James Joseph Benjamin Jr. is a leader of Akin Gump’s white collar defense and global investigations practice group. He represents banks, private investment funds, broker-dealers and proprietary trading firms—as well as their key executives and traders—in investigations and enforcement proceedings arising under the federal securities and commodities laws.Jim is described by Chambers USA as a “truly outstanding” lawyer who is “smart, hard-working, compassionate, and creative” and is “sought out by clients for his ‘strong and calming influence.’”
He counsels companies and individuals in complex, high-pressure investigations related to:
- Insider trading
- Anti-bribery and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)
- Improper accounting and disclosure
- Market manipulation, disruptive trading and other violations
- Anti-money laundering and the Bank Secrecy Act
During his tenure at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York, Jim served as deputy chief appellate attorney and as a member of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force. After law school, he clerked for Judge J. Frederick Motz in the District of Maryland and Justices Lewis F. Powell, Jr. and John Paul Stevens of the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Previously served as a federal prosecutor for more than five years in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York.
- For almost 20 years, has successfully guided U.S. and international clients through investigations and enforcement proceedings arising under the federal securities and commodities laws.
- Has conducted numerous jury trials, and has briefed and argued many cases before federal and state appellate courts.
- Represented numerous individuals, public companies, audit committees, and private investment funds in Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and criminal investigations regarding accounting, valuation, and disclosure.
- Advised multinational companies and their executives in more than 20 different FCPA investigations arising out of conduct in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa.
- Represented a leading financial institution in cross-border investigations of conduct in the spot FX market.
- Defended numerous individuals and investment funds in more than 20 different insider trading investigations, including a number of significant matters, in the United States and internationally.
- Served as counsel to trading firms and individuals in multiple Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Department of Justice (DOJ), and futures exchange investigations relating to alleged market manipulation, spoofing, wash trading, prearranged trading, position limit violations and trade violations.
- J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, with honors, 1990
- A.B., Dartmouth College, magna cum laude, 1987
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S.D.C., District of Maryland
- District of Columbia
- New York
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