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Eric A. Tirschwell, Co-chair of the White Collar Defense and Investigations Group, has a long and successful record of defending corporate executives and public and private companies in criminal and regulatory investigations, trials and parallel civil litigation. Drawing on more than 20 years of experience as both a defense lawyer and a federal prosecutor, Mr. Tirschwell represents clients in matters involving the U.S. Attorney’s offices, the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the New York Attorney General and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He has handled cases raising allegations of securities fraud, insider trading, accounting fraud, tax fraud, bid rigging, health care fraud, forfeiture, money laundering, public corruption, extortion, and unfair and deceptive business practices. He also has conducted numerous internal investigations for large and small companies and nonprofits on a range of issues, including violations of company policies and procedures, whistleblower claims, allegations of retaliation, and violations of criminal and civil regulatory laws.
Mr. Tirschwell represented Bear Stearns/JPMorgan Chase in federal regulatory investigations and civil proceedings focused on securities fraud allegations arising out of the collapse of two hedge funds, persuading the government not to bring any corporate criminal charges and winning dismissal at summary judgment of a related multibillion-dollar CDO lawsuit in federal court. Some of his other notable recent representations include defending a major investment bank against a joint Department of Justice and SEC insider trading probe (no charges brought against the bank), representing a hedge fund executive in a criminal securities fraud trial (all charges dismissed on appeal), and representing a private investment management firm in an internal investigation and DOJ criminal antitrust prosecution (no charges against the firm after multi-year investigation).
Mr. Tirschwell’s work on behalf of clients also includes litigating complex business and constitutional issues in both federal and state courts. He has tried cases relating to business breakups, served as co-lead counsel in a federal civil forfeiture trial and appeal relating to 1933 Double Eagle gold coins, and authored numerous appellate and U.S. Supreme Court briefs in criminal cases and on First Amendment Establishment Clause issues.
Mr. Tirschwell is co-author of the widely used textbook The Practice of Federal Criminal Law and has published extensively on criminal practice. He served for many years by appointment to the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s Practitioners Advisory Group (including as national Chair), has represented numerous clients in federal sentencing proceedings and appeals, and has testified on multiple occasions before the U.S. Sentencing Commission.
Earlier in his career Mr. Tirschwell served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and supervisor in the Eastern District of New York, representing the government as lead prosecutor in hundreds of criminal cases ranging from securities, mortgage and mail fraud to money laundering, embezzlement and international narcotics trafficking. For his work in successfully prosecuting stock fraud in the Stratton Oakmont boiler room case (featured in the film The Wolf of Wall Street), Mr. Tirschwell received the Department of Justice’s Director’s Award for Superior Performance as a federal prosecutor.
Mr. Tirschwell chairs the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. In 2015 he received the New York Law Journal’s “Lawyers Who Lead by Example” award in the category of Pro Bono. He led a high-profile federal constitutional challenge to a Florida law that shut down voter registration efforts by nonpartisan groups. For its “singular achievement” in this case – the first to hold that private voter registration drives are protected by the First Amendment – Kramer Levin received The National Law Journal's Pro Bono Award. Mr. Tirschwell was also honored with Her Justice’s Commitment to Justice Award for spearheading the firm’s work representing victims of domestic violence.