Lynn Neils

New York

I draw on my extensive prosecutorial, in-house and private practice experience to protect clients’ interests and help with their litigation needs.

Lynn Neils focuses on representing companies and individuals in all manner of litigation, including in connection with criminal investigations and prosecutions by federal, state and local prosecuting offices, regulatory matters involving the SEC, the CFTC, the FDA and other federal, state and foreign regulators, and complex civil disputes.

Lynn also regularly represents and advises corporate clients, including Boards of Directors, on all manner of compliance matters, including creating and revising corporate compliance programs and conducting internal investigations related to potential or alleged compliance failures. Lynn has significant trial experience in both the federal and state courts. 

Lynn draws praise from clients, one of whom commented: “Lynn was amazing to work with. She is approachable, knowledgeable and intellectually curious. I felt that she was always protecting my interests.” (Chambers USA, Litigation: White Collar Crime & Government Investigations, 2019). Lynn is also highly regarded by clients for her ability to "look at the full picture to get an understanding of what is going on" and her "impressive level of depth” (Chambers USA, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations, 2015).

Lynn served as an Assistant United States Attorney in both the Southern District of New York (SDNY) and the District of New Jersey. During her more than 11 years as an Assistant United States Attorney, she worked on a wide variety of complex White-Collar cases, including FCPA, securities fraud, accounting fraud, bank fraud, Bank Secrecy Act, tax fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, health care fraud, art fraud, insurance fraud, environmental violations, U.S. sanctions, and obstruction of justice matters.

In 2004, Lynn was promoted to Chief of the Complex Fraud /Cybercrime Unit in the SDNY where she supervised approximately 22 senior Assistant United States Attorneys in handling the investigation and prosecution of a wide variety of complex, and often multinational, white collar cases. In her role as Complex Frauds Chief, Lynn coordinated with multiple prosecutorial and regulatory offices, including many outside the United States, including the U.K. Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Services Agency. She also acted as a liaison with the banking regulators in New York, including the Federal Reserve Bank, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

For several years, Lynn served as Senior Counsel at Johnson & Johnson where she handled a large caseload of criminal and civil matters. In her role, she was responsible for overseeing outside counsel representing Johnson & Johnson; conducting internal investigations; advising on compliance and regulatory matters; and conducting training of employees on regulatory and legal matters.


  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., American Criminal Law Review, 1989
  • Tulane University, B.A., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa , 1986

Bar and Court Admissions

  • New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second 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. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit



  • Represented multiple corporate executives of a large European pharmaceutical company in connection with a DOJ/SEC FCPA investigation involving activities in Eastern Europe and Africa.
  • Represented a former top executive of a foreign bank in connection with a money laundering and fraud investigation by the DOJ and SEC.
  • Represented a Fortune 50 Health Sciences Company in a global AML and FCPA self-assessment.
  • Represented a large oil and gas company in connection with a criminal false statements investigation by the EPA and DOJ.
  • Represented a Fortune 500 oil and gas company in connection with a fraud investigation by the CFTC.
  • Represented a multinational Fortune 100 Insurance Company in connection with an internal FCPA compliance investigation.
  • Represented a senior executive at a large media company in connection with a fraud investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the SDNY.
  • Engaged by a large multinational engineering company in connection with an FCPA internal review.
  • Engaged by a large consumer products company to provide FCPA advice regarding its compliance program and its operations, including the retention of third parties, in China.
  • Engaged by a Fortune 100 Life Sciences company to coordinate the investigation of suspected FCPA violations in India, Ukraine, China and Brazil, and to advise the company’s Internal Audit Department on conducting FCPA audits to ensure compliance.
  • Engaged by a CEO of a large quasi-public power company in connection with a public corruption investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
  • Engaged to represent the Director of Product Investigations of General Motors in connection with the criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York related to GM’s recall of vehicles for defective ignition switches.
  • Engaged by a Fortune 100 Life Sciences company to represent it in connection with an anti-kickback and off-label promotion investigation by the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Tennessee.
  • Represented a former high-level executive in London of a U.S. Rating Agency in connection with a criminal fraud investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and a follow-on civil investigation by the DOJ.
  • Engaged by the President of a subsidiary of a large Government Contractor to represent him in connection with a False Claims Act investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
  • Representing a former executive in a life sciences company in connection with an investigation by DOJ and the SEC of alleged FCPA violations in multiple Eastern European countries.
  • Engaged by two former bankers at a large Financial Institution in connection with the CFTC’s investigation into the alleged manipulation of the ISDAFIX rate.
  • Engaged by a former analyst for a Hedge Fund in connection with an SEC investigation into alleged market manipulation and insider trading.
  • Engaged by a large public Financial Services company to conduct an internal investigation into alleged accounting irregularities.
  • Represented several executives in the investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice related to alleged violations of U.S. Sanctions against Iran and other federal statutes by ING, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank.
  • Represented a large Electronics company in an internal investigation into allegations it assisted a public company in falsely inflating its sales numbers.
  • Engaged by a large Oil and Gas company to conduct FCPA due diligence in connection with a proposed acquisition.
  • Represented a Director of a Broker/Dealer under investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Securities Exchange Commission for securities fraud.
  • Represented the Chief Compliance Officer of a Broker/Dealer in an SEC Enforcement action involving allegations of churning in customer accounts.
  • Represented the former Chief Financial Officer of AIG in connection with the fraud investigation by the Department of Justice in the wake of the 2008 Financial Crisis related to AIG’s handling of its portfolio of Credit Default Swaps.
*  Ms. Neils handled some of the above representations prior to joining Foley Hoag 

  • Senior Counsel, Johnson & Johnson
  • Chief of the Complex Fraud /Cyber Security Unit, Southern District of New York
  • Chief, Major Crimes Unit, U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York


  • "Parallel Criminal and Civil Investigations: Good Faith of United States Attorney's Office Called into Question," INSIGHTS: The Corporate & Securities Law Advisor, August 2019
  • Second Circuit’s Rejection of Fraud Theory in LIBOR Manipulation Case May Have Far-Reaching Implications February 8, 2022

Honors & Involvement

  • Recognized by Chambers USA, for White Collar Crime and Government Investigations, 2015-2023
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers for Criminal Defense: White Collar, 2016-2020
  • Listed in the International Who's Who of Investigations Lawyers & Forensic Experts (Law Business Research Ltd.), 2014-2016
  • Recommended in The Legal 500 U.S. for international trade, 2013
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • New York Council of Defense Lawyers
  • Federal Bar Council
  • American Bar Association, White Collar Crime Committee of the Business Law Section, Member; Securities Fraud Subcommittee, Co-Chief
  • Women’s White-Collar Defense Association, Program Chair
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York; Committee on the Judiciary, Member (2002-2005)
  • Board Member, Georgetown Law School Board of Visitors
  • Board Member, Lawyers for Children America

Speaking Engagements

  • “Overturned: The End of 50 Years of Abortion Rights and a Discussion of What’s Next,” Federal Bar Council CLE Webinar (July 2022)
  • "Raising the Board's Compliance IQ: Meeting Increased Compliance Expectations," Fraud Eats Strategy podcast (April 2021)
  • "Once More Into the Breach: White Collar in Enforcement Issues in a Post-COVID Environment," Webinar (April 2020)
  • "Storming the Gatekeepers: When Compliance Officers & In-House Lawyers are at Risk 2017," PLI (September 2017)