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 is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer who represents financial institutions, corporations, and individuals in white collar criminal defense and regulatory matters, internal investigations, complex civil litigation, and a range of other sensitive situations, throughout the US and internationally.
Mr. Naftalis is consistently recognized as a leading white collar and complex commercial litigator. He has been recognized by Chambers USA and The Legal 500 US in the areas of white collar criminal defense and government investigations. In 2016, he was named to Law360’s list of white collar Rising Stars and recognized as a Rising Star by the New York Law Journal. In 2012, he received the US Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service – the DOJ’s second highest award.
Mr. Naftalis has extensive experience appearing 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), among others. He advises clients in navigating 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. He regularly counsels clients across a spectrum of disciplines, 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 matters.
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, and led parallel civil enforcement proceedings with the SEC, CFTC, and other agencies. Mr. Naftalis also served as a member of the Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit, where he led many of the government’s highest-profile extraterritorial matters involving terrorism and national security, international money-laundering, and global narcotics trafficking. There, he coordinated regularly with US and foreign law-enforcement, intelligence services, and regulators.
Mr. Naftalis has tried eight federal jury trials and briefed and argued more than ten appeals before the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, including questions of first impression related to the extraterritorial reach of securities fraud prosecutions.
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. Mr. Naftalis continues to counsel leading and emerging technology companies.
Mr. Naftalis is a member of the New York City Bar’s White Collar Committee and a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.