Alexander L. Cheney is a partner in the Litigation Department. He represents clients in a variety of high stakes, complex commercial litigation matters in state and federal courts across the country, with an emphasis on corporate governance and control disputes, shareholder derivative actions, and securities litigation. He also regularly advises boards of directors on corporate governance issues and companies on internal and government investigations. Alex’s clients include startups and Fortune 500 companies from many different industries, including technology, media, and financial services.

Prior to joining Willkie’s San Francisco office, Alex was a partner in the Firm’s New York office. He was named a Future Star by Benchmark Litigation (2022-24).


  • Legal 500 U.S., Recommended Lawyer, Dispute Resolution: General Commercial Disputes, 2024
  • Benchmark Litigation, Future Star (California), 2024

Alex’s representative litigation and counseling matters include:

Corporate Governance and Control

  • Okla. Firefighters Pension & Retirement Sys., et al. v. Corbat, et al. (Del Ch.): Represented board of directors of Citigroup in derivative litigation alleging failure to comply with anti-money laundering laws.
  • Himstreet v. Scharf, et al. (N.D. Cal.; Cal. Super.): Representing board of directors of Wells Fargo & Company in derivative litigation alleging failure of oversight.
  • Graulich v. CBS Corporation (Del. Ch.): Represented CBS Corporation in litigation by shareholder seeking to compel production of books and records related to allegations of wrongdoing by Leslie Moonves.
  • Jacksonville Police and Fire Pension Fund v. Ergen, et al. (Nev. Dist. Ct.): Represented Charles Ergen, founder and chairman of DISH Network, in derivative litigation alleging breaches of fiduciary duty and usurpation of a corporate opportunity.
  • Sarissa Capital Domestic Fund LP, et al. v. Innoviva, Inc. (Del Ch.): Advised Sarissa Capital in connection with a proxy contest and in related litigation involving pharmaceutical company Innoviva.
  • Represented investment funds in litigation before the Delaware Court of Chancery and the Delaware Supreme Court regarding validity and application of advance notice bylaws.

Other Complex Commercial Litigation Matters

  • Oto Analytics, Inc. d/b/a Womply v. Capital Plus Financial, LLC et al. (N.D. Tex.): Representing Womply, a technology company that provided services to lenders during the Paycheck Protection Program, in litigation against a lender for fraud, tortious interference with contracts, conspiracy, and other wrongdoing.
  • L-5 Healthcare Partners, LLC v. Alphatec Holdings, Inc. (Del. Ch.): Representing L-5 Healthcare Partners, LLC, in litigation to enforce its preemptive rights under a share purchase agreement.
  • Age Group, Ltd. V. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (N.Y. Sup.): Represented Martha Stewart Living in litigation arising out of a licensing agreement for the development of Martha Stewart branded pet products.
  • eCORP Int’l, LLC, et al. v. Texican Natural Gas Co., et al. (Tex. Dist. Ct.): Representing Enstor Gas, a natural gas storage company, in action alleging theft of trade secrets.
  • Advised SaaS company in connection with alleged breaches of uptime commitments.


  • Representing Womply in connection with an investigation by the U.S. House of Representatives Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis into fraud, waste, and abuse in the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • Represented UBS employee in an internal investigation into LIBOR.
  • Retained by companies to conduct confidential investigations into allegations of misconduct by corporate officers and employees.

Securities Litigation

  • Construction Laborers Pension Trust for S. Cal. v. CBS Corporation, et al. (S.D.N.Y): Representing CBS Corporation in a putative class action alleging securities violations related to allegations of wrongdoing by former CEO Leslie Moonves.

Bankruptcy Litigation

  • Bankruptcy of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (D. P.R.): Represented Agent for the Puerto Rico Sales Tax Financing Corporation (COFINA) in dispute over ownership of $20 billion in tax proceeds, which The Wall Street Journal called “one of the thorniest conflicts in Puerto Rico’s unprecedented, court-supervised bankruptcy.”
  • In re Sanchez Energy Corp., et al. (Bankr. S.D. Tex.): Representing secured noteholders and DIP lenders in litigation against unsecured creditor committee over control of the post-emergence company.
  • In re Pace Industries, LLC (Bankr. D. Del.): Successfully defeated shareholder’s motion seeking to dismiss the chapter 11 proceedings of Pace Industries, setting new precedent in Delaware on the fiduciary obligations of shareholders with blocking rights.
  • In re Lightsquared, Inc. (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.): Represented Charles Ergen, the founder and controlling stockholder of Dish Network, in the LightSquared bankruptcy, which has been described as “one of the longest and most litigious bankruptcies in recent years.”



Columbia Law School, J.D., 2007 Boston College, B.A., 2002

Bar Admissions

California, 2014 New York, 2008

Court Admissions

United States Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit, 2015 United States Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit, 2015 United States District Court, Eastern District of New York, 2012 United States District Court, Southern District of New York, 2012 United States District Court, Northern District of California, 2020