Benjamin A. Naftalis

  • Partner
  • Ebenjamin.naftalis@lw.com
  • 1271 Avenue of the Americas
  • New York, NY 10020
  • USA
  • T +1.212.906.1713
  •  
 

Profile

Benjamin Naftalis is the Global Vice Chair of the White Collar Defense & Investigations Practice and a partner in the Litigation & Trial Department.

A former federal prosecutor, Mr. Naftalis represents companies, boards, and executives in government and internal investigations, regulatory enforcement matters, high-profile disputes, and other sensitive situations throughout the US and internationally. 

Mr. Naftalis is consistently recognized by Chambers USA and The Legal 500 US in the area of white collar defense and investigations. In 2016, he was named a Law360 white collar Rising Star and a Rising Star by the New York Law Journal. In 2012, he received the US Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service – DOJ’s second highest award.

Mr. Naftalis has broad experience before a wide range of US regulators, including the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). He advises clients navigate allegations of securities and corporate fraud, insider trading, market manipulation, sanctions, money laundering, accounting and healthcare fraud, and international bribery and corruption.

Mr. Naftalis maintains an extensive civil litigation practice, including business disputes in federal and state courts and securities litigation.

Mr. Naftalis also regularly counsels private equity firms and hedge funds in deal-related diligence, trading, litigation, and regulatory compliance.

From 2006 to 2014, Mr. Naftalis served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York. As a member of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force, he investigated and prosecuted a wide range of federal securities and commodities fraud offenses. As a member of the Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit, he led many of the government’s highest-profile extraterritorial matters involving terrorism and national security, and international money-laundering and narcotics trafficking.

Mr. Naftalis has tried eight federal jury trials and briefed and argued over ten appeals before the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Prior to joining the US Attorney’s Office, Mr. Naftalis clerked for Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York and Judge Dennis Jacobs of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He began his career as a corporate development analyst at DoubleClick, later acquired by Google. He continues to counsel leading and emerging technology companies.

Mr. Naftalis is a member of the New York City Bar’s White Collar Committee, a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a member of Latham’s global steering committee of its Women Enriching Business (WEB) initiative.

Experience

Mr. Naftalis has represented clients in a range of matters, including:

Financial Fraud
  • A global financial institution in a multi-jurisdictional sanctions and money laundering investigation
  • A global financial institution in a European Commission cartel investigation related to foreign exchange (FX) trading (no action pursued)
  • A global financial institution in a regulatory investigation related to equity research (resulting in a full declination)
  • A defense supply contractor in a DOJ investigation (resulting in a full declination)
  • A broker-dealer in a regulatory inquiry of options trading
  • A global accounting firm in an SEC investigation related to a public company audit
  • An international insurance broker in foreign bribery investigations by DOJ and UK Serious Fraud Office
  • Nissan in DOJ and SEC investigations relating to alleged misconduct by its former CEO Carlos Ghosn
  • The Special Committee of a NASDAQ-listed company in fraud investigations related to a de-SPAC
  • Funko, Inc. in dismissals of federal and state securities class actions related to its IPO and derivative actions
  • A SaaS company in an SEC investigation and federal securities class action related to non-GAAP accounting metrics
  • A private equity firm in a securities class action and related regulatory inquiry
Healthcare Fraud
  • Pacira in criminal and civil DOJ investigations of off-label marketing and anti-kickback allegations
  • A leading pharmaceutical distributor in criminal and civil controlled substances investigations by DOJ
Individuals
  • An automotive engineer in successfully resolving a DOJ investigation related to the “Dieselgate” scandal (no action pursued)
  • The founder of a leading cryptocurrency firm before the DOJ, CFTC, and other regulators
  • A public company general counsel in an accounting fraud prosecution brought by the US Attorney’s Office for Southern District of New York and SEC (no action pursued)
  • A former board chair in an insider trading prosecution brought by the US Attorney’s Office for Southern District of New York and SEC
  • Employees of a global financial institution related to FX trading
Complex Civil Litigation
  • A pharmaceutical company in a post-acquisition civil dispute
  • The principal investors in a fantasy sports company in successfully resolving multiple investigations and related litigation
  • A movie production company in civil and regulatory matters
  • A leading petrochemical company in a contractual dispute related to an infrastructure project
  • An international intergovernmental organization in various arbitration matters

Thought Leadership

  • Under Investigation: A GC Guide to White Collar and Sanctions Trends in 2021 -  March 29, 2021
  • FinCEN Looks to Rein In Cryptocurrency Transactions -  January 14, 2021
  • Second Circuit Affirms SEC’s Bank Secrecy Act Powers -  January 08, 2021
  • The Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020: 5 Key Takeaways -  January 05, 2021
  • DOJ’s Evolving Framework for Cryptocurrency Enforcement -  October 16, 2020
  • US Supreme Court Decisions in Presidential Subpoena Cases: Implications for Private Parties -  July 27, 2020
  • COVID-19: Due Diligence Considerations for M&A Transactions -  May 13, 2020
  • Caring for the CARES Act: The New Oversight and Investigations Landscape for COVID-19 Relief Programs -  April 20, 2020
  • Second Circuit Reinforces FCPA’s Jurisdictional Limits -  August 29, 2018
  • Supreme Court: SEC ALJs Are Officers Subject to Constitution’s Appointments Clause -  July 12, 2018
  • Second Circuit Denies Rehearing on Decision Barring Testimony Compelled by Foreign Governments -  December 13, 2017
  • DOJ Expands and Codifies Policy Incentivizing Corporations to Voluntarily Self-Disclose FCPA Violations -  November 30, 2017
  • Deputy Attorney General Announces Comprehensive Review of DOJ Corporate Enforcement Policies -  October 12, 2017
  • Department of Justice Announces Review of Media Subpoena Policies -  August 28, 2017
  • Second Circuit: Fifth Amendment Bars Testimony Compelled by Foreign Governments  -  July 31, 2017
  • DOJ Announces Secondment to UK’s Corruption Prosecutor -  June 05, 2017
  • DOJ Announces Continuation and Ongoing Review of FCPA Pilot Program -  March 24, 2017
  • CFTC Releases New Enforcement Cooperation Guidelines -  February 14, 2017
  • Supreme Court Revisits Insider-Trading Liability -  December 09, 2016
  • Bitcoin Again Held to Be “Funds” for Federal Money Transmitting Purposes -  September 23, 2016
  • Virtual Currencies: Court Rules that Selling Bitcoin Is Not Money Transmitting and Selling Bitcoin to Criminals Is Not a Crime -  August 31, 2016
  • Cryptocurrency: A Primer -  August 24, 2016
  • FIA L&C Division Webinar: The Other Side of the Coin: Bitcoin, Blockchain, Regulation and Enforcement -  March 24, 2016
  • Cryptocurrency: A Primer -  March 09, 2016
  • What You Need to Know About the Cybersecurity Act of 2015 -  February 18, 2016
  • Perspective on Ground-Breaking Settlement Between Pacira and the FDA -  February 08, 2016
  • Lessons From Latham & Watkins’ Representation of Pacira Pharmaceuticals in Ground-Breaking Settlement With FDA -  January 05, 2016
  • Enforcement Trends in Cryptocurrency -  December 28, 2015
  • Enforcement Trends in Cryptocurrency -  December 09, 2015
  • Derivatives Regulation Five Years After Dodd-Frank -  December 02, 2015
  • Regulating Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies -  October 01, 2015
  • Cryptocurrencies Are Commodities: CFTC’s First Bitcoin Enforcement Action -  September 20, 2015
  • DOJ Guidance Prioritizes Individuals in Criminal and Civil Corporate Enforcement Actions -  September 15, 2015
  • The Circuits Are Split: Are Tangible Benefits Required for Insider Trading Liability? -  July 10, 2015
  • Expanding FIRREA Liability for Financial Institutions: Recent Second Circuit Developments -  June 15, 2015

According to sources:
“He has the charisma and presence that engineers great results for his clients.”
“Hands-on, supportive, timely and I can always count on him to dive right in.”
“He is rock star smart.”
“He is so focused on client needs, there is no 'me' in it at all, and that makes him exceptional.”

Chambers USA 2021
Bar Qualification
  • New York
Education
  • JD, Columbia University School of Law, 2004
    James Kent Scholar; Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
  • AB, Brown University, 1999
    Phi Beta Kappa; magna cum laude
Industries
  • Entertainment, Sports & Media
  • Financial Institutions
  • Fintech
Practices
  • White Collar Defense & Investigations
  • Securities Litigation & Professional Liability
  • Litigation & Trial Practice
  • Complex Commercial Litigation
  • Commodities and Derivatives Regulation and Enforcement