Former Federal Prosecutor Joins Akin Gump in New York

(New York, NY) – Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P. announced today that James J. Benjamin Jr., a former assistant U.S. attorney and deputy chief appellate attorney, has joined the firm’s litigation practice as a partner in New York. Mr. Benjamin will focus on white collar criminal defense and civil litigation, including trial and appellate work.

Mr. Benjamin served for more than five years as an assistant U.S. attorney and deputy chief appellate attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. During his tenure there, he prosecuted a variety of cases involving securities fraud, obstruction of justice, insider trading, mail and wire fraud, money laundering and narcotics charges. He conducted numerous jury trials and has briefed and argued numerous cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. 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 Honorable Lewis F. Powell Jr., and worked for several years as an associate at a major Washington-based law firm. Prior to working as an associate, he served as a law clerk for Honorable J. Frederick Motz in the District of Maryland. Mr. Benjamin received his A.B. magna cum laude from Dartmouth College in 1987 and 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.

Mr. Benjamin commented, “I am excited to return to private practice in Akin Gump’s New York office. I look forward to working with the firm’s superb lawyers on a variety of criminal, civil and appellate matters.”

Steven Pesner, head of the firm’s New York litigation practice and a member of the firmwide management committee, commented, “Jim’s experience at the U.S. Attorney’s Office will contribute significantly to the growth of the firm’s trial and white collar crime practice. We are very pleased that he has chosen to join us.”

Richard Zabel, a partner in the firm’s New York office and a former assistant U.S. attorney, commented, “It will be great to work with Jim again. We have been friends and colleagues for years and I know he will help us continue to build our white collar practice as well as our litigation practice generally.”

Founded in 1945, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P., a leading international law firm, 1050 lawyers with offices in Austin, Brussels, Dallas, Denver, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, New York, Northern Virginia, Philadelphia, Riyadh (affiliate), San Antonio and Washington. The firm has a diversified practice and represents regional, national and international clients in a wide range of areas, including antitrust; banking and financial institutions; capital markets; communications; corporate and securities; employee benefits; energy; entertainment; environmental; estate planning, wealth transfer and probate; financial restructuring; government contracts; health; insurance; intellectual property; international; investment management; labor and employment; litigation; mergers and acquisitions; privatization; project finance; public law and policy; real estate and finance; taxation; and technology. For additional information, please visit our Web site at