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Bruce Yannett served as the Chair of the White Collar & Regulatory Defense Group for over ten years until November 2023 and also served as Deputy Presiding Partner of the firm from July 2011 until June 2022. His practice focuses on white collar criminal defense, regulatory enforcement and internal investigations. He represents a broad range of companies, financial institutions and their executives in matters involving securities fraud, accounting fraud, foreign bribery, cybersecurity, insider trading and money laundering. He has extensive experience representing corporations and individuals outside the United States in responding to inquiries and investigations.

Mr. Yannett’s practice also encompasses complex litigation, including derivative cases, shareholder actions and commercial disputes.

Chambers Global (2024) and Chambers USA (2024) recognize Mr. Yannett as a Band 1 practitioner for FCPA matters. He is also noted by Chambers USA (2024) as a Band 1 practitioner for white collar criminal defense and by The Legal 500 Latin America (2024) for compliance and investigations in Latin America. Sources say that he is “a master in the field of significant government-facing matters” and that “he has unrivaled experience which he is able to package into very practical advice.” Clients also note that he is “a giant in the white-collar field,” “a true expert ... focused on finding practical solutions” and “he brings a certain depth of expertise and gravitas.” He is said to have “tremendous credibility with boards and government agencies,” he is “one of the best-known and most able advisers for potential criminal issues with the government,” and “he has extremely deep knowledge, is very smart and strategic, and is a pleasure to work with.” They praise his work as “excellent” and describe him as “a leading light” and a “very strong communicator and litigator.” In a similar vein, he is recognized by The Legal 500 US (2024), which includes him in its “Hall of Fame” and has called him a “superstar,” Lawdragon recognizes him as one of the 500 leading lawyers in America, and Benchmark Litigation names him a Litigation Star.

Mr. Yannett joined Debevoise in 1986. In 1987 and 1988, he served on the team of lawyers selected by Lawrence Walsh to investigate the Iran/Contra matter, acting as an Associate Counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel. From 1988 to 1992, he served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, where he was lead trial counsel in 20 jury trials ranging from bribery to murder. He also served in the Transnational and Major Crimes Unit, where he conducted investigations related to international terrorism, money laundering and sanctions violations. Mr. Yannett returned to Debevoise in 1992.

He is a member of the American Law Institute. Mr. Yannett is on the Board of Advisors for the New York University Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement. He previously served as Co-Chair of the ABA Litigation Section’s Task Force on Attorney-Client Privilege and as Co-Chair of the ABA’s Criminal Litigation Committee. He is admitted to appear before the Second, Tenth and D.C. Circuits; the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York; and the District of Columbia.

Mr. Yannett has written and lectured extensively on issues relating to white collar criminal defense and regulatory enforcement. He is an editor of the firm’s monthly FCPA Update and a current member of the Editorial Board of Global Investigations Review. Mr. Yannett co-authored a chapter on the FCPA in Defending Corporations & Individuals in Government Investigations, published in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2017 by West.

Mr. Yannett’s recent publications also include articles titled “DOJ Announces Initiative to Combat AI-Assisted Crime,” NYU PCCE (February, 2024); “SDNY Whistleblower Pilot Program Incentivizes Self-Disclosure and Cooperation,” NYU PCCE (February, 2024); “Beginning an Internal Investigation: The US Perspective,” Global Investigations Review (January, 2024); “Congress Passes Foreign Extortion Prevention Act, Targeting “Demand Side” of Foreign Bribery,” NYU PCCE (December, 2023); “Supreme Court Repudiates ‘Right-to-Control’ Theory Under the Federal Wire Fraud Statute,” NYU Compliance & Enforcement (May, 2023); “French Authorities Publish Guide on Anti-Corruption Internal Investigations,” NYU Compliance & Enforcement (April, 2023); "5th Circ. Ruling Leaves Open Questions On FCPA Liability,” Law360 (March, 2023); “Why Ethical AI Initiatives Need Help from Corporate Compliance,” NYU Compliance & Enforcement (April, 2022); “District Court Addresses Issues Arising from Corporate Investigations and Voluntary Cooperation with DOJ,” NYU Compliance & Enforcement (March, 2022); “Recommendations for Combating Bribery of Foreign Officials,” NYU Compliance & Enforcement Blog (December, 2021); “Election Effects on White-Collar Enforcement: What To Expect From a Biden DOJ,” New York Law Journal (December, 2020); “Compliance Tips Amid Rising Fraud Risk In Latin America,” Law360 (August, 2020); “Brazil Announces New Anti-Corruption Cooperation Framework; MPF’s 5th Chamber Opposes It,” Compliance & Enforcement (August, 2020); “Business Crime and Investigations in the United States,” Practical Law: Financial and Business Crime Global Guide (July, 2020); “The Future of Anti-Corruption Enforcement Involving Brazil and the United States” in Política (2019); and chapters titled “Beginning an Internal Investigation: The US Perspective” in The Practitioner's Guide to Global Investigations, Global Investigations Review (2023); “The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act” in Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts, Fourth Edition, Thompson Reuters (2019); “UK vs. US: an Analysis of Key DPA Terms and their Impact on Corporate Parties” in The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Business Crime 2019 9th Edition, Global Legal Group (2018); and “Crisis Management” in Successful Partnering Between Inside and Outside Counsel” Thompson Reuters Westlaw and the Association of Corporate Counsel (April, 2015).

Mr. Yannett received his B.A. magna cum laude from Brown University in 1980, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and earned his J.D. cum laude from New York University Law School in 1985, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif and was the executive editor of the New York University Law Review. From 1985 to 1986, he served as a law clerk to the Hon. Edward Weinfeld of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.


  • New York University School of Law, 1985, J.D.
  • Brown University, 1980, B.A.

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • District of Columbia