Benjamin Naftalis is the Global Vice Chair of the White Collar Defense & Investigations Practice and a partner in the Litigation & Trial Department of Latham & Watkins.
A former federal prosecutor, Mr. Naftalis is a trial 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.
Prior to joining Latham, Mr. Naftalis served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York from 2006 to 2014. As a member of the Southern District’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force, Mr. Naftalis investigated and prosecuted a wide range of white collar matters related to insider trading, accounting fraud, market manipulation and pump-and-dump schemes, broker-dealer and investment advisor fraud, mismarking of securities, dark pools, high-frequency trading, and cryptocurrencies.
As a member of the Southern District’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit, Mr. Naftalis led many of the government’s highest-profile extraterritorial investigations involving terrorism and national security, international money-laundering, and global narcotics trafficking that targeted senior al Qaeda and al Shabaab operatives and narcotics kingpins. He has deep experience conducting investigations in parallel with US and foreign law-enforcement, intelligence services, and regulators, including the FBI, SEC, CFTC, FINRA, OFAC, DEA’s Special Operations Division, Department of Defense, Department of State, and High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group.
Mr. Naftalis is also an experienced first-chair trial and appellate lawyer. He has tried eight federal jury trials, and briefed and argued more than 10 appeals before the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, including addressing questions of first impression related to challenges to the extraterritorial reach of securities fraud prosecutions.
Mr. Naftalis is 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 Rising Stars in the White Collar area, and recognized as a Rising Star by the New York Law Journal. In 2012, Mr. Naftalis received the US Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service — the Department of Justice’s second highest award.
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, a technology company later acquired by Google.
Mr. Naftalis is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.