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Freshfields Adds Former Chief of SDNY’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit Timothy T. Howard as Partner

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP announced that Timothy T. Howard has joined the firm as a Partner in its US litigation practice, based in New York.

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“Tim’s experience as a prosecutor investigating and trying cases dovetails nicely with our US white-collar and global investigations practices”

Mr. Howard joins from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where he spent nearly 12 years in varied roles, most recently as Co-Chief of the Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit. At Freshfields, he will focus on white-collar and government regulatory investigations, with special attention to cybersecurity, data breaches and cryptocurrency fraud.

“Tim will be a tremendous addition to our outstanding white-collar team. He brings both wide-ranging experience from his tenure at the US Attorney’s Office and extensive knowledge of some of the most complex and novel issues of our time, including those involving cyber intrusions, data security breaches and cryptocurrency schemes. Our white-collar team is uniquely positioned to advise clients on these areas of global challenge,” said Freshfields’ US Managing Partner Sarah K. Solum.

Mr. Howard’s deep experience in cyber, national security, darknet, cryptocurrency and complex white-collar cases includes:

  • Charges exposing a wide range of Iran state-sponsored cyber attacks, including Iranian interference in the 2020 US presidential election; a massive global hacking campaign, conducted by the Mabna Institute, targeting universities and companies around the world; and destructive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against the US financial sector;
  • the unmasking and conviction of Ross Ulbricht, the founder and operator of the Silk Road darknet website, for the distribution of over $200 million worth of narcotics, computer hacking tools, fake identity documents and money laundering services using the Tor network and Bitcoin (for which Mr. Howard received the 2015 Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in his role as trial counsel);
  • the prosecution of 18 former National Basketball Association players for defrauding the league’s health plan of millions of dollars;
  • the prosecution of leaders of OneCoin in connection with a billion-dollar international cryptocurrency fraud scheme;
  • the first federal prosecution of individuals for engaging in a million-dollar non-fungible token (NFT) digital asset “rug pull” scheme;
  • corporate tax fraud cases against Swiss Life, Rahn+Bodmer Co. and Bank Hapoalim, and against individuals associated with the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca (known as the “Panama Papers”); and
  • multiple corporate FCPA resolutions.
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“Tim’s experience as a prosecutor investigating and trying cases dovetails nicely with our US white-collar and global investigations practices,” observed Eric Bruce, Freshfields’ US Head of Disputes, Litigation and Arbitration, and Global Investigations. “He can act for clients in virtually any case of alleged fraud, corruption, money laundering, data breach, sanctions violation, tax fraud and healthcare related fraud.” Mr. Bruce himself is a former prosecutor in the Southern District of New York and former counselor to the attorney general and counsel to the assistant attorney general for the criminal division during the George W. Bush administration.

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Freshfields Litigation Partner Aaron Marcu, who also previously served in the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, including as the Associate United States Attorney, Chief Appellate Attorney and Chief of the Major Crimes Unit, added: “Tim is really at the top of the field. He virtually invented the cybercrime component of the Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit, and he will be a huge and immediate help to many clients facing cyber challenges and data breaches.”

“I am excited to join the outstanding Freshfields team, which is helping global clients navigate today’s most complex cyber and fraud investigations and data-related matters. The firm’s ability to liaise with diverse authorities, its comprehensive view of the market and overlapping regulatory demands, and its extensive on-the-ground experience and global footprint give clients a material advantage,” said Mr. Howard.

Mr. Howard’s appointment complements the hiring of Partner Christine E. Lyon and Counsel Brock Dahl last August and May, respectively, to advise clients through the data life cycle, particularly in the area of incident response, including handling external criminal and regulatory investigations, internal investigations and crisis management related to cyber intrusion and other data handling issues.

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