters, including several trials in federal court and oral arguments in the Second Circuit.  

After leaving the U.S. Attorney's Office, Jonathan developed a successful practice representing traders and computer programmers in trade secrets and intellectual property disputes involving securities trading software.  He also represented whistleblowers in high-profile False Claims Act cases, including the Bank of America mortgage fraud case, and U.S. ex rel Kirk v. Schindler Elevator Corp., where he argued on behalf of the whistleblower in the U.S. Supreme Court in 2011.  He currently has many False Claims Act cases under seal in state and federal courts, including Medicare and Medicaid fraud, tax evasion schemes, mortgage fraud by major banks and research fraud by recipients of federal grants.  

Jonathan began his career at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, where he handled international litigation, bankruptcy and securities matters.  


Representative Matters

False Claims Act

U.S. ex rel Daniel Kirk v. Schindler Corporation – this case produced important decisions on False Claims Act liability in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and on the public disclosure provision in the Supreme Court.

U.S. ex rel Dr. Daniel Jorgenson v. Cayuga Medical Center, U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York – the government intervened in this Medicare fraud case involving illegal kickbacks to doctors and produced a favorable settlement for the whistleblower.

U.S. ex rel Kyle Lagow v. Countrywide Financial Corporation, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York – Mr. Willens was local counsel for the whistleblower in the Bank of America mortgage fraud, part of a national $12 billion settlement.


Trade Secrets and Non-competition Agreements

Renaissance Technologies v. Belopolsky & Volfbeyn, New York State Supreme Court – a precedent-setting dispute over the development of quantitative securities trading software and the rights of employees to seek new employment.  

Marietta v. Pacific Direct, New York Appellate Division, Third Department – a landmark decision protecting the rights of employees to seek new opportunities in competitive industries.


Other Matters

Barnes v. Cathers & Dembrosky, New York State Supreme Court – a dispute between a prominent collector and his art dealer, leading to a jury trial and settlement.

BNP Paribas v. Republic of Argentina, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York -- one of several cases representing Argentina in its ongoing sovereign bond default litigation. 


Harvard Law School, 1986 with Honors
Swarthmore College, 1981 with Highest Honors

Bar Admissions:
New York State
U.S. District Courts for the Southern District of New York, Eastern District of New York, Northern District of New York
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court 

Professional Associations and Memberships:
New York City Bar Association:  Criminal Law Committee
American Bar Association
Taxpayers Against Fraud (whistleblower lawyer association)

Past Employment Positions
Jonathan A. Willens LLC, 2000-2015 
United States Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York, Civil Division, Assistant United States Attorney, 1995 - 2000
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, 1986-1988, 1989 - 1995
Office of the Appellate Defender, New York, 1988 - 1989