Michael B. Himmel Partner and Chair, Litigation Department, Chair, White Collar Criminal Defense Practice

New YorkNew Jersey
T 646.414.6904; 973.597.6172 | F 973.597.6173

Few choices are more important to a company or individual than the counsel they select when faced with a government investigation, potential indictment, or trial. Michael’s significant experience defending entities and individuals in high-profile, bet-the-company matters makes him a clear choice when so much is at stake. His clients benefit from his years of experience on both sides of the courtroom, as well as his deep-rooted commitment to the successful outcome of each matter he handles.

Michael’s national white collar practice includes matters involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, criminal antitrust matters, health care fraud, securities fraud, tax fraud, and political corruption, as well as internal investigations. His clients have included private and public corporations in various industries, including life sciences and the financial sector, officers and directors of private and public corporations, professionals, and state and federal officials.

Chambers USA ranks Michael in Band 1 in White Collar Crime and Criminal Investigations, stating that he “receives extensive praise from commentators, who describe him as ‘brilliant, direct, and tenacious,’ while also noting that he ‘understands legal strategy and is exceptionally able.’”

Michael’s broad experience in white collar criminal matters, including trial, has resulted in his retention in many sophisticated civil litigation matters involving securities and corporate litigation. He frequently represents plaintiffs in securities class actions and has reached settlements for his clients ranging from $84 million to $1.3 billion.
Michael served as an Assistant District Attorney in Bronx County, New York, and an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, where he was involved in the prosecution and conviction of a New Jersey state senator, a former speaker of the state legislature, and a number of union officials. He currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey and is a member of the Federal Bar Council, Second Circuit.

Representative Engagements

White Collar & Government Investigations
  • Successfully represented numerous entities accused of FCA and FCPA violations. For example, recently secured a deferred prosecution agreement for a global company that provides engineering and environmental consulting services to various federal, state, regional and local governmental and quasi-governmental agencies. The case was initially brought as an FCA Qui Tam matter, which led to an investigation of alleged FCPA violations. The lead enforcement agencies were the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney's office for the District of New Jersey.
  • Successfully represented numerous individuals in the banking and securities industries who were the targets of investigations conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice and the SEC. Michael is currently representing a client in connection with an SEC investigation concerning the potential mismanagement and/or misappropriation of funds of a multibillion-dollar international hedge fund.
  • Successfully represented numerous individuals investigated for alleged insider trading violations.
  • Successfully represented numerous clients in federal antitrust investigations.
  • Successfully represented individuals who were the subjects of alleged tax-fraud violations.
  • Successfully represented individuals in political corruption investigations and prosecutions.
  • Successfully represented many individuals and entities in connection with Bernard L. Madoff-related investigations. For example, Michael is currently representing an agency of a foreign state in defending against a bankruptcy adversary proceeding arising from the Madoff Investment Securities recovery.
Business Litigation
  • Successfully represented partner in business dispute concerning large apartment complex, successfully obtaining judgment in excess of $50 million against defendant managing partner for civil racketeering offenses, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and breaches of the partnership agreement and partnership law.
  • Successfully represented several Fortune 100 companies in Qui Tam cases.
  • Successfully represented institutional investors as plaintiffs in the civil prosecution of securities fraud cases.
  • Successfully represented national and regional law firms as defendants in legal malpractice cases.

Other Distinctions

  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2004–2017) – Ranked in Band 1 as a leading individual in the white collar crime & government investigations practice area, noting that he is "brilliant, direct and tenacious" while also noting that he "understands legal strategy and is exceptionally able”; "is very experienced and highly competent"; "a seasoned white-collar crime practitioner with a national reputation for representing individuals and companies involved in high-profile investigations and criminal proceedings”; "a fantastic guy"; "very pragmatic”; and “excellent.” The firm has ranked consistently in Band 1 for white collar and general commercial litigation.

  • The Best Lawyers in America (1995–2018) – Consistently ranked in criminal defense and business litigation, and in the 2008-2012 editions, he was selected as a "bet-the-company litigator" for his work in "make-or-break litigation," an honor shared by a small, elite segment of litigators nationwide.

  • Super Lawyers (2005–2017) – Acknowledged for white collar criminal defense and business litigation.

  • National Judge Learned Hand Award (2015) – Michael was the recipient of the Metro New Jersey Region of the American Jewish Committee’s National Judge Learned Hand Award in recognition of his significant contributions to the legal community.

  • Merit Selection Committee – Michael served on the United States Magistrate Judges Judicial Selection Committee for the United States District Court for 2014.

  • Trial Bar Award of the Trial Attorneys of New Jersey – Michael was the recipient of the 2003 award for outstanding trial advocacy.


DOJ Announces FCPA Pilot Program
White Collar Criminal Defense Client Alert, May 4, 2016
Michael Himmel, Steven Llanes
Should An Individual Defendant Go To Trial On FCPA Charges? Five Important Considerations
The FCPA Report, May 28, 2014
Michael Himmel, Steven Llanes
FCPA Regulators Set Sights On Private Equity
VC Experts, May 3, 2012
Michael Himmel
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Press Mentions

Michael Himmel, Michael T.G. LongJamie Gottlieb Furia and Joseph Fischetti are mentioned in Law360 regarding their successful representation of NJ’s Division of Investments on behalf of shareholders of Cliffs Natural Resources against Cliffs and certain of its officers. An $84 million settlement was recently announced. , Law360 , February 8, 2016
Michael Himmel comments in The Wall Street Journal about whether HSBC Holdings should be ordered to publicly disclose their compliance monitor’s report in the wake of their 2012 money laundering settlement. , The Wall Street Journal , January 25, 2016
Michael Himmel is mentioned in Law360 in connection with his representation of Heidi Piao in the recent UN bribery case. , Law360 , January 14, 2016
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Related Areas

Antitrust & Trade Regulation
Business Litigation
Corporate Investigations & Integrity
Life Sciences
Securities Litigation
Trial and Arbitration
White Collar Criminal Defense


St. Louis University School of Law ( J.D. , 1974 ) , Member, St. Louis University Law Review
New York University ( B.S. , 1971 )

Bar Admissions

New York
New Jersey

Court Admissions

1975 , U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
1975 , U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
1975 , U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
1980 , U.S. Supreme Court
1981 , U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
1983 , U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
2005 , U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit


  • American Bar Association
  • New Jersey State Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Association of the Federal Bar of the State of New Jersey
  • Federal Bar Council
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • New Jersey Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers