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Steven R. Peikin


Steven R. Peikin

New York +1-212-558-7228+1-212-558-7228 +1-212-558-3588+1-212-558-3588

Steven Peikin is Managing Partner of Sullivan & Cromwell’s Criminal Defense and Investigations Group. His practice focuses on white-collar criminal defense, regulatory enforcement, and internal investigations. He has represented institutions and individual clients in numerous high-profile matters, including those involving alleged violations of the federal securities and commodities laws, FCPA matters, price fixing, violations of economic sanctions, and tax and money laundering offenses.

Mr. Peikin has tried more than 20 criminal jury cases in federal court and argued many appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

He is regularly recognized by peer and industry publications as a leader in white-collar criminal defense and government investigations.

Mr. Peikin is Adjunct Professor of Law at New York University Law School, where he teaches the criminal enforcement of the securities and commodities laws.

Government Service

From 1996 to 2004, Mr. Peikin served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York. He was Chief of the Office’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force, where he oversaw 40 prosecutors, investigators, and staff responsible for some of the nation’s highest-profile financial statement fraud, insider trading, and obstruction of justice cases, as well as a large undercover investigation of fraud in the foreign exchange markets.

As a prosecutor, Mr. Peikin also investigated and prosecuted a wide variety of securities, commodities, and other investment fraud schemes; an insider trading and money laundering case that resulted in the seizure and repatriation of $200 million; and cases involving racketeering, murder, and other violent crimes.

Professional Activities and Community Involvement

  • Adjunct Professor of Law, NYU Law School (2011-present)
  • Member, Criminal Justice Act Panel, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (2006-present)
  • Visiting Instructor, Harvard Trial Advocacy Workshop (2009)
  • Frequent presenter to bar associations and professional organizations on issues relating to securities and commodities fraud and internal investigations, including the American Bar Association, SIFMA, New York City Bar, Federal Bar Council, and PLI
  • Executive Vice-President, Center for Hearing and Communication, a nonprofit rehabilitation and human services agency for the deaf and hard of hearing

Rankings and Recognitions

  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business – recognized as a leader for White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (2007-2016) and FCPA (2014-2016)
  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business – recognized as a leader for FCPA (2015-2017)
  • The Legal 500 United States, Volume 3: Litigation – Recommended Lawyer for White-Collar Criminal Defense (2007, 2009-2014)
  • The Best Lawyers in America – recognized for Criminal Defense: White Collar (2008-2017)
  • New York Super Lawyers – recognized for Criminal Defense: White Collar (2007-2015)
  • Who’s Who Legal: Global Investigations Review – Recommended Lawyer for Criminal and Government Investigations
  • Lawdragon 500: New Stars, New Worlds – named as one of the top 500 up-and-coming lawyers in America (June 2006)
  • The National Law Journal – selected as one of 40 top lawyers under age 40 in the United States in the publication’s annual “40 Under 40” ranking (May 2005)
  • Recipient, 2009 Burton Award for Legal Achievement
  • Euromoney’s Benchmark: America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys (New York) – cited as a Rising Star in Litigation (2009-2013), a Local Litigation Star (2014-2017), a National Litigation Star in Appellate (2017) and a National Litigation Star in White Collar Crime (2016)
  • Expert Guides: White Collar Crime – Recommended Lawyer for White Collar Crime (2016)


Mr. Peikin has represented clients in virtually all of the major white-collar criminal and regulatory enforcement initiatives that have occurred in recent years. Recent representations include the following:
  • A high-frequency algorithmic trader in the first-ever criminal prosecution under the anti-“spoofing” provision of the Dodd-Frank Act
  • A manufacturing company in contested accounting fraud charges brought by the SEC
  • Barclays Bank plc in the investigation and resolution with the DOJ, CFTC, and U.K. FSA of matters relating to LIBOR and other benchmark interest rates
  • The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and numerous of its directors and senior executives in civil and criminal insider trading proceedings against one of its former directors
  • Numerous companies and executives in DOJ and SEC investigations of possible FCPA violations, including an oil supermajor, a global mining company, and the former CEO of an oil field services company
  • Barclays Bank plc in the investigation and resolution with the DOJ, New York County District Attorney, OFAC, and bank regulators of violations of economic sanctions laws
  • BP in the investigation and resolution with the DOJ and the CFTC of commodities manipulation charges