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Nicolas Bourtin


Nicolas Bourtin

New York +1-212-558-3920+1-212-558-3920 +1-212-558-3588+1-212-558-3588
[email protected]

Nicolas Bourtin is a litigation partner and the Managing Partner of Sullivan & Cromwell’s Criminal Defense and Investigations Group. His practice focuses on white collar criminal defense and internal investigations, regulatory enforcement matters, and securities and complex civil litigation. He is one of the coordinators of S&C’s FCPA and Anti-Corruption practice group.

Mr. Bourtin has represented individuals, corporations and financial institutions in numerous high-profile matters involving accounting fraud, antitrust, FIRREA, the FCPA, insider trading, money laundering, mortgage origination and servicing, OFAC sanctions, securities fraud, tax fraud, and trading. He has extensive experience representing financial institutions in parallel regulatory and criminal investigations and representing non-U.S. companies and individuals in connection with U.S. investigations.

Mr. Bourtin has conducted numerous jury trials and has argued frequently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

He is frequently recognized as a leading practitioner in the area of white collar criminal defense and writes and lectures frequently on criminal law and government investigations.

Mr. Bourtin also serves, on a pro bono basis, on the Criminal Justice Act panel for the Eastern District of New York, representing indigent defendants in federal criminal proceedings.

Government Service
Mr. Bourtin served for four years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York, where he was involved in investigations, prosecutions and trials involving fraud, corruption, money laundering and other white collar offenses.

In addition, Mr. Bourtin successfully prosecuted the bosses and senior leadership of three of the five New York City-based Italian mafia families for crimes such as murder, racketeering, extortion, loansharking and narcotics trafficking. In total, Mr. Bourtin convicted over 75 members and associates of La Cosa Nostra and was involved in several historic prosecutions, including the first death penalty-eligible murder indictments of Italian mafia bosses in modern history.

Mr. Bourtin also coordinated the Eastern District U.S. Attorney’s Office’s cooperation with the Italian government on matters involving organized crime and led several successful collaborative efforts with the Italian Ministry of Justice, National Antimafia Bureau, National Police, Carabinieri and Guardia di Finanza.

Other Public Service and Professional Activities

  • Law360 White Collar Editorial Advisory Board (2017, 2018)
  • Member, Editorial Board, Global Investigations Review
  • Criminal Justice Act Panel, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Office of the Appellate Defender
  • Eastern District Association

Speaking Engagements, Publications and Other Professional Activities 

  • Moderator, “Review of Significant White Collar Cases and Recent Developments,” PLI’s White Collar Crime 2018: Prosecutors and Regulators Speak (2018)
  • Speaker, “Gestire adeguatamente la segnalazione del whistleblower: come deve reagire l’ente?”, Ensuring Business Integrity, co-hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Italy and Pedersoli Studio Legale (2018)
  • Editor and contributing author, The International Investigations Review (Law Business Research, 1st-8th Editions, 2011-2018)
  • Chair, “Forum on Financial Institutions Enforcement,” Cambridge Forums (2014-2017)
  • Author, “Combatting Hindsight Bias in White-Collar Criminal Investigations,” in New York Law Journal (2017)
  • Speaker, “Responsabilità penale degli amministratori e degli enti: Italia e USA, due paesi a confronto,” Focus Team Anticorruption and Corporate Compliance Conference, co-hosted with BonelliErede (2017)
  • Co-author, “Negotiating Global Settlements: The U.S. Perspective,” in The Practitioner’s Guide to Global Investigations (Global Investigations Review, 2017)
  • Speaker, “The Concept of Convergence,” Financial Crime Summit: Convergence Trends—From the Regulatory, Enforcement & Industry Perspective (2016)
  • Speaker, “Bank Liability for the Crimes of Customers: A FIFA Case Study,” Forum on Financial Institutions Enforcement (2016)
  • Author, “Expert Q&A on the DOJ’s Yates Memo,” in Practical Law The Journal (2016)
  • “Investigazioni interni: uno sguardo all’ esperienza americana,” La Responsabilità Penale degli Enti: Dieci Proposte di Riforma (2016)
  • Speaker, “Anti-Corruption Issues Facing Financial Institutions,” PLI’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and International Anti-Corruption Developments (2015)
  • Speaker, “GIR Sanctions Roundtable,” Global Investigations Review (2014)
  • Presenter, “Cooperation, Proffers & Reverse Proffers,” Important Topics for Federal Practice CLE Seminar, New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (2014)
  • Panelist, “Trial Advocacy Training for Pro Bono Lawyers,” Federal Bar Council (2014)
  • Presenter, “US FCPA: how it is relevant to Italian companies,” Italian LL.M. Association (2014)
  • Panelist, "Sanctions Enforcement," Federal Bar Council (2013)
  • Co-author, “Conducting a Credible Internal Investigation,” in Counsel to Counsel (2010)
  • “Conflicts of Laws in International White Collar Investigations,” in Inside the Minds: International White Collar Enforcement: Leading Lawyers on Understanding Cross-Border Regulations, Developing Client Compliance Programs, and Responding to Government Investigations (Aspatore Books, 2010)
  • Co-author, Introduction to the Guide to the World’s Leading White Collar Crime Lawyers (Legal Media Group, 2008)
  • Frequent presenter on issues related to white collar criminal law and internal investigations to bar associations, professional organizations and law enforcement agencies, including the ABA, PLI, the New York City Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association and the FBI

Rankings and Recognitions 

  • The National Law Journal – Recognized as a White Collar, Regulatory & Compliance Trailblazer (2018)
  • Chambers USA – Recognized as a leader in White Collar Crime & Government Investigations (2016, 2017, 2018); recognized as an “Up and Coming” lawyer in the area of White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (2012, 2013, 2014)
  • Euromoney’s Benchmark: America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys – Recognized as a Future Star (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
  • Who’s Who Legal: Global Investigations Review – Recommended Lawyer for Criminal and Government Investigations (2016-2018)
  • Law360 Rising Star: Named one of 10 securities attorneys under the age of 40 to watch (2010)
  • The Legal 500 United States – Recommended lawyer for White-Collar Criminal Defense (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018), International Litigation (2016, 2017, 2018), Financial Services Litigation (2017) and International Trade (2017, 2018)
  • New York Super Lawyers – Recognized in the area of Criminal Defense: White Collar (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
  • Expert Guides: White Collar Crime – Recommended Lawyer for White Collar Crime (2016, 2017, 2018)


Matters Related to OFAC Sanctions and Money Laundering
  • A major global financial institution in connection with the DOJ’s FIFA corruption investigation
  • TD Bank in parallel settlements of anti-money laundering compliance investigations by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network relating to the Scott Rothstein Ponzi scheme
  • Standard Chartered Bank in a deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and regulatory settlements with the New York State Department of Financial Services, the Federal Reserve and OFAC, all related to OFAC sanctions and anti-money laundering compliance
  • HSBC in the resolution of investigations by the Department of Justice, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, related to OFAC sanctions and anti-money laundering compliance
  • ABN AMRO Bank in a $500 million deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice related to OFAC sanctions and anti-money laundering compliance
  • Wachovia Bank in a $110 million deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice, a civil resolution with FinCEN, and a $50 million civil money penalty with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, related to anti-money laundering compliance in Wachovia’s correspondent banking business
  • A multinational consumer goods manufacturer in persuading the Department of Justice to drop a money laundering investigation
Matters Related to the FCPA
  • The former CEO of an oil services company in pleading guilty to conspiracy to violate the FCPA
  • Kinross Gold Corp. in its favorable settlement with the SEC stemming from an FCPA investigation arising from the company’s activities in West Africa, as well as in a parallel investigation by the DOJ, which closed its investigation and declined to pursue charges
  • Italian multinational energy company Eni S.p.A. and its engineering subsidiary Saipem S.p.A. in a $240 million deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice and a $125 million civil settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission
  • A European energy company in connection with investigations by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission related to oil and natural gas projects in Africa
Criminal Antitrust Matters
  • An individual in an international price-fixing investigation into the high-voltage submarine and underground cable industry by the Department of Justice, the European Commission and other governmental agencies
  • A Jones Act shipping company in the resolution of a multi-year criminal price-fixing investigation by the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, and the settlement of related civil lawsuits
Matters Related to Securities and Complex Financial Instruments
  • Numerous global financial institutions in connection with state and federal civil, criminal, and regulatory investigations into RMBS underwriting practices prior to the financial crisis
  • TD Bank in a $15 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with the Scott Rothstein Ponzi scheme
  • Fifth Third Bancorp in a $6.5 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission involving allegations of accounting violations during the financial crisis related to with Fifth Third’s commercial loan portfolio
  • Fifth Third Bancorp in the settlement, resulting in no civil money penalty, of a Securities and Exchange Commission administrative action that alleged violations of Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act and Regulation FD in connection with the redemption of certain trust preferred securities
Consumer Financial Services Litigation
  • Wells Fargo in connection with numerous criminal, regulatory, and civil matters concerning allegations of sales practices misconduct, including a $65 million settlement with the New York Attorney General’s Office for violations of the Martin Act.
  • A number of prominent U.S. banks in connection with regulatory and criminal investigations concerning their mortgage origination and servicing businesses
  • A major U.S. bank in connection with civil litigation and regulatory inquiries concerning the charging of overdraft fees
Other Significant Matters
  • Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. in a successful petition to the Department of Justice to return approximately $118 million to date in forfeited funds that were the proceeds of a fraud committed against Intesa Sanpaolo’s predecessor entity in Italy in the mid-1990s
  • A major international bank in investigations by the Department of Justice, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve, numerous state attorneys general and various foreign regulators into the setting of LIBOR and other benchmark interest rates
  • A prominent national law firm in an Assurance of Discontinuance with the New York State Attorney General’s Office in an investigation regarding the use of placement agents to secure investments by public pension funds