Harlan Levy

Co-Chair, State Attorney General Investigations practice
New York

I provide clients with effective representation informed by my experience as the former Chief Deputy Attorney General of the State of New York.

Harlan Levy is a nationally recognized litigation partner and trial lawyer in Foley Hoag's New York office. He co-chairs the firm's State Attorney General practice. He defends civil and criminal governmental investigations and cases for high-profile clients across all industries. He uses his unique background and experience to turn complex issues into simple and convincing facts.

Harlan has successfully represented a wide range of high-profile clients. Using the institutional knowledge his unique background has given him, he brings integrity, intellect and strategy to the table to provide effective, comprehensive and sound strategies to clients.

He currently represents a Fortune 500 company as national settlement counsel in a multi-state litigation by state Attorneys General. He recently defended a co-founder of the world’s largest cryptocurrency derivatives exchange in a federal criminal investigation and prosecution; represented Kentucky in a price gouging case against a Fortune 100 corporation in Kentucky state court; and defended the chief fundraiser for the Mayor of New York City in a highly publicized year-long federal criminal investigation of the Mayor and the fundraiser.

Harlan is a Vice President and former Chair of the Board of Directors of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. He served as Chief Deputy Attorney General of the State of New York for almost five years, helping oversee the AG’s most important investigations, litigations and criminal prosecutions. Prior to and after his service as Chief Deputy AG, Harlan was a partner for fifteen years at a prominent litigation firm based in New York. Earlier in his career he was a trial lawyer in the Major Offense/Career Criminal Bureau of the New York County District Attorney’s office. He successfully litigated the first contested hearing in NY County on the admissibility of DNA evidence, and was a national leader in the introduction of genetic evidence in criminal cases.

Harlan is a recognized thought leader and author on a variety of legal topics. He authored a “highly regarded book about DNA evidence in the courtroom” (The New York Times), published by HarperCollins, chronicling the history of DNA in the laboratory and court. He has also appeared as a trial and legal analyst over 100 times on national television including CBS, NBC (Today), PBS (Firing Line with William F. Buckley), CNN (Burden of Proof), Fox, CNBC (Rivera Live and Lou Dobbs), MSNBC (Ari Melber), and Court TV.

The former Dean of Columbia Law School has recently described Harlan as “at the top of his legal generation for integrity, intellectual rigor, and wise analysis of complex issues,” and a former Attorney General of New York has described him as “one of the best legal minds in the state.”


  • Columbia University School of Law, J.D., Charles Evans Hughes Fellow (race and poverty law); Executive Editor, Columbia Human Rights Law Review, 1980
  • Amherst College, B.A., magna cum laude, "First Citizen of the College Prize;” Class Day Speaker, Commencement, 1977

Bar and Court Admissions

  • New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York


  • Currently represents a Fortune 100 company as settlement counsel in a multi-state litigation by state AGs.
  • Defended an investigation by the New York AG of Covid-19 refunds for purchases of tickets to Broadway shows and other live events.
  • Represented a founder of the world’s largest cryptocurrency derivatives exchange in a high profile federal criminal case brought under the Bank Secrecy Act.
  • Defended the chief political fundraiser for the Mayor of the City of New York in a year-long, highly publicized, federal criminal public corruption investigation of the chief fundraiser and the Mayor.
  • Represented Kentucky in a price gouging case against a Fortune 100 Company in Kentucky state court.
  • Defended against New York City’s action to obtain an injunction shutting down five New York City hotels under New York State’s “Airbnb law."

  • Chief Deputy Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General of the State of New York (January 1, 2011 – October, 2015)
  • Assistant District Attorney, Major Offense/Career Criminal Bureau, New York County District Attorney’s Office (1987-1995)
  • Law Clerk, Judge Leonard P. Moore, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit (1980-1981)


  • NY Data Security Law Will Dramatically Expand AG’s Reach, Law360 (2020)
  • A Playbook for State AGs to Defeat Trump, New York Daily News (2017)
  • The New World of Campus Sexual Assault, Huffington Post (2016)
  • Making Experts Matter, Litigation Magazine (2008)
  • Caught Up in DNA’s Growing Web, Op-Ed, New York Times (2006) (named Best Column in the United States by the magazine The Week)
  • And the Blood Cried Out (HarperCollins: 1996) (hardcover); (Avon Books: 1997) (mass market paperback); (Hara Shoba: 1998) (Japanese); received favorable reviews (“superb… dramatic and informative” – The Wall Street Journal; “dramatic and intriguing” – The Boston Globe; “riveting” – Publishers Weekly).
  • Jury Selection in Criminal Cases, published in New York County District Attorney’s Office Trial Advocacy Manual, and New York State Basic Course for Prosecutors (1992)

Honors & Involvement

  • Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America
  • City & State New York Law Power 100
  • John J. McCloy Award, Fund for Modern Courts (2016)
  • Public Service Award, Citizens Union (2016)
  • Vice President (2022-2023), Chair, Board of Directors (2021-2022), Association of the Bar of the City of New York
  • President, Federal Bar Council American Inn of Court (2017-2018)
  • Chair, Council on Criminal Justice, Association of the Bar of the City of New York (2008-2011)

Speaking Engagements

  • Responding to State Attorneys General Investigations, General Counsel Forum, Columbia Law School (2018)
  • The Martin Act: A Tool for Reform or an Abuse of Power, NYU School of Law Center on the Administration of Criminal Justice (2018)
  • The Weight of the Mattress: Sexual Assault on Campus, Federal Bar Council Bench and Bar Conference (2016)
  • Key Issues in White Collar Criminal Defense, New York State Bar Association (2015)
  • Governmental Investigations and Litigation, New York City Bar Association Litigation Summit (2014)
  • Standards for Prosecuting Corporate Fraud, New York City Bar Association (2009)
  • Examination and Cross-Examination of Expert Witnesses, Federal Bar Council (2007)
  • Keynote Speaker, National Institutes of Health, Conference on the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of the Human Genome Project (2006)
  • National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence (1999).