DOUGLAS A. AXEL is a partner in Sidley’s Los Angeles office and is a member of the White Collar, Securities Enforcement and Regulatory, and Commercial Litigation and Disputes practices. A former federal prosecutor, Doug focuses his practice on white collar criminal defense, government enforcement matters, internal investigations and commercial litigation and disputes. He has prosecuted and defended individuals and corporations in a wide range of white collar and government enforcement matters, including matters involving the False Claims Act, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, securities fraud, insider trading, consumer protection, healthcare enforcement and antitrust.
Prior to joining Sidley, Doug was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Central District of California, where he served as the Chief of that Office’s Major Frauds Section. As Chief, he supervised 40 lawyers who investigated and prosecuted a wide range of business and other white-collar crimes, including corporate fraud, healthcare fraud, securities and investment fraud, financial fraud, government procurement fraud, tax fraud and public corruption offenses. As an AUSA, Doug personally prosecuted dozens of criminal white-collar cases. He was lead counsel in many criminal jury trials and argued several cases before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2009, he received an Attorney General’s Award for Fraud Prevention, one of the Department of Justice’s highest honors.
Doug has been recognized by Chambers USA for Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (2017–2022), with clients stating that he “is an excellent collaborator and people like working with him; he is calm under pressure and works well with others” (2021). He has consistently been named a “Best Lawyer” in The Best Lawyers in America (2013–2022) in the practice areas Criminal Defense: White-Collar, Criminal Defense: Non-White-Collar and Litigation-Securities. He was also featured in the Los Angeles Business Journal’s 2015 list of “Most Influential Lawyers: White Collar and Cyber Crime.” Doug earned his J.D., summa cum laude, from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and received a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of California – Los Angeles.