Latham & Watkins Adds Former Southern District of New York Prosecutor as White Collar Litigation Partner in New York

Former federal prosecutor brings extensive government experience in securities laws, financial markets, and international money laundering.

January 26, 2015

Latham & Watkins LLP1 is pleased to announce that Benjamin A. Naftalis has joined the firm’s New York office as a partner in the Litigation Department. His practice will focus on white collar investigations and litigation and regulatory enforcement matters.

Naftalis joins Latham & Watkins after more than eight years as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. At the US Attorney’s Office, Naftalis tried eight federal jury trials, and briefed and argued more than ten appeals before the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. For the past two years, Naftalis was a member of the Southern District’s prestigious Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force, investigating and prosecuting a wide range of white collar offenses, including securities and commodities fraud, investment adviser and broker-dealer fraud, insider-trading, mail and wire fraud, Ponzi schemes, market manipulation and pump-and-dump schemes, mismarking of securities, abusive high-frequency trading practices, and Bitcoin-related fraud. Among other cases, Naftalis successfully prosecuted Alberto Vilar and Gary Tanaka for securities and investment adviser fraud and related charges related to the $8 billion Amerindo hedge fund.

For four years, Naftalis also served in the Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit, where he led investigations and prosecutions involving terrorism and national security, arms-trafficking, international money-laundering, and global narcotics trafficking. In 2012, Naftalis received the United States Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service – the Department of Justice’s second highest award – for his extraordinary work related to the successful prosecution of Ahmed Warsame, an al Shabaab commander and emissary to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula on terrorism charges.

Naftalis’ litigation and regulatory experience aligns with the firm’s White Collar Defense & Investigations Practice Group, which includes former prosecutors and supervisors from the US Department of Justice, US Securities and Exchange Commission, and other government agencies, plus dedicated trial lawyers who regularly try defense-side cases. With more than 30 full-time white collar partners worldwide, the practice has the experience, reputation and knowledge of the inner workings of government agencies necessary to broker favorable resolutions, along with unmatched trial experience to protect clients’ rights.

Jimmy Brandt, Office Managing Partner of Latham & Watkins in New York, said: “As we continue to grow our New York litigation practice and our presence in the white collar market, Ben will substantially augment our team by adding a well-respected federal prosecutor with extensive experience in securities laws and the financial markets.”

Richard Owens, Local Department Chair of the Litigation Department in the New York office of Latham & Watkins, added: “Ben is highly respected among his peers within the Office, and within the defense bar in New York, for his keen intelligence, his skills as an advocate, and his excellent judgment.”

Naftalis said: “Latham & Watkins presents a unique opportunity to join a global firm with an established and growing white collar practice, where I will have the privilege of working alongside some of the finest litigators in the field. Given the firm’s existing client relationships and global platform, I look forward to building an active national practice over the coming years.”

Naftalis graduated, magna cum laude, from Brown University in 1999, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his law degree from Columbia Law School in 2004, where he was a James Kent Scholar and a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. Prior to joining the US Attorney’s Office, Naftalis clerked for Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York and for Judge Dennis Jacobs of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

About Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins is a global law firm with approximately 2,100 lawyers in its offices located in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States, including: Abu Dhabi, Barcelona, Beijing, Boston, Brussels, Century City, Chicago, Doha, Dubai, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Munich, New Jersey, New York, Orange County, Paris, Riyadh, Rome, San Diego, San Francisco, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. For more information on Latham & Watkins, please visit the website at

Notes to Editor

1Latham & Watkins operates as a limited liability partnership worldwide with affiliated limited liability partnerships conducting the practice in the United Kingdom, France and Italy and affiliated partnerships conducting the practice in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. Latham & Watkins practices in Saudi Arabia in association with the Law Office of Salman M. Al-Sudairi.


Jimmy Brandt, Office Managing Partner, New York +1.212.906.1278

Richard Owens, Chair of the Litigation Department, New York +1.212.906.1396


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