Nicholas J. Lewin

Nick Lewin represents individuals and institutions in criminal and regulatory enforcement actions, congressional investigations, and complex civil litigation. Nick co-founded the firm after serving for more than a decade as a federal prosecutor and senior FBI official — including as the Special Counsel to former FBI Directors Robert S. Mueller III and James B. Comey, and as Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

Nick is among the most accomplished national security prosecutors in the United States. He served as trial counsel in United States of America v. Usama bin Laden et al., and conducted many of the most significant international terrorism jury trials since 9/11, including:

  • The senior-most al Qaeda leader prosecuted in any court, Usama bin Laden’s son-in-law (U.S. v. Sulaiman Abu Ghayth);
  • The founding al Qaeda member who led its terrorist training camp in Afghanistan and its cell in East Africa (U.S. v. Khalid al Fawwaz); and
  • The only former Guantánamo Bay and CIA black site detainee to be transferred to federal court, where he was tried for his role in the August 7, 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania (U.S. v. Ahmad Ghailani).

Nick also helped lead the investigations into: the theft and leak of highly-classified information regarding CIA cyber-operations; the September 2016 bombings in New York and New Jersey; and the apprehension and prosecution of one of the FBI’s most-wanted terrorists, who was captured abroad in a coordinated operation conducted by U.S. Special Operations Forces. In 2009, Nick served as one of the original members of the interagency Guantánamo Review Task Force, which was established by President Obama to assess, among other things, which Guantánamo Bay detainees could be prosecuted in an Article III court.

As a federal prosecutor, Nick also led the investigations of a wide array of highly sensitive cases involving espionage, counterintelligence, the Foreign Agents Registration Act, sanctions violations, international bank fraud, money laundering, violent crime and cybercrime. These included the successful prosecutions of a private banker involved in an international bank fraud, and one of the first national-security cyber cases brought in the Southern District of New York. As Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, Nick participated in a variety of criminal and national security investigations, and served as the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s coordinator for international and cross-border investigations.

Nick has tried a dozen federal jury trials, and has briefed and argued numerous appeals in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Nick also served as the Special Counsel for former FBI Directors Robert S. Mueller, III and James B. Comey. In that capacity, Nick acted as each Director’s national security advisor on policy, strategic, and operational issues. He regularly represented the FBI at senior-level White House National Security Council meetings, and prepared the Director, Attorney General and other senior FBI and Justice Department executives for testimony before Congress.

Nick has received awards and recognitions from foreign governments as well as from various agencies in the U.S. government, including: the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the Department of Defense’s Joint Special Operations Command, and multiple awards from the Department of Justice, including twice winning the Director’s Award for superior litigation, as well as the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award — the Justice Department’s second-highest honor.

Nick has lectured at a variety of universities and law schools, including the United States Military Academy at West Point, NYU School of Law and Columbia Law School, and served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he taught a seminar of Federal Criminal Litigation.

Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Nick practiced at Lankler Siffert & Wohl LLP, where he represented clients in civil and criminal litigation, including obtaining summary judgment in favor of a consortium of major banks in litigation regarding a $2 billion credit facility.

Nick served as a law clerk to the Honorable Dennis Jacobs, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the Honorable Charles S. Haight, Jr., Senior U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York. Prior to law school, Nick was selected as a Presidential Management Fellow, and worked in the U.S. Department of Justice, and as an Associate Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council.

Education:

J.D., Yale Law School, 2004
M.P.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1998
B.A., Binghamton University (SUNY), 1996

Clerkships:

Hon. Dennis Jacobs, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (2006-2007)

Hon. Charles S. Haight, Jr., U.S. District Judge, SDNY (2004-2005)

Government Service:

Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office, SDNY (2007-2017)
  Deputy Chief, Criminal Division (2017)

Special Counsel to FBI Directors Robert S. Mueller III and James B. Comey (2012-2013)

Guantánamo Detainee Review Task Force (2009)

Associate Director, White House Council on Youth Violence (2000-2001)

Presidential Management Fellow, U.S. Department of Justice (1998-2001)

Admissions:

New York

U.S. District Court, SDNY

U.S. District Court, EDNY

U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit