James M. Koukios

James M. Koukios


University of Michigan (B.A., 1996)
Harvard Law School (J.D., 1999)

Bar Admissions

New York
District of Columbia


Hon. Edith Brown Clement, U.S. District Court, E.D. Louisiana (1999-2001)

James Koukios represents companies and individuals in high-stakes government enforcement actions and complex internal investigations. An experienced trial attorney and former federal prosecutor, Mr. Koukios 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. Mr. Koukios 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.

Selected Significant Representations

  • Representing multinational pharmaceutical and medical device companies in government-facing FCPA investigations
  • Representing an individual in a multinational anti-corruption investigation involving a national oil company
  • Representing an individual in a criminal-securities fraud investigation
  • Representing an individual in a criminal-whistleblower retaliation investigation
  • Representing a company and several of its employees in connection with the Special Counsel’s investigation
  • Assisted a multinational consulting company in conducting an internal investigation into potential ITAR violations
  • Assisted a multinational technology company in conducting internal investigations into potential FCPA and conflict-of-interest violations
  • Providing FCPA legal advice, anti-corruption counseling, and transactional due diligence to multinational corporations in several industries, including defense, extractive, financial services, food, health care, and technology
  • Defending independent directors against breach-of-fiduciary-duty claims in federal court

Before joining Morrison & Foerster, Mr. Koukios 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, Mr. Koukios investigated and prosecuted health care fraud, procurement fraud, public 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, Mr. Koukios 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.

Mr. Koukios has been named a “recognized practitioner” in FCPA (Nationwide) by Chambers USA, an “expert” 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.

Mr. Koukios is an adjunct professor of trial advocacy at the Georgetown University Law Center.

Mr. Koukios has been named a “recognized practitioner” in FCPA (Nationwide) by Chambers USA, an “expert” 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. Last year, Mr. Koukios was honored with JDSupra’s “Reader’s Choice Top Author 2017” award for his work on the firm's “Top Ten International Anti-Corruption Developments” monthly newsletter. He was also featured as one of the “Lateral All-Stars: The Splashiest Hires of 2015” by The American Lawyer when he joined Morrison & Foerster from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Fraud Section. While at DOJ, he received the Assistant Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award in recognition for his work on the Esquenazi and Duperval trials.

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