Carolyn Pelling Gurland

Partner, Chicago



Carolyn Gurland is a partner in the Global Commercial Litigation Practice Group and is based in the Chicago office. She focuses her practice on complex litigation and white collar criminal defense. Carolyn guides her clients through high-stakes lawsuits involving securities fraud, tax fraud, consumer fraud, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, insider trading, money laundering, and other white collar crime issues, including extradition proceedings.

Carolyn began her legal career at White & Case as an associate in the Firm's New York office. Following which, Carolyn practiced at a Chicago based firm, and then as a sole practitioner for a number of years representing clients on a variety of high-profile political and financial crime cases. She also previously served as Assistant District Attorney at the Office of the New York County District Attorney's Office in a specialized unit, "DANY Overseas," that prosecuted complex, high-profile financial crimes.

Bars and Courts
Illinois State Bar
New York State Bar
US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
Northwestern University
Law School
Georgetown University


Recent Experience:

Advisor to prominent Chinese manufacturing corporation in connection with a trademark lawsuit, including providing strategic advice on interface between trademark litigation and an existing antitrust litigation while serving as member of the trial team for antitrust case;

Act as chief litigation counsel to high-profile foreign bank in connection with a significant contract dispute;

Serve as lead trial attorney in significant Illinois-based False Claims Act case;

Act as lead trial counsel for lead defendant in ongoing, high-profile criminal case in the Northern District of Illinois;

Advise numerous private equity funds on litigation funding investments, including analysing all aspects of the underlying litigations in which they are contemplating investment;

Counsel to individual defendant in high-profile political prosecution challenging the United States' dealings with a foreign government, and attempting to invalidate the criminal indictment brought by the United States Department of Justice and local Federal Prosecutors based on a challenge to the United States' ability to assert extraterritorial jurisdiction against the defendant. Instituted proceedings on behalf of individual defendant in European Court of Rights based on abuses of his rights by the United States in cooperation with other governments;

Guided prominent Illinois physician through joint dealings with the United States Attorney's Office and the Securities and Exchange Commission in parallel criminal and civil proceedings related to allegations of insider trading;

Acted as chief counsel to private equity firm in connection with investigation of misconduct by the CEO and CFO of one of their portfolio companies; and

Conducted and managed investigation into alleged misconduct of an individual who the private equity client had selected to serve as CEO of a new portfolio company. 

Representative matters prior to joining White & Case include:

Represented a former financial engineer of a global investment firm who was charged with conspiracy, theft of trade secrets, and violations of the Economic Espionage Act for allegedly stealing source code. The criminal case was the highest profile trade secret case brought by the Chicago US Attorney's Office and only one of four cases under the Defense of Trade Secrets Act ("DTSA") before the Seventh Circuit;

Acted as lead trial counsel for an individual defending charges of bank fraud conspiracy. The case was successfully resolved based upon pre-trial motions challenging the evidence resulting in a probationary sentence and zero restitution for the client;

Represented an options trader in a criminal case involving allegations of improper trading activity in connection with complex options trading strategies. Successfully negotiated settlements with the CFTC and the CBOT;

Represented prominent infomercial star in high-profile federal trial involving charges of criminal contempt.

Acted on behalf of Grammy-winning rap singer, successfully preventing him from being charged with any misconduct;

Lead trial counsel for individual alleged to have engaged in fraud in the sale of security software. Successfully avoided federal criminal charges and then acted as lead trial counsel in an FTC case involving allegations of consumer fraud;

Acted as member of trial team in the first offshore tax case to proceed to trial in a case involving two prominent international banks. Allegations included false tax returns and failure to file FBARs for interest income on an account in India; and

Lead counsel in obtaining dismissal of copyright infringement lawsuit against client, a Japanese national, based on lack of personal jurisdiction.