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Jeffrey W. Willis

Partner, Executive Committee Member
T:404.420.4619
F:404.230.0978
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jwillis@rh-law.com
Best Lawyers
Super Lawyers - General
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Assistant

Connie May
Direct 404.954.7527
cmay@rh-law.com

Education

  • J.D., Vanderbilt University Law School, Executive Editor, Vanderbilt Law Review; Moot Court Board
  • B.A., magna cum laude, University of the South, Phi Beta Kappa; Guerry Award for English

Judicial Clerkships

Law Clerk, Harry W. Wellford, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Bar Admissions

  • Georgia

Languages

Overview

Jeff Willis is a partner in Rogers & Hardin’s litigation group. His practice is focused on representing clients in complex business litigation, securities litigation, securities regulatory and enforcement matters, and a broad range of other commercial disputes. Mr. Willis is recognized as a "Georgia Super Lawyer" and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America®.

Mr. Willis has experience in a variety of complex litigation, including lawsuits and arbitrations against broker-dealers and other financial institutions; securities class actions; litigation of contract including insurance coverage disputes, unfair competition and trade secret claims; employment claims; the defense of qui tam proceedings; and the representation of public companies and individuals in investigations and enforcement actions brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, self-regulatory organizations, and securities regulators of numerous states.

Mr. Willis also leads the firm's Deepwater Horizon Class Action Settlement group, supporting business clients in the filing of their claims to the fund.  He has spoken nationally on the claims process and is recognized as an authority on the subject.  The firm currently represents over forty Fortune 500 companies and eight Fortune 100 companies in the filing of their claims.

Mr. Willis is a member of the American Bar Association, the ABA’s Committee on Broker-Dealer Litigation, and the Securities Industry Association Compliance & Legal Division.

Mr. Willis is co-editor of the Annual ABA Broker-Dealer Litigation Survey. He is a former Chairman of the Elections Committee of the Atlanta Bar Association and in 2007 received that organization’s Distinguished Service Award. He has taught seminars on federal and state court local rules, the impact of the new federal rules governing electronic discovery, and litigation and compliance issues presented by complex investment products.

Mr. Willis earned a B.A. degree in political science from the University of the South, magna cum laude, and received his law degree from Vanderbilt University, where he served as Executive Editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review and on the Moot Court Board. Following graduation from law school, Mr. Willis clerked for the Honorable Harry W. Wellford of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Representative Experience

  • Successfully represented a former hedge-fund manager charged by the Atlanta U.S. Attorney's Office with an insider trading conspiracy, securities fraud, and wire fraud.  Client was acquitted and found not guilty on each of the 34 counts.
  • Representing underwriters in securities and RICO actions over offerings of mortgage-backed securities. Recently, on behalf of one such Atlanta-based underwriter, Mr. Willis obtained an early dismissal of an action brought in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
  • Representing national, regional and local financial institutions in connection with civil litigation and regulatory matters stemming from complex misappropriation and Ponzi schemes.
  • Defending national brokerage firms and other financial institutions in disputes brought by investors, including large individual claims as well as mass actions and other multi-claimant cases.
  • Representing companies and individuals under investigation by the SEC or state securities commissioners for potential violations of the securities laws, involving issues such as market manipulation, insider trading, and conflicts of interest.
  • Representing broker-dealers and their officers and employees in connection with inquiries and investigations by self-regulatory organizations including FINRA.
  • Advising broker-dealers and investment advisers on consumer contract, product disclosure, employment and compliance matters.
  • Defending public companies and individual officers in shareholder class actions brought under the federal securities laws, including claims under Sections 11 and 12 of the 1933 Act and Section 10 of the 1934 Act;
  • Prosecuting unfair competition lawsuits on behalf of major commercial airlines, resulting in permanent injunctive relief and large damages judgments.
  • Successfully defending a large medical services corporation against charges it had violated the federal False Claims Act.

Professional & Community Activities

  • Atlanta Bar Association (1990 - )
  • State Bar of Georgia (1990 - )
  • American Bar Association (1990 - )

Professional Recognition

  • The Best Lawyers in America® - listed as a "Best Lawyer" as selected by his peers.
  • Super Lawyers: including on their listing of leading Georgia lawyers in Business Litigation, Securities Litigation, Employment Litigation: Defense
  • 2007 Distinguished Service Award, Atlanta Bar Association
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