Jonathan N. Halpern is a seasoned litigator who draws on his extensive experience in a wide array of white collar criminal defense matters, and as a former federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York (SDNY), to represent corporations and individuals in investigations and prosecutions spanning a breadth of criminal issues. He has litigated complex criminal and civil matters, but a substantial portion of his defense practice entails engaging with prosecutors and regulatory lawyers to resolve federal and state criminal and agency investigations for his clients away from the public spotlight. A legal strategist and problem solver, Mr. Halpern is a skillful and relentless negotiator and advocate both in court and behind the scenes, where he has quietly achieved client success in securing the dismissal of federal criminal felonies. Prosecutors, clients and adversaries have credited him for his creativity in proposing resolutions to challenging issues.

Mr. Halpern represents corporate and individual clients in internal and government investigations in a wide array of criminal, cross-border and compliance issues. Business and educational institutions and individuals turn to Mr. Halpern to represent them in a broad array of matters encompassing financial services; cybersecurity; Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA); false claims and other healthcare matters; securities, commodities, and tax, among other issues. He also handles representation and defense in investigations and litigation involving allegations of sexual assault, harassment and workplace misconduct. Mr. Halpern represents clients in federal and state court, as well as in matters involving U.S. Attorney's Offices, New York State Attorney General's Office, New York County District Attorney's Office, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), U.S. Department of the Treasury, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). His clients span diverse industries from cybersecurity, banking, investor funds, mortgage and other financial services to pharmaceutical and healthcare, media, energy services, manufacturing and retail.

In addition, Mr. Halpern is experienced in representations involving allegations of wrongdoing in the workplace and has successfully defended executives in investigations and litigation alleging sexual assault, harassment and other misconduct.

Mr. Halpern handles substantial pro bono legal work, including immigration asylum cases, and he has successfully secured asylum for individuals seeking to escape persecution in their homelands. One escapee, who was arrested at the U.S. border and detained for approximately nine months, was granted asylum – and his freedom – after Mr. Halpern litigated his case and prevailed at trial. Mr. Halpern agreed to take the case after several lawyers had declined to do so. More recently, he succeeded in securing asylum for the client’s spouse and children, assisting them to be reunited after years apart. After extensive work by Mr. Halpern and a firm associate, another pro bono client recently was granted asylum for fear of being persecuted in a former Soviet republic because of his sexual orientation. For his commitment and achievements, Mr. Halpern was named a Holland & Knight Public & Charitable Service All Star in 2019 and has consistently been named a Pro Bono All Star.

Mr. Halpern's tenure as a federal prosecutor in the SDNY included service as chief of the Major Crimes Unit. In that position, he supervised approximately 25 experienced federal prosecutors in investigations and prosecutions of international bribery, money laundering, healthcare and tax fraud, computer crimes, Bank Secrecy Act violations and other complex, large-scale financial crimes. As a federal prosecutor, Mr. Halpern investigated and prosecuted white collar crimes involving public corruption, extortion, money laundering, federal tax violations, bank fraud and wire, mail and healthcare fraud. He served as lead prosecutor in several high-profile matters, including the investigation of the presidential pardon of Marc Rich, and supervised the investigation of corruption allegations in the United Nation's Oil for Food Program.


  • Boston University School of Law, J.D.
  • Cornell University, A.B., cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • District of Columbia
  • New York
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • New York City Bar Association, Council on International Affairs
  • The Fund for Modern Courts, Board of Directors
  • New York State Bar Association, Committee on White Collar Criminal Litigation
  • New York City Bar Association
  • New York City Bar European Affairs Committee, Chair
  • Federal Bar Council, Committee on Sentencing and Alternatives to Incarceration
  • American Bar Association
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Cornell University Council
Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Criminal Defense: White Collar, 2013-2024
  • Holland & Knight Pro Bono All-Star, 2019-2021
  • Director's Award for Superior Performance, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Boston University International Law Journal, Editor-in-Chief


Speaking Engagements