FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Michael E. Horowitz

Michael E. Horowitz

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Washington, DC, USA

Michael E. Horowitz, a partner in Cadwalader's Business Fraud and Complex Litigation Group and a member of the firm's Management Committee, counsels corporations and individuals on complex civil litigation, criminal and regulatory matters, and compliance issues. 

In recognition of his legal expertise, Mr. Horowitz has garnered recognition as a leading lawyer in his field, including by Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers, the International Who's Who of Business Crime Defense Lawyers, the Benchmark Litigation Guide to America's Top Business Litigation Attorneys, Ethisphere Institute and Washington Smart CEO. 

Drawing on his experience in private practice and as a former high-level official at the Department of Justice (DOJ) in Washington and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, he has worked on countless high profile matters, including representations of:

Securities Fraud/Corporate Governance

  • Publicly-traded companies in complex civil litigation matters, including Bank of America in the WorldCom matter, Wachovia in the Adelphia matter, and Dow AgroSciences in the Oil For Food matter
  • Companies and senior executives in SEC, DOJ and State Attorney General investigations, including parties in the AOL, BP, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Collins & Aikman, and Monster.com accounting fraud investigations
  • Audit and Special Litigation Committees in internal investigations involving alleged securities law violations, as well as Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower allegations and corporate governance issues
  • The former CEO of Gen Re in a two month securities fraud trial in federal district court in Connecticut
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • U.S. and foreign companies and senior corporate executives in significant DOJ and SEC investigations
  • Leading companies in conducting M&A due diligence regarding potential FCPA issues, including successfully resolving for Delta & Pine with the SEC in advance of its acquisition by Monsanto
  • Boards of Directors and senior executives of Fortune 500 companies regarding anti-corruption compliance, including conducting training programs and developing compliance programs
  • At the request of the SEC, participating in its FCPA training program for Enforcement Division staff; at the request of the FBI, participating in its FCPA training program for FBI Special Agents; and at the request of the International Association of Prosecutors, conducting a presentation to international prosecutors on FCPA enforcement issues
  • Criminal Antitrust Investigations
  • Fortune 50 companies and senior executives in international price-fixing investigations, including a case where the DOJ closed its criminal investigation without charges despite a competitor's amnesty cooperation agreement
  • The Board of Directors of a joint venture of two Fortune 50 companies as independent outside counsel in an internal investigation
  • Corporations in drafting and implementing antitrust compliance procedures and conducting training on best practices
  • Companies and individuals in connection with DOJ and HHS-OIG investigations involving civil and criminal health care fraud issues
  • Companies on whistleblower issues
  • A former KPMG partner in a DOJ tax shelter investigation
  • A Fortune 500 company in successfully convincing the DOJ to close an asbestos contamination investigation without bringing civil or criminal charges
  • Organizations and individuals in connection with DOJ campaign finance investigations

Mr. Horowitz is a former presidential appointee to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, serving as a Commissioner from 2003 through 2009. In that position, Mr. Horowitz played an instrumental role in rewriting the guidelines for corporate compliance programs and helped rewrite the guidelines for fraud, antitrust, intellectual property, and money laundering offenses. 

Prior to joining Cadwalader, Mr. Horowitz served in senior positions in the DOJ's Criminal Division during the Clinton and Bush Administrations, first as Deputy Assistant Attorney General and then as Chief of Staff to the head of the Criminal Division. In those positions, he worked directly with the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General, the FBI Director, and nearly every U.S. Attorney, as well as with the leadership of the SEC's Enforcement Division, the Treasury Department, the State Department, and the HHS Inspector General's Office. 

While working at the DOJ, Mr. Horowitz also helped draft the Department's Principles of Corporate Prosecution, participated in drafting the medical records privacy rules, and was centrally involved in the post-September 11th anti-money laundering efforts. He also appeared before the House of Representatives and Senate on numerous occasions to testify and brief Members of Congress on a variety of criminal law issues.

As the DOJ's liaison to the National District Attorney's Association and the National Association of Attorneys General, Mr. Horowitz regularly interacted with District Attorneys and state Attorneys General and, in his capacity as a member of the International Association of Prosecutors, led the DOJ's delegations at meetings in China, South Africa, Australia, and Azerbaijan.

From 1991 through 1999, Mr. Horowitz was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he served as Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division and Chief of the Public Corruption Unit. He successfully prosecuted and supervised sophisticated white collar matters involving securities fraud, health care fraud, money laundering, environmental crime, and tax evasion. His efforts on a complex five-year corruption investigation earned him one of the DOJ's most prestigious honors, the Attorney General's Distinguished Service Award. Mr. Horowitz also successfully argued numerous cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

In addition to his client work, Mr. Horowitz speaks regularly on regulatory, criminal law, and compliance issues, including at events for the U.S. State Department, the International Law Enforcement Academy, the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics, the Ethics and Compliance Officers Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the International Institute of Auditors, the Association of Corporate Counsel, the Health Care Compliance Association, the American Bar Association, and several health care insurance associations. For the past several years, he has also served as the co-chair of the Practicing Lawyer's Institute's annual Advanced Corporate Compliance Program.

Mr. Horowitz has taught  at Georgetown, George Washington, American and Catholic Law Schools, and is a Barrister with the Edward Bennett Williams Inn of Court.  A prolific author, his pieces have appeared in, among other publications, Georgetown's American Criminal Law Review Survey of Federal Prosecutions, White Collar Law Defense Strategies, and the White Collar Crime Reporter.  He has provided commentary on legal issues for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, National Public Radio, and C-SPAN, and appeared in the role of the prosecutor in episodes of HBO's K Street television series.

Mr. Horowitz serves on the Board of Directors of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the Ethics Resource Center, as well as the Advisory Board of the Society for Corporate Compliance and Ethics.

A summa cum laude graduate of Brandeis University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, he earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where he was Executive Editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. Following law school, Mr. Horowitz was a law clerk to the Honorable John G. Davies, U.S. District Judge for the Central District of California. He is a member of the bars of the State of New York and the District of Columbia.


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