Patricia O’Prey


Location: 551 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10176
Phone: 212-661-5030
Fax: 212-687-2123
Email: Email Me
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Ms. O’Prey handles complex litigation, internal investigations and white collar criminal defense. She founded and led the internal investigations team at GE for the Alstom acquisition, GE’s largest acquisition in its history. This team played a critical role in terms of culture and risk management, managing more than 500 internal investigations in a two-year period and attempting to uncover acts of legal wrongdoing following the then largest FCPA fine in history (against Alstom). She led a team of 10 investigators globally and, thus, is attuned to the heightened risks and cultural sensitivities in conducting investigations in multiple jurisdictions. Her team investigated a wide range compliance concerns from FCPA, Controllership, Fraud, Theft to #metoo, discrimination, hostile work environment, sexual harassment, workplace violence and workplace safety investigations.

Before going in-house, she focused her career on complex civil litigation and on representing institutions and individuals that were subject to investigation by criminal or regulatory authorities (DOJ, SEC, FINRA). Ms. O’Prey’s clients ranged from a textile retailer to some of the most successful hedge funds in the US, including individuals and executives are financial institutions. She first-chaired a jury trial involving claims of copyright infringement and received a favorable verdict for her client. In addition to being an experienced litigator, she is a trained arbitrator and mediator.

Ms. O’Prey’s experience representing individuals and institutions in white collar matters is extensive, including representing the receiver in a Madoff-like scheme, representing the CEO of a major insurance company in an SEC investigation related to reinsurance, representing a hedge fund in a criminal prosecution for insider trading, representing numerous financial professionals in FINRA proceedings, and representing executives at a major bank in connection with an investigation into making of complex financial instruments.

She has extensive experience leading GE Capital’s and GE Alstom’s Open Reporting or whistleblowing programs, as well as serving as special counsel to Heads of Litigation, Chief Compliance Officers and Chief Executive Officers, ensuring that they have an independent review to provide comfort before they take action. She has led, rolled out, trained and monitored a global compliance program for a ~70,000 employee organization.

Ms. O’Prey represents a prominent independent school in a wide variety of matters, including employment, sexual assault, sexual harassment, workplace safety, workplace violence and Child Victims Act (CVA) litigation and investigations. Presently, Ms. O’Prey is advising a prominent independent school and small business in navigating the return to work during the COVID-19 public health emergency, addressing issues that arise under federal, New York and local laws and regulations.

Ms. O’Prey is an active leader in both the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation, and her alma mater, the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, currently serving on the Board of Governors.


The Honorable Melvin T. Brunetti, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Areas of Concentration:

  • Complex Litigation
  • Internal Investigations
  • White Collar & Regulatory Defense


  • B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz 1992, with honors
  • J.D., University of California, Hastings College of the Law 1996 cum laude, Thurston Honor Society Hastings Law Journal, Articles Editor

Bar Admissions:

  • New York
  • California (inactive)
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • Supreme Court of the United States of America


  • The Honorable Melvin T. Brunetti, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Awards and Affiliations:

  • American Bar Association, Section of Litigation Leader since 2001 – Member Diversity & Inclusion Committee (2017- present); co-chair Corporate Counsel Committee (2015-2017); co-chair ADR Committee (2014-15); co-chair Woman Advocate Committee (2011-14).
  • 2017 Above & Beyond Award from GE General Counsel as Co-Chair Outside Counsel Subcommittee of GE Legal Diversity & Inclusion Committee GE CEO Above & Beyond Award for Outstanding work on integration planning and execution
  • UC Hastings College of the Law, Board of Trustees, Member (2009-2012)
  • UC Hastings Commencement Committee, Member (2011-2012)
  • Hastings Organization of Women, New York, Co-Founder (2009-present)
  • Volunteer mediator for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York since 2011

Speaking Engagements:

  • ABA Section of Litigation, Women in Litigation Joint CLE Conference, November 13, 2019, What Keeps Your CCO Up At Night?
  • NAPABA Annual Meeting, September 21, 2019, Moderator, #MeToo Investigations
  • Maryland Bar Association, September 13, 2019, Legends of the Boardroom
  • ABA Section of Litigation, Corporate Counsel Committee, February 15-16, 2017, Moderator In-House Counsel Roundtable and Panelist Diversity & Inclusion Roundtable
  • Thompson Reuters, Risk, Ethics & Compliance Forum, November 2, 2016, Panelist, Corporate Investigations & Responding to Whistleblowing Reports
  • ABA Section of Litigation, Corporate Counsel Committee, Annual CLE meeting, February 2016, Moderator, In-house Counsel Roundtable Discussion
  • Westchester Association of Corporate Counsel, October 29, 2015, Panelist, Ask the Enforcers: Significant Trends & Greatest Risks in Global Commerce Today
  • ABA Women of the Section of Litigation Meeting, October 2014, Panelist, That’s Privileged, Isn’t It?
  • Thomson Reuters, 3rd Annual Corporate Whistleblowing Forum, September 2014, Moderator, Strategies for Detecting Wrongdoing — Model Internal Policies and Reporting Systems
  • ABA Section of Litigation Annual Conference 2013, April 25, 2013, Moderator, Working Without a Net: Walking the Tightrope of Corporate Representative Depositions
  • New York State Bar Association, Panel Member, “What Clients Want – Corporate Counsel’s Perspectives on Arbitration”, Fordham Law School, November 5, 2013
  • ABA Section of Litigation Annual Conference 2012, Moderator, Use a Mediator & Get Disbarred
  • National Association of Minority and Women-Owned Law Firms, Annual Conference 2012, Moderator, How to Prevent a Runaway Arbitration
  • ABA Section of Litigation Corporate Counsel Conference, February 2011, Moderator, How to Prevent a Runaway Arbitration