Eric Lewis practices in the areas of international insolvency, cross border disputes, serious fraud, banking and securities litigation. He has had a central role in disputes arising out of virtually all of the major international fraud and financial collapses of the last quarter century, including serving as counsel to the liquidators of Bank of Credit and Commerce International, Carlyle Capital Corporation, Madoff International, China Medical Devices and Akai Electronics. He has served as lead counsel in numerous cases involving collateralized debt obligations and other complex asset backed securities. He served as Global Legal Coordinator in a multinational dispute arising from the largest fraud in the history of the Middle East. He also advises and litigates on behalf of banks and their owners, located in Europe, South America and the Middle East, banking resolution entities in the United Kingdom and Germany, as well as hedge funds and family-owned Middle East conglomerates. He also represents a number of sovereign governments.
Mr. Lewis has particular expertise assisting European, Middle Eastern, and Latin American clients dealing with the complexities of U.S. civil and criminal proceedings. He obtained a $1 billion racketeering judgment against a Saudi national and worked with a multinational team to obtain the first recognition in Saudi Arabia of a non-Arab League judgment. Previously, he has represented a large U.K. pension fund with respect to losses suffered in the collapse of WorldCom, a leading hedge fund in a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation, and the Executive Director of the United Nations Oil-for-Food Programme in connection with United Nations and U.S. investigations. He is currently representing a major figure in the FIFA investigation.
An expert in offshore asset tracing and trusts, he serves as a Director of the Jersey International Business School in the Channel Islands. He has served as Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center and has lectured on legal topics at Oxford University and Yale Law School. He holds degrees from Princeton University (A.B.), University of Cambridge (Fulbright Scholar, M.Phil.) and Yale Law School (J.D.).
Mr. Lewis was selected by Washington DC Super Lawyers (2007-2016) and by Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel Edition (2009-2015) as one of "The Top Attorneys" in Business Litigation in Washington, D.C. He is also featured in Who’s Who as an expert in international insolvency and was selected by his peers, for inclusion in the 23rd edition of The Best Lawyers in America© for his work in Commercial Litigation. Mr. Lewis is a regular contributor to The New York Times, The New Yorker and other publications.
Pro Bono and Community Service
Mr. Lewis has been a leading figure in international human rights. He has represented Guantanamo detainees for more than a dozen years, in civil litigation, administrative hearings and habeas corpus petitions. He has also acted on behalf of Afghan prisoners held by the U.S. military in Afghanistan. He was lead counsel on litigation involving the treatment of hunger striking prisoners at Guantanamo and on behalf of a released Guantanamo detainee imprisoned in Morocco in breach of intergovernmental assurances. He has acted on behalf of capital defendants both at the trial and appellate level. He serves as Chairman of Reprieve US, a charity that actively litigates death penalty, indefinite detention and other human rights cases around the world. He has served as Vice Chairman of Global Rights, a human rights capacity building charity and on the boards of International Justice Network and the International Senior Lawyers Project.
- Elected Member, Council on Foreign Relations
- Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center
- Honorary Overseas Member of the Commercial Bar Association of England and Wales
- Fellow of the Congress of International Legal Studies
- Elected Member of the American Law Institute
- Chairman Reprieve US
- Vice Chairman, Global Rights
- Observer with Special Consultative Status, 61st Meeting of United Nations High Commission on Human Rights, Geneva (2005)
- Panelist, International Enforcement of Judgments, Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Washington (2005)
- Presenter of numerous papers on litigation problems to international audiences
- Fellow, American Bar Foundation
- Law Clerk to The Honorable David L. Bazelon, U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- Represented the Liquidators of BCCI in what was the largest bank collapse, largest multinational fraud and largest restitution in history.
- Represent Australian hedge fund in a series of cases against major NY investment banks in fraud claims relating to Collateralized Debt Obligations.
- Represent former senior FIFA official in proceedings in the US and extradition proceedings abroad.
- Represent large Saudi merchant family in litigation against banks and others in $10 billion fraud.
- Represent majority shareholders of European Bank in litigation against US Government for wrongful closure under USA Patriot Act.
- Represented dissident shareholder in dispute over management of international bank.
- Represented two Kuwaiti detainees who were cleared for release by Periodic Review Boards at Guantanamo.
- Represented Chinese company in liquidation in dispute regarding internal investigation undertaken prior to collapse.
- Represented prominent Venezuelan businessman in litigation surrounding collapse of investment fund.
- Represented former British detainees in civil claims for torture and religious abuse at Guantanamo.
Publications & Events
- Statement on OFAC’S Removal of IIROSA Philippines and Indonesia from OFAC Specially Designated Nationals ListAugust 18, 2016
- December 10, 2015
- May 30, 2015
- "Eli Lilly Settlement Reinforces the Need for Active Anti-Corruption Controls"January 2, 2013
- November 29, 2012
- August 24, 2012
- August 16, 2012
- "Supreme Court Action Reinforces the Difficulty in Piercing Sovereign Immunities"June 26, 2012
- "U.S. Cracks Down on Foreign Evaders of Iran-Syria Sanctions"May 24, 2012
- "Regulators Turn Their Attention to FCPA Violations by Investment Advisers"May 23, 2012
- Annual Review - Financier WorldwideApril 2012
- "U.S. Appeals Court Bolsters U.S. Discovery In Aid Of Foreign Proceedings"March 19, 2012
- "Petrobras Wins Immunity in U.S. Bond Case"March 14, 2012
- House Financial Services Subcommittee on "Oversight and Investigations Hearing on Current and Evolving Trends in Terrorist Financing"September 28, 2010
- "Judge Griesa's Ruling in NML Capital: A U.S. Judge Wades Deep Into the Argentine Political System"April 2010
- "The El Paso Ruling and its Effect on the Use of §1782 in Private International Arbitration Proceedings"September 2009
- "The Impact of the Economic Downturn on the Direct and Reinsurance Markets: CDO's, Derivatives, Madoff and Beyond"June 16, 2009
- February 2009
- "Is Argentina the Next Hub of Money Laundering and What are the Consequences for International Business?"December 2008
- "What Can Madoff Investors do to Maximize the Recovery of Their Assets?"December 2008
- "Potential Implications of the Lehman Brothers Insolvency for Latin American Financial Institutions"
Authored by Eric L. Lewis, Manuel S. Varela and Cristían Francos.October 2008
- "The Availability of U.S. Discovery in Foreign Litigation: How Foreign Parties in Foreign Litigation can Obtain the Assistance of U.S. Courts"
Authored by Eric L. Lewis, Manuel S. Varela and Cristián Francos.October 2007
- "The Expanding Reach of United States Law: Extraterritorial Enforcement and Compliance Obligations of International Business"
Presented by Eric L. Lewis, Manuel S. Varela & Cristián Francos.August 2007
- "Good Judgments Travel Fast: Avoiding Pyrrhic Victories In International Litigation"
Presentation by Eric L. Lewis & A. Katherine Toomey.June 2003
- "Anti-Terrorism Legislation and its Impact on Commercial Law"
Eric L. Lewis, address to the Commercial Bar Association of England and Wales (COMBAR).March 31, 2003
- "Lawyer's Duties of Disclosure in Response to Commercial Fraud"
Eric L. Lewis delivered address at the Commercial Bar Association of England and Wales (COMBAR)June 7, 2002
In the News
Mr. Lewis said that “there is no there there” on the allegations of any Saudi government role in the attacks, given the kingdom’s long history of being at war with Al Qaeda.
“The notion that senior Saudi officials or the Saudi government had an interest in supporting Sept. 11 and the attack on the World Trade Center is patently absurd,” he said.The New York Times, September 29, 2016
- Law360, May 19, 2016
- Law 360, March 30, 2016
- January 20, 2016
Fayez Al Kandari was released from Guantanamo today to the custody of the Government of Kuwait who transported him today to his home country of Kuwait.January 8, 2016
In March, the U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network imposed a corporate death sentence on Banca Privada d'Andorra by designating it as a foreign financial institution of primary money laundering concern under Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act.The FCPA Blog, December 15, 2015
- American Banker, November 18, 2015
- October 23, 2015
- Law360, October 1, 2015
- Eric Lewis says Donald Trump is giving credence to those who stigmatize America's Muslims. He says such rhetoric is hateful and dangerous.September 20, 2015
- Crime, Fear, and the Republicans: Can the GOP Interest in Criminal Justice Reform Survive Donald Trump?September 15, 2015
- Fayis al-Kandari has been held without charge for 14 years in US prison in Cuba, where he was allegedly tortured.Aljazeera, July 28, 2015
- Reuters, May 27, 2015
- New York Times, October 4, 2014
- IOL News, August 14, 2014
- Al Akhbar - English, August 14, 2014
- Une juge fédérale a ordonné un examen médical indépendant sur un détenu de Guantanamo nourri de force.RTL with AFP, August 14, 2014
- Interasksyon, August 14, 2014
- Yahoo Finance France, August 13, 2014
- Le Parisien, August 13, 2014
- Yahoo News, August 13, 2014
- Law360, August 12, 2014
- AP, July 25, 2014
- June 22, 2014
- Kathimerini, June 15, 2014
- The Litigation Daily, February 6, 2014
- January 30, 2014
- Negotiation with Mubarak regime officials accused of financial misappropriation should be viewed as being a piece of the greater asset-recovery puzzle.Al-Ahram Weekly, February 12, 2013
- September 13, 2012
- Insurance Day, April 12, 2012
- The Deal Pipeline, February 22, 2012
- The lawyer behind a $1 billion cross-border suit against Goldman Sachs following the sub-prime mortgage crisis praises the merits of bringing major commercial cases in the United States.February 3, 2012
- Washington lawyer Eric Lewis, who is acting for hedge fund Basis Capital in its $1 billion court action against Goldman Sachs over collateralised debt obligation deals in 2007, is used to playing a long game.The Australian, February 2, 2012
- New York Times, November 21, 2011
- November 2, 2011
- Saudi Firms Continue Multi-Billion Dollar Global Legal BattleMiddle East Economic Survey, October 31, 2011
- Huffington Post, October 28, 2011
- Saudi Arabia’s most high profile legal battle indicates just how dangerous the world’s capital markets remain a decade after Sept. 11, 2001.Trends Magazine, September 11, 2011
FW moderates a discussion on the challenges of anti-money laundering between Eric L. Lewis at Baach Robinson & Lewis, Ed Shorrock at Baker and Partners, and Atif Yusuf at Deloitte.www.financierworldwide.com, August 2011
- The National, March 13, 2011
- The Washington Post, February 13, 2011
- Insurance Day, February 11, 2011
- One of the US's top fraud investigators is warning that America's policing of money laundering is wide open to abuse.BBC News, September 28, 2010
- Could U.S. banks be unknowingly financing terrorist operations? Disussion: Eric Lewis, an attorney, and Rick Nelson, of the Center for Strategic & International StudiesCNBC airtime 2:45 PM ET, September 28, 2010
- The Australian Financial Review, June 11, 2010
- Reuters, June 10, 2010
- An Australian hedge fund has launched a billion dollar lawsuit alleging Goldman Sachs knowingly sold it dud investments.ABC News, June 10, 2010
- Huffington Post, June 9, 2010
- Goldman Faces $1 Billion SuitBasis Capital Cites 'False Representations' in Collapsed CDO; Abacus Factor?Wall Street Journal, June 9, 2010
- Simmons, Withers and Linklaters Advise on $9.2bn Saudi Fraud CaseMultibillion-pound Saudi fraud case hands roles to raft of UK firmsLegalweek.com, January 20, 2010
- Yes, It Was Torture, and IllegalNew York Times, January 3, 2010
- Huffington Post, December 29, 2009
- Huffington Post, June 8, 2009
- Huffington Post, May 21, 2009
- The Lawyer, May 18, 2009
- Judge Rules Bagram Detainees Can Appeal to U.S. CourtsThe Washington Independent, April 3, 2009
- The Big Money from Slate, March 23, 2009
- In Torture Cases, Obama Toes Bush LineLegal Stance Appears to Contradict Earlier Statements From Obama and HolderThe Washington Independent, March 16, 2009
- In These Times, March 12, 2009
- Closing GuantánamoCQ Researcher, February 27, 2009
- Tort suits provide inadequate to challenge anti-terror policiesABA Journal, February 2009
- While others heard siren call, Lebanon's bank governor steered safely past tempation.Legal Times, December 15, 2008
- El Cronista, December 1, 2008
- El Cronista, December 1, 2008
- Black HoleThe U.S. detention center at Bagram in Afghanistan has earned a reputation as the new Gitmo - except that big-firm American lawyers aren't lining up to represent the inmates.Fall 2008
- Lawyers Consider Implications of Supreme Court Rulings Beyond GuantanamoLaw.com, June 16, 2008
- El Cronista, June 2, 2008
- The United States has no right to re-educate Iraqi detainees in the ways of their faith.Legal Times, November 5, 2007
- The New GitmoLegal Times, October 29, 2007
- Judge Says U.S. Must Alert Lawyer on Detainee TransferLos Angeles Times, October 4, 2007
- Ex-Detainees Base Lawsuit On ReligionChicago Tribune, September 16, 2007
- Ex-Guantanamo Prisoners Want U.S. Lawsuit to ProceedReuters, September 14, 2007
- www.Slate.com, August 16, 2007
- Legal Business, March 2007
- State Department Official Resigns after Pro Bono AttackLegal Business, March 2007
- Former Detainees Allege Torture in U.S. CustodyUSA Today, October 28, 2004
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Complex Financial Disputes
- Financial Crimes Compliance
- Government Relations and Legislative
- Internal Investigations
- International Asset Tracing and Investigation
- International Disputes
- International Insolvency
- Latin America
- The Middle East
- White Collar Defense
- Yale Law School (J.D. 1983), Article and Book Review Editor of the Yale Law Journal
- Cambridge University (M. Phil., Fulbright Scholar, 1980)
- Princeton University (A.B. 1979)
- District of Columbia
- New York
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second and D.C. Circuits
- U.S. District Courts for the District of Columbia, the Southern District of New York, and the Eastern District of New York