David G. Hetzel


David Hetzel is a senior partner in the firm’s Global Litigation Practice and co-chairs the firm’s Energy Litigation Group. He has represented energy companies and other corporate clients in complex commercial litigation and class action cases, including cases sounding in securities fraud, business torts, toxic torts, breach of contract and environmental claims. Mr. Hetzel has also represented Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies, as well as individuals, in investigations into allegations of a wide range of civil and criminal conduct and has represented special litigation committees of corporate boards in the investigation of claims made in connection with shareholder derivative actions. A former Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, Mr. Hetzel is an experienced trial lawyer in both civil and criminal cases and has handled over 20 appellate matters in various federal and state courts.

Representative Matters

  • Defense of securities fraud claims against a Fortune 100 client arising from the sale of a subsidiary’s stock to an international company. Dismissal of case on summary judgment was later upheld by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals;
  • Defense of a 10b-5 securities fraud action against a large energy company arising from the private sale of a high-tech subsidiary;
  • Representation of a Fortune 500 company in a major AAA arbitration concerning a disputed allocation of liability for the remediation and decontamination of a retired nuclear site formerly owned by the client;
  • Defense of a Fortune 100 company in a series of toxic tort claims in federal and state court involving approximately 350 plaintiffs seeking significant personal injury damages for alleged pulmonary and other lung-related diseases caused by air emissions from a nearby industrial facility;
  • Representation of an international company in a Canadian toxic tort class action consisting of all past, present and future owners, tenants and residents of certain neighborhoods alleging health impacts and property damage caused by emissions from a nearby smelting facility;
  • Representation of an energy company in the defense of a shareholders’ securities fraud class action. The case was dismissed by the trial court on motion and a dismissal with prejudice was later ordered by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals;
  • Representation of a life insurance company in the defense of a federal “market conduct” class action case. The case settled on favorable terms after class certification was defeated;
  • Representation of a large manufacturer in the defense of simultaneous consumer class action cases in Philadelphia with a potential class size of 600,000. Settled both cases within six months of filing at minimal cost to client;
  • Representation of the Special Litigation Committee of the Board of Directors of a Fortune 50 company in the investigation of certain allegations and demands made by a shareholder as a prelude to shareholder derivative litigation;
  • Representation of a large energy company in connection with parallel criminal and civil investigations of commodities trading practices by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice;
  • Representation of corporate clients in the conduct of numerous internal investigations of alleged criminal conduct by corporate employees. The matters investigated have ranged from allegations of fraud, bribery and kickbacks to customs violations and environmental crimes;
  • Representation of a large merchant shipping company in connection with alleged violations of maritime, international, and other laws investigated by the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office;
  • Representation of a property and casualty insurance company with respect to insurance coverage issues relating to scores of business interruption and property damage claims arising from the events of September 11, 2001;
  • Representation of a large manufacturer of computer equipment in prosecution of claims to protect its trade secrets and enforce its non-compete agreements; and 
  • Representation of a former state housing official indicted by a federal grand jury on bribery and obstruction of justice charges in connection with the Office of Independent Counsel investigation of alleged corruption at HUD. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury found the defendant “not guilty” on all counts.

Selected Activities

  • Member, American Bar Association, New York State Bar Association
  • Lecturer on civil litigation issues


  • University of Virginia School of Law, 1975, J.D.
  • Dartmouth College, 1972, A.B., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Rufus Choate Scholar

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
  • Various federal district and circuit courts