Michael Pauze

King & Spalding LLP

$ $$$

Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest 1700
Washington 20006 DC US

Michael R. Pauzé defends clients in high-stakes government investigations, enforcement proceedings and parallel civil litigation. A former federal prosecutor, Michael regularly represents accounting and financial services firms, life sciences companies, and their boards and professionals in sensitive investigations and hotly disputed trials.

Michael recently was selected by national legal periodicals as among the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America and MVP of the Year for white-collar criminal defense, recognizing him as among an “the best in breed for the coveted and in-demand, yet increasingly rare, art of trial law” with “hard-earned success in high-stakes litigation.”

Michael’s practice focuses on regulatory and financial investigations by U.S. law enforcement agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service; U.S. regulatory agencies, including the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Food & Drug Administration, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; as well as congressional subcommittees.

Michael has considerable experience representing accounting firms in regulatory and congressional investigations, as well as securities litigation. He has represented firms on three continents in U.S. and cross-border regulatory investigations, quietly resolving more than two dozen SEC, PCAOB and CFTC investigations with no enforcement action.

Michael also represents life science companies in investigations of anti-kickback, off-label promotion and false claims matters. He served as lead trial counsel for Vascular Solutions, Inc., a publicly traded medical device company, in a groundbreaking federal criminal trial involving off-label promotion charges. After a five-year investigation and a three-week trial, the Texas jury acquitted the company and its CEO of all charges. The CEO observed that Michael “personally shouldered the stakes and injustice with tireless grace.”

Michael is a trial lawyer, having served as lead counsel in trials across the country. For 2018 and 2019, Benchmark Litigation ranked Michael as among the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America, an “elite group of practitioners” who “were recognized as the best in breed for the coveted and in-demand, yet increasingly rare, art of trial law based upon peer and client review as well as these attorneys’ lead role in spearheading some of the most high-stakes and high-profile cases to make their way to the trial level.”

Michael brings to bear over two decades of experience, including a dozen years trying cases for the Justice Department. As a Deputy Chief and Assistant U.S. Attorney, and trial attorney with the Enron Task Force, he supervised and personally conducted hundreds of investigations, and served as lead trial counsel in 16 federal jury trials involving regulatory, tax, financial and other offenses.


  • J.D., Vanderbilt University School of Law
  • B.S., Indiana University


  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland


  • Instructor, IRS Criminal Investigation Training Academy
  • Lecturer, Justice Department’s National Advocacy Center


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Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest 1700
Washington 20006 DC US
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Broadway 42
New York 10006 NY US