Steven Peikin is Managing Partner of Sullivan & Cromwell’s Criminal Defense and Investigations Group. His practice focuses on white-collar criminal defense, regulatory enforcement, and internal investigations. He has represented institutions and their senior executives in numerous high-profile matters. Steve has tried more than 20 criminal jury cases in federal court and argued many appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
From 1996 to 2004, Steve was as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he served as Chief of the Office’s Securities Fraud Unit.
Steve is also Adjunct Professor of Law at New York University Law School, where he teaches the criminal enforcement of the securities and commodities laws.
Steve is a magna cum laude graduate of both Yale College and Harvard Law School and clerked on the Second Circuit and in the Southern District of New York.
James J. Benjamin Jr., a leader of Akin Gump’s securities enforcement and litigation practice group, represents clients in a wide variety of government and regulatory investigations and litigation. He has extensive experience with matters arising under the federal securities and commodities laws including allegations of foreign corrupt practices, insider trading, improper accounting and disclosure, market manipulation, and other trading violations. He represents both institutional and individual clients and has served as lead counsel in numerous internal investigations. Many of his clients are based outside the United States. Mr. Benjamin has conducted numerous jury trials and has briefed and argued many cases before federal and state appellate courts. He has been recognized for a number of years as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the areas of white-collar crime and government investigations and in other publications including The Who’s Who Legal 100 and Best Lawyers in America.
Before joining Akin Gump in early 2001, Mr. Benjamin served for more than five years as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. During his tenure there, he served as deputy chief appellate attorney and as a member of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force. As an assistant U.S. attorney, he received an award for superior performance from Attorney General Janet Reno in 2000. Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Benjamin served as a law clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court for Justices Lewis F. Powell Jr. and John Paul Stevens. Before that, he worked as an associate at a major law firm and served as a law clerk for the Honorable J. Frederick Motz, a federal district judge in the District of Maryland.
Mr. Benjamin received his A.B. magna cum laude in 1987 from Dartmouth College, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was awarded the Colby Government Prize. He earned his J.D. with honors in 1990 from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was the research and projects editor of the Virginia Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif.
Mr. Benjamin is a member and former chair of the New York City Bar Association’s Task Force on National Security and the Rule of Law and is a member and committee chair of the New York Council of Defense Lawyers. He is also a member of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Federal Bar Council. He has spoken extensively on developments in white-collar practice, especially regarding SEC enforcement and the FCPA.