James M. Koukios

Partner | Washington, D.C.

jkoukios@mofo.com | (202) 887-1590

(202) 887-1590

Portuguese | Español | English

James Koukios is co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Securities Litigation, Enforcement, and White Collar Defense Group and serves as Global Co-Head of the FCPA + Anti-Corruption Practice. James represents companies and individuals in high‑stakes government enforcement actions and complex internal investigations. An experienced trial attorney and former federal prosecutor, James has tried over 20 federal jury cases, including serving as the lead prosecutor in two landmark FCPA‑related trials: United States v. Esquenazi and United States v. Duperval. James also served as a lead prosecutor in United States v. AEY Inc., a defense procurement fraud and export licensing case that served as the basis for the 2016 film War Dogs.

Before joining Morrison & Foerster, James spent 10 years at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), starting his career as an Assistant United States Attorney in Miami and finishing his tenure at DOJ as Senior Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section in Washington, D.C., where he supervised investigations, prosecutions, and resolutions in the Fraud Section’s FCPA, Health Care Fraud, and Securities and Financial Fraud Units. While at DOJ, James investigated and prosecuted healthcare fraud, procurement fraud, domestic and foreign corruption, money laundering, and export control offenses, working closely with state, federal, and foreign law enforcement officials, as well as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); U.S. Departments of Defense, State, and Commerce; and intelligence agencies. He assisted in drafting the widely acclaimed DOJ and SEC joint publication A Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which followed a series of consultations with business and compliance leaders. He was also a lead examiner for the Phase 2 examination of Russia’s compliance with the Anti-Bribery Convention of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

From 2010 to 2011, James served as Special Counsel to then-FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III, advising the Director and other FBI executives on criminal policy issues, preparing FBI Executive Management for congressional testimony, representing the FBI at interagency meetings, and acting as a liaison between FBI and other DOJ components.

James has been recognized as a leading lawyer in FCPA (Nationwide and Global) by Chambers USA and Chambers Global, “recommended” for corporate investigations and white collar defense by Legal 500, an “Expert” and a “Thought Leader” in investigations by Who’s Who Legal, and an “Attorney Who Matters” by the Ethisphere Institute for making an impact in the area of ethics and compliance. He also received the Assistant Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award in recognition for his work on the Esquenazi and Duperval trials during his time at DOJ.

James is an adjunct professor of trial advocacy at the Georgetown University Law Center and regularly guest lectures at leading law and business schools on investigations, white collar enforcement, and anti-corruption issues.

Representative Experience

  • Represented a consumer product company in a government-facing criminal product safety investigation.
  • Provided FCPA legal advice, anti-corruption counseling, transactional due diligence, and post-acquisition integration advice to multinational corporations in several industries, including defense, extractive, financial services, food, healthcare, and technology.
  • Represented individuals in anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, criminal securities fraud, whistleblower retaliation, government procurement fraud, and other investigations.
  • Defended independent directors against breach-of-fiduciary-duty claims in federal bankruptcy court.
  • Represented multinational pharmaceutical and medical device companies in government-facing FCPA investigations.
  • Assisted multinational companies and organizations in several sectors in conducting internal investigations into potential FCPA, ITAR, insider trading, and other violations.
  • Represented a company and several of its employees in connection with the Special Counsel’s investigation.
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