Image of Matthew Axelrod

Matthew Axelrod

Partner, Washington D.C.

“The risk that companies and financial institutions face from enforcement agencies 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 clients navigate through situations that threaten their business or their liberty.”


Professional experience

Education and qualifications


Matt is 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 enforcement agencies. Matt also represents clients facing debarment proceedings by multilateral development banks. Matt is frequently quoted in national media outlets as an authority on DOJ enforcement issues.
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 DOJ’s 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.” Alongside the Deputy Attorney General, Matt helped supervise DOJ’s 113,000 employees including all of DOJ’s prosecutors and law enforcement agents. He also helped oversee 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 spent a total of thirteen years at DOJ -- seven years in leadership roles at Main Justice in Washington, D.C. and 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
  • A global infrastructure company:  representing in a DOJ criminal fraud and civil False Claims Act investigation.
  • A global telecommunications company: conducted an internal investigation concerning allegations of bribery.
  • A global accounting firm: represented in connection with a DOJ securities fraud case.
  • A global construction company: appointed as Independent Compliance Consultant as part of DOJ and EPA settlement.
  • A global construction and engineering company:  represented in Inter-American Development Bank debarment proceedings.
  • A global infrastructure company: represented in the aftermath of World Bank debarment proceedings.
  • A senior executive of a global chemicals company:  representing in a multijurisdictional DOJ and SEC FCPA investigation.
  • A senior executive of a global aerospace company:  represented in a multijurisdictional DOJ FCPA investigation.
  • Senior executives of a global pharmaceutical company: represented in a DOJ and SEC FCPA investigation.
  • A senior executive of a global industrial company: represented in a DOJ and SEC FCPA investigation.
  • A senior executive of a global financial institution: representing in a DOJ money laundering investigation.

Professional experience

In the press, Matt has made appearances on network television, is frequently quoted in national publications, and has been profiled by the New York Times. Additionally, he has authored several op-eds, including one in The Hill on the nomination of U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta and another in The Times UK about the DOJ’s enforcement practices toward global businesses in the new administration.

Notable Broadcast Coverage:

  • CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, CNN, February 17, 2020
  • CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, CNN, December 9, 2019 
  • CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, CNN, November 10, 2019 
  • Sky News Center Live, Sky News, May 29, 2019
  • CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, CNN, May 29, 2019 
  • CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, CNN, April 3, 2019 
  • CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, CNN, March 21, 2019 
  • Hardball with Chris Matthews, MSNBC, January 9, 2019 
  • CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, CNN, December 20, 2018
  • The Rachel Maddow Show, MSNBC, November 13, 2018   
  • The Rachel Maddow Show, MSNBC, August 24, 2018  
  • Sky News with Cordelia Lynch, Sky News, August 22, 2018
  • The Rachel Maddow Show, MSNBC, January 5, 2018
  • All Things Considered, NPR, November 3, 2017
  • New Day with Chris Cuomo, CNN, October 31, 2017
  • Sunrise, Sky News, October 31, 2017
  • New Day with Chris Cuomo, CNN, July 2017
  • CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, CNN, July 20, 2017
  • CNN Newsroom, CNN, June 10, 2017
  • MSNBC Live with Ari Melber, MSNBC, May 14, 2017
  • The Rachel Maddow Show, MSNBC, May 8, 2017
  • Anderson Cooper 360, CNN, March 10, 2017

Notable Print Coverage: 

Matt has also spoken at various conferences and seminars including:

  • Panelist, “Driving Corporate Sustainability Through Inside Counsel,” Berkeley Sustainable Business & Investment Forum (BSBIF), San Francisco, California, October 11, 2019 
  • Panelist, “How to Apply the Right Training Methods that Resonate with a Global Workforce,” 9th Global Forum on Anti-Corruption Compliance in High Risk Markets, Washington, D.C., July 26, 2018 
  • Panel Moderator, “Rule of Law”, Democracy in the Balance Symposium, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C., April 26, 2018
  • Speaker, “DOJ Enforcement Trends: What they mean for compliance officers,” Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics, Philadelphia Regional Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 8, 2017
  • 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.