Nick Akerman

Nick Akerman




Nick has over 40 years of legal experience, and helps clients respond to government prosecutions and investigations and assists corporate clients in complex civil litigations.

Prior to private practice, Nick served as a federal prosecutor as well as a member of the Watergate prosecution team.  He was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he prosecuted a wide array of white collar criminal matters, including bank frauds, stock frauds, complex financial frauds, environmental and tax crimes. Nick served as Assistant Special Watergate Prosecutor with the Watergate Special Prosecution Force under Archibald Cox and Leon Jaworski.

He is an expert on the criminal and civil applications of the Racketeer and Corrupt Organizations Statute (“RICO”), the Economic Espionage Act, the federal Securities Laws, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) and State Trade Secret and Restrictive Covenant Laws. He also is an expert on computer crime and the protection of competitively sensitive information and computer data. Nick regularly obtains injunctions for his clients under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and trade secret laws in various federal courts around the country requiring computer thieves to return stolen computer data and prohibiting the dissemination of the data to competitors. He also guides clients in developing systems, policies and protocols to protect computer data.

Nick appears regularly on MSNBC concerning topical national issues, including the FBI’s ongoing investigation into alleged Russian tampering with the U.S. election, and speaks and writes regularly on protecting computer data and has been a featured quoted expert on national issues in such publications as the Washington Post, Newsweek, The Hill, Politico, and US News & World Report. His blog can be found at

Education & Admissions

University of Massachusetts (B.A., 1969), magna cum laude
Phi Beta Kappa

Harvard Law School (J.D., 1972), cum laude


  • Massachusetts
  • New York


Representative Litigation

Complex Commercial Litigation

  • Representing Perry Gruss in an SEC enforcement action.  Securities and Exchange Commission v. Perry A. Gruss, 2012 WL3306166 (S.D. N.Y. Aug. 13, 2012) 
  • Represented CBQ, Inc. In a contract dispute in Esquire Trade & Finance, Inc. v. CBQ, Inc., 562 F.3d 516 (2009)
  • Represented Lockheed Martin Corp. in a trade secrets and computer fraud case in Lockheed Martin v, L-3 Communications, Inc., 2007 WL 3171299 (M.D. Fl. 2007)
  • Represented Lockheed Martin Corp. on RICO claims in Lockheed Martin v. The Boeing Company, 2005 WL 729685 (M.D. Fl. 2005)
  • Jury verdict in a civil RICO, libel and slander case affirmed by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Securitron Magnalock v. Schnabolk, 65 F.3d 256 (2d Cir. 1995)
  • Libel defense for media publications. Stover v. Journal Pub. Co., 105 N.M. 291, 731 P.2d 1335 (N.M. App. 1985)
  • Whistleblower cases. Rodgers v. Lenox Hill Hosp., 251 A.D.2d 244, 674 N.Y.S.2d 670 (N.Y.A.D. 1st Dep’t 1998)
  • Contract disputes. Carte Blanche (Singapore PTE., Ltd.) v. Diners Club Intern., Inc., 758 F. Supp. 908 (S.D.N.Y. 1991)
  • Insurance coverage disputes. See e.g. Journal Pub. Co. v. American Home Assur. Co., 771 F. Supp. 632 (S.D.N.Y. 1991)
  • Defamation. See e.g. Criales v. American Airlines, Inc., 1999 WL 1487601 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 28, 1999)

Protection of Trade Secrets and Computer Data

  • First preliminary injunction under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act relating to the entry of a company database through a public Web site using the company’s confidential and proprietary information. EF Cultural Travel BV v. Explorica, Inc., 274 F.3d 577(1st Cir. 2001)
  • Over 15 injunctions for clients under the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
  • Over 40 injunctions enforcing post-employment restrictive covenants for The Prudential Insurance Company of America. Prudential Ins. Co. of America v. Barone, 1998 WL 269065 (W.D.N.Y. May 9, 1998)
  • Injunctions enforcing covenants not to compete. Garber Bros., Inc. v. Evlek, 122 F.Supp.2d 375 (E.D.N.Y. 2000)
  • Assist companies in designing and reviewing corporate compliance programs. As part of this program, advise corporations on designing programs to protect intellectual property, trade secrets and computer data. Have conducted a trade secrets audit of a major national health insurance company to assist the company in establishing systems, agreements and procedures to protect its confidential and proprietary and trade secret protected information.

White Collar Representations

  • Have represented numerous corporations and individuals under criminal investigation by the United State Department of Justice for complex commercial and tax crimes. Defended numerous criminal cases in federal court including the acquittal of all defendants by a jury in United States v. Stella, 1990 WL 128918 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 27, 1990).
  • Representing New York State Senator John Sampson in U.S. v. Sampson, 2015 WL 2066073 (E.D.N.Y. 2015)
  • Representing hedge fund CFO in S.E.C. v. Gruss, 859 F.Supp.2d 653 (S.D.N.Y. 2009)

Internal Investigations

  • Conduct and direct internal investigations for corporate clients into allegations of corruption, bribery, internal fraud and theft including a well-publicized investigation in Chicago into allegations of abuse of corporate assets by the President of Florsheim. In many instances these investigations have resulted in RICO actions being filed against the wrongdoers. CNBC, Inc. v. Alvarado, 1994 WL 445717, RICO Bus. Disp. Guide 8629 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 17, 1994)

Federal Prosecution Experience

  • Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) from 1975 until 1983. Prosecuted a wide array of white collar criminal matters including bank frauds, bankruptcy frauds, stock frauds, complex financial frauds, environmental crimes and tax crimes. First prosecutor in the SDNY to use the RICO statute to prosecute traditional white collar criminal offenses. Tried over 25 cases before juries including successful prosecutions of Mafia bosses Russell Bufalino and Frank Tieri, and the RICO prosecution of ten individuals predicated on securities fraud and bankruptcy fraud violations for the formation and operations of The Westchester Premier Theater. United States v. Weisman, 624 F.2d 1118 (2d Cir. 1980)
  • Assistant Special Watergate Prosecutor with the Watergate Special Prosecution Force from 1973 to 1975. Conducted grand jury investigations into misuse of federal agencies and other allegations of criminal conduct related to the break-in at Democratic National Headquarters. Examined all of the principals in the Watergate scandal before the various Watergate grand juries.

News & Resources


Why these Trump-Mueller questions leaked, and why they leaked now: The President's lawyers are trying to send him a message
Animal Science Products, Inc. v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co.
SEC’s Latest Cybersecurity Risk Alert Identifies Elements of Robust Policies and Procedures
"China's New Cybersecurity Law Is a Start," The National Law Journal
Dorsey Anti-Corruption Digest - May 2017
Uber Hits a Bump in the Road with Its Self-Driving Technology with Alleged Trade Secret and Patent Violations
China Adopts Tough and Sweeping Cybersecurity Law
"It’s Easier for Employers to Sue for Data Theft," The National Law Journal
What Trump gets wrong about Comey: Parsing the President-elect strange statement on '60 Minutes'
How to Prepare for Theft of Company Information
"How to Prepare for Theft of Company Information," The National Law Journal
"Cybersecurity Compliance Just Got Tougher," The National Law Journal
"'Cannibal Cop' Decision Restrains Employers," The National Law Journal
"Time is Precious with Computer-Hacking Claims," The National Law Journal
The Yates Memo: A New DOJ Investigative Approach
How To Make Computer Fraud Claims Stick: National Law Journal
New Tools for Companies Against Cybercrime, The National Law Journal
To Catch an E-Thief - Under Federal Property Law, The National Law Journal
SEC Playing Bigger Role in Cybersecurity, The National Law Journal
Common Flaws in Computer Fraud Class Actions, The National Law Journal
"A Weapon Against Hackers on the Home Front," National Law Journal
The Conflicting Rulings on Employee Data Theft
"Company Computer Policies Risk Becoming Obsolete," National Law Journal
"Suing Employees for Computer Fraud Gets Easier," National Law Journal
"Practical Steps in Responding to a Data Breach," The National Law Journal

News & Press Mentions

Dorsey Partner Nick Akerman Comments on Review of Materials in Cohen Investigation
Dorsey Partner Nick Akerman Discusses Mueller Fraud Charges Against Manafort
Dorsey Partner Nick Akerman Comments on DNC Suing Russia, Trump Campaign & WikiLeaks
Dorsey Partner Nick Akerman Comments on New Memo in Mueller Probe
Dorsey Partner Nick Akerman Comments on Gates Pleading Guilty in Russian Probe
Dorsey Partner Nick Akerman Comments on Russian Troll Operation
Dorsey Partner Nick Akerman Discusses Trump Releasing Nunes Memo
Dorsey Partner Nick Akerman Discusses with Chris Hayes "What did Trump know about Flynn and when did he know it?"
Dorsey Partner Nick Akerman Comments on Simpson Russian Interviews
Dorsey Partner Nick Akerman Discusses Bannon and Russia Probe
Dorsey Partner Nick Akerman Remarks on Manafort Lawsuit Against Mueller
MSNBC Live Ari Melber- Eric Holder: Mueller attacks “B.S.”
Dorsey Partner Nick Akerman Discusses Papadopoulos' Role in Russia Probe
Dorsey Partner Nick Akerman Argues Wrong Evidence Was Presented in Sampson Case
Dorsey Attorneys Akerman and Colangelo-Bryan Argue Sampson Case
Dorsey Partner Nick Akerman Discusses Mueller Russian Investigation
Dorsey Partner Nick Akerman Comments on Flynn Pleading Guilty
Dorsey Partner Nick Akerman Comments on Uber Using Encrypted Messaging
Dorsey Partner Nick Akerman Discusses Flynn and Alleged Turkey Plot
Dorsey Partner Nick Akerman Comments on Hicks Involvement with Russia During Campaign
Dorsey Partner Nick Akerman Discusses Trump's Twitter Account Being Deactivated
Dorsey Partner Nick Akerman Discusses Mueller and Russian Probe
Dorsey & Whitney Pro Bono Heroes, Amanda Prentice and Nick Ackerman
Dorsey Partner Nick Akerman Remarks on Mueller and Russia Probe
Super Lawyers Recognizes 19 Dorsey Lawyers in New York
  • Has published the Dorsey Anti-Corruption Digest from 2010 to the present.
  • Events & Speaking Engagements

    Dorsey's Private Funds Symposium 2017 Post-Event Resources
    Dorsey's Annual Private Funds Symposium

    Select Presentations

    Events & Speaking Engagements

    • 7 Steps to Protect Company Data – Society of Information Management, October 24, 2016
    • Protecting Company Data Through Proactive Compliance – Association of Corporate Counsel – Westchester Southern Connecticut, October 14, 2016
    • Webinar Playback: Trade Secrets in the Federal Era, June 22, 2016
    • Dorsey Seminar on Cyber Intrusions and Data Security, July 22, 2014
    • Seminar Playback: Company Computers Under Attack: Big Dollars and Private Data Are Being Stolen Every Day: What Are You Doing About It?, June 26, 2014
    • Seminar: Computer Fraud, July 14, 2010
    • Current Issues in White Collar Litigation, May 7, 2009
    • Symposium for Corporate Leaders, February 2009
    • Dorsey Symposium for Corporate Leaders - Securing Electronic Business Information: Do You Know What You May Be Missing?, October 16, 2008
    • Playback: Navigating the Evolving Financial Crisis Webinar, March 2008
    • Directors Round Table - Corporate Digital Assets: Protecting the Secrets of Success, February 28, 2008 Protecting Your Corporate Data: Using Self-Help and Taking Protective Measures, February 2008
    • Current Issues in White Collar Litigation, October 05, 2007 - October 05, 2007
    • 2007 Annual Meeting and Ethics Marathon: ACC, Greater New York Chapter, June 19, 2007 - June 19, 2007
    • Labor & Employment Law Breakfast Briefing Series: Covering Your Assets - Trade Secrets and Laws Relating to Competition, June 19, 2003 - June 19, 2003
    • Association of Corporate Counsel
      • June 2007 - Annual Meeting and Ethics Marathon
      • October 2007 - Protecting Your Corporate Data: Using Self-Help and Taking Protective Measures
      • December 2005 - Ethics Marathon
      • November 2005 - Corporate Counsel Community Forum

    Industries & Practices

    • Anti-Corruption Group
    • Antitrust & Competition Law
    • Banking
    • China
    • Corporate Governance & Compliance
    • Cybersecurity, Privacy & Social Media
    • Educational Publishing, Technology & Services
    • Government Enforcement & Corporate Investigations

    Professional & Civic

    Professional Achievements

    • Testified Before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Organized Crime
    • Faculty Member of the Practicing Law Institute on Personal Liability for Environmental Violations (1991)


    Rated by Super Lawyers - Nick Akerman

    • Listed as a "New York Super Lawyer," 2009 - 2017
    • Recommended by Legal 500 in Litigation - Trade Secrets, 2015
    • Special Commendations by the Department of Justice in 1979 and 1981 for Outstanding Achievements
    Nick Akerman