James J. Benjamin Jr., the head of Akin Gump's Securities Enforcement and Litigation practice group, represents clients in a wide variety of government and regulatory investigations and litigation. He has extensive experience with matters arising under the federal securities and commodities laws, including allegations of insider trading, improper accounting and disclosure, market manipulation and other trading violations, and foreign corrupt practices. He also has broad experience with other alleged violations, including health care fraud and many provisions of federal and state criminal law. He has led a number of independent investigations on behalf of audit committees of public companies and regularly advises private investment funds on trading compliance matters. Many of his clients are based outside the United States. Mr. Benjamin has conducted numerous jury trials and has briefed and argued many cases before federal and state appellate courts. He also handles complex commercial litigation.
Before joining Akin Gump in early 2001, Mr. Benjamin served for more than five years as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. During his tenure there, he served as deputy chief appellate attorney and as a member of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force. As an assistant U.S. attorney, he received an award for superior performance from Attorney General Janet Reno in 2000. Before joining the U.S. Attorney's Office, Mr. Benjamin served as a law clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court for Justices Lewis F. Powell Jr. and John Paul Stevens. Before that, he worked for several years as an associate at a major Washington, D.C.-based law firm and served as a law clerk for the Honorable J. Frederick Motz, a federal district judge in the District of Maryland.
Mr. Benjamin received his A.B. magna cum laude in 1987 from Dartmouth College, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was awarded the Colby Government Prize. He earned his J.D. in 1990 from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was the research and projects editor of the Virginia Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. He is a member of the New York, Maryland and District of Columbia bars and is admitted to practice before numerous federal courts.
Mr. Benjamin is the chair of the New York City Bar Association's Task Force on National Security and the Rule of Law and is a member of the Board of Directors of the New York Council of Defense Lawyers. He is also a member of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the New York American Inn of Court, and the Federal Bar Council. He is a recognized expert on terrorism prosecutions and has spoken extensively on developments in white collar enforcement, especially regarding SEC enforcement and the FCPA.
Mr. Benjamin was recognized in 2010, 2011 and 2012 as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business in the areas of white collar crime and government investigations. He has also been recognized multiple times in New York Superlawyers.