Matthew Axelrod

Dispute Resolution Partner, Washington D.C.

“The risk that companies and financial institutions face from regulators is increasingly global and multidimensional. My 13 years at the U.S. Department of Justice, from in-the-trenches prosecutor to senior official overseeing all Department operations, have given me the insight, judgment, and experience necessary to help navigate clients through situations that can pose an existential threat to their business.”


Professional experience

Education and qualifications


Matt joined Linklaters in March 2017 as a partner in the firm’s Dispute Resolution practice, focusing on internal investigations and the defense of financial institutions, corporations, and executives who are under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), or other regulators. Matt has over twenty years of litigation experience, having been both a federal prosecutor and a defense attorney.

Prior to joining the firm, Matt served as the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, one of DOJ's highest ranking officials and a member of the senior leadership team. His role was described in the New York Times “as the most demanding job in all of DOJ, including managing many of the department’s most vexing and sensitive matters.” He advised both the Deputy Attorney General and the Attorney General on all major Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Bank Secrecy Act, money laundering, health care fraud, and other white-collar cases and policy directives.  Matt was involved in the development and implementation of DOJ’s policy concerning individual accountability for corporate wrongdoing (known as the “Yates Memo”) and personally reviewed every corporate resolution over US$200m.

Matt also took the lead in advising on crisis management within DOJ, working closely with the White House, Congress, the FBI, and the media on DOJ’s most sensitive and high-profile matters.

Matt previously spent six years as a federal prosecutor in Miami, where he tried 19 felony jury cases and argued three cases before the Eleventh Circuit. 

In addition to his public service roles, Matt has worked in private practice for major law firms in Boston and Washington D.C.  He is also a Barrister in the Edward Bennett Williams Inn of Court.

Work Highlights

Recent highlights of his experience, much of which is confidential, includes representing:

  • a South American company in a SDNY securities fraud investigation
  • a senior executive for a global industrial company in relation to a DOJ FCPA investigation

Professional experience

In the press, Matt has made TV appearances on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360°", “New Day”, and “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon”, MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show", and "The Point" with MSNBC's Chief Legal Correspondent Ari Melber. He has been quoted in national publications that include Bloomberg, The New York Times, The Washington Post, McClatchy, Politico, Slate, The New Yorker, The National Law Journal, Global Investigations Review, and Law360, in addition to being featured in a New York Times profile. Matt has also appeared on the National Public Radio’s show “All Things Considered” and has authored an op-ed in The Hill on the nomination of United States Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. 

Notable Coverage:

Matt has also spoken at various conferences and seminars including:

  • Panelist, “Prosecutor Alumni Panel: What’s Next? How Has the Risk Map Changed? – How Life Sciences Companies Should Determine Where and How Much to Invest in Anti-Corruption Compliance,” 11th Advanced Forum on FCPA & Anti-Corruption for the Life Sciences Industry, New York, New York, June 28, 2017
  • Keynote Speaker, “Changing Enforcement Priorities Under the New Administration,” CIECI Spring Forum, May 17, 2017
  • Keynote Speaker, “An Armchair Conversation about the Deputy Attorney General’s Memorandum on Individual Accountability for Corporate Wrongdoing,” American Bar Association 26th Annual National Institute on Health Care Fraud, Indian Wells, California, May 12, 2016
  • Panelist, “Agency Enforcement and Prosecution of Regulatory Crimes,” Administrative Conference of the United States Workshop on Criminal Law and the Administrative State: Defining and Enforcing Regulatory Crimes, Washington, D.C., May 13, 2014
  • Co-Keynote Speaker, “Perspective from the U.S. Department of Justice,” Ethisphere Global Ethics Summit, New York, New York, March 5, 2013
  • Panelist, Defense Criminal Investigative Organization Panel on Parallel Proceedings and Debarment, Department of Defense Procurement Fraud Working Group Annual Training Seminar, Daytona Beach, Florida, March 29, 2012
  • Department of Justice Witness, “Current State of Federal Sentencing,” United States Sentencing Commission Public Hearing on Federal Sentencing Options after Booker, Washington, D.C., February 16, 2012

Education and qualifications

Matt obtained an undergraduate degree in English, cum laude, from Amherst College, and holds a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School, where he was Notes Editor of the Yale Law Journal.

Following law school, Matt worked as a law clerk for the Honorable Ralph K. Winter, Jr., United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and for the Honorable Janet C. Hall, United States District Court for the District of Connecticut.

Matt is member of Washington, D.C. and Massachusetts State Bars, United States.