Derek Cohen, a partner in Goodwin's White Collar Defense group, specializes in white collar criminal investigations and prosecutions, regulatory inquiries and lawsuits, internal corporate investigations and complex commercial litigations. Mr. Cohen is an experienced trial lawyer who has successfully tried numerous cases in both federal and state courts for more than 20 years. Mr. Cohen’s practice draws on his previous experience as a federal prosecutor and in private practice. Prior to joining Goodwin, Mr. Cohen served in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 2010 to 2013, where he was Deputy Chief of the Division’s Fraud Section as well as Deputy Director of the Deepwater Horizon Task Force. He also previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia. Mr. Cohen began his career as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan.

Mr. Cohen is recognized as a “go-to defense expert for clients involved in high-profile criminal proceedings, drawing on experience in areas such as allegations of insider trading and corruption” according to Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and has been selected as The American Lawyer's “Litigator of the Week” for the successful defense at trial of former J.P. Morgan Securities LLC analyst Ashish Aggarwal on conspiracy, insider trading and wire fraud charges.


Areas of Practice
Domaines D’Expertise





Mr. Cohen has extensive experience representing companies and individuals in a wide variety of criminal and regulatory investigations by federal, state and local prosecutors. Some examples include:

  • Successful defense at trial of former J.P. Morgan Securities LLC analyst Ashish Aggarwal on conspiracy, insider trading, and wire fraud charges. A Central District of California jury found Aggarwal not guilty related to his role in an alleged insider trading scheme. This is a rare defense victory in an insider trading case and the first since the December 2016 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Salman v. United States lowered the bar for prosecutors in insider trading cases.
  • Secured a deferred prosecution agreement for Celadon Group, Inc., a publicly traded transportation company,  in connection with an investigation into accounting and securities fraud by the U.S. Department of Justice and the SEC
  • Executives of a major Latin American company in connection with FCPA and related investigations
  • A Fortune 500 company under investigation for potential environmental crimes by Federal and State authorities
  • The audit committee of a publicly traded company in connection with an insider trading investigation
  • A number of blockchain and digital currency clients in SEC investigations
  • The board of a publicly traded company in connection with DOJ and SEC investigations into accounting and related issues
  • A Swiss banker in connection with the Malaysian 1MDB banking scandal
  • A London-based trader in connection with the SSA Bond investigations and related class action
  • A CFO of an international company in connection with an FCPA investigation
  • An individual charged with FCPA violations for bribing the former President of the United Nations General Assembly
  • A number of executives accused of insider trading and other securities frauds by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
  • A number of companies and individuals in connection with SEC investigations, including a former CEO under investigation for insider trading
  • A number of former major investment bank employee under investigation for currency manipulation

Mr. Cohen also has significant experience in conducting internal investigations, including:

  • FCPA review for a publicly traded company
  • A number of investigations on behalf of companies involving suspected employee embezzlement and other crimes
  • A number of investigations on behalf of major financial institutions into potential criminal and regulatory violations
  • An investigation into a foreign mutual fund on behalf of its board
  • An FCPA/OFAC investigation on behalf of a foreign company

Mr. Cohen’s work at the DOJ included:

  • Supervising Fraud Section attorneys in a wide variety of financial crimes, procurement frauds and corruption matters
  • Leading a unit within the Fraud Section devoted to bank and government frauds
  • Supervising the New Orleans-based team of attorneys and agents investigating the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster that led to the deaths of 11 men and the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history
  • Playing a key role in securing guilty pleas from Transocean, Halliburton and BP in the Deepwater Horizon investigation, resulting in the largest criminal resolution in U.S. history
  • Earning both the Attorney General's Award for Exceptional Service, the highest award within the Department of Justice, and the FBI Director’s Award for Excellence, considered the FBI’s most prestigious honor, for his work on the Deepwater Horizon investigation

Mr. Cohen’s work as an AUSA included:

  • Leading a national undercover investigation into stock manipulation and prosecutions involving a dozen publicly traded companies, including the conviction of the former CEO of National Lampoon
  • Obtaining the first conviction in U.S. history of a hedge fund for deceptive market timing of mutual funds
  • Convicting (after trial) the former general counsel of a publicly traded company for insider trading
  • Leading an investigation into Philadelphia charter schools corruption that resulted in convictions of a school board president and school CEO
  • Successfully prosecuting a number of health care facilities and professionals for narcotics and other violations
Professional Activities

Mr. Cohen has been an active participant in bar association activities throughout his career, including serving as co-chair of the ABA White Collar Young Lawyers Subcommittee for the New York region and as secretary of the Criminal Courts Committee, and as a member of the Criminal Advocacy Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. He is also a member of the Federal Bar Council and the New York Council of Defense Lawyers, a membership by invitation to a group of top criminal defense practitioners in New York. Mr. Cohen is also a member of the Criminal Justice Act Panel for the Southern District of New York.

Mr. Cohen is a member of the UJA/Criminal Law Committee as well as alumni groups for the Manhattan DA’ s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Cohen previously served as an adjunct professor at Temple University School of Law. He has also guest lectured at Harvard Law School and the University of Pennsylvania Law School in the area of corporate investigations.

Professional Experience

Prior to his service with the DOJ and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia, Mr. Cohen was a white collar criminal defense attorney with Dorsey & Whitney and, previously, with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. He began his career at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, serving as an Assistant DA under the Hon. Robert M. Morgenthau.


Mr. Cohen is widely recognized as a leading white collar criminal defense lawyer by a number of prestigious legal publications.

  • Mr. Cohen was selected as The American Lawyer's “Litigator of the Week” for the successful defense at trial of former J.P. Morgan Securities LLC analyst Ashish Aggarwal on conspiracy, insider trading, and wire fraud charges.
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business recognizes Mr. Cohen as a leading practitioner in New York in the area of White Collar Crime & Government Investigations. According to Chambers, he is “a formidable courtroom presence,” and is “extraordinarily savvy and very skilled.” Market sources also noted to Chambers that they “would not want to try a case against him.”
  • Mr. Cohen is also recognized as one of the world’s leading white collar crime lawyers by Euromoney’s Expert Guides: White Collar Crime Lawyers and is listed in Global Investigations Review 100, a guide to the world’s leading firms for corporate investigations.
  • He has been recommended by The Legal 500 U.S. for corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense.

In The News









J.D., 1995
Boston University School of Law
(cum laude)
B.A., 1992
University at Albany, State University of New York



New York
New Jersey
District of Columbia


U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York
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