Thomas Firestone

Tom Firestone

Biography

Tom Firestone is Co-chair of the firm's North American Government Enforcement practice and is a member of the Firm's Global Compliance & Investigations Steering Committee. He represents clients in matters involving anti-corruption and the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), internal investigations and transactional due diligence. Prior to joining the Firm, he spent 14 years at the US Department of Justice. He worked as an Assistant US Attorney in the Eastern District of New York where he prosecuted transnational organized crime cases. He also worked as Resident Legal Adviser and Acting Chief of the Law Enforcement Section at the US Embassy in Moscow. In the latter capacity, he facilitated US-Russian law enforcement cooperation, assisted the Russian government in drafting new criminal legislation, advised the US government on policy issues related to criminal justice in Russia and twice won the US State Department Superior Honor Award.

Practice Focus

Tom represents multinational companies and individuals before the US Department of Justice, State Department, and other US and foreign agencies in connection with transnational criminal investigations, extradition proceedings and other sensitive matters in multiple international jurisdictions. He also regularly advises foreign governments on issues relating to anti-corruption and the rule of law, and has represented individuals in Interpol matters. He also serves as a member of the Firm's Cannabis Review Committee and as editor of the Firm's Global Cannabis Compliance Blog.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Conducted internal investigations and risk assessments for US and European companies in various countries including Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

  • Obtained declinations from the DOJ for US companies in FCPA investigations into allegations of bribery in Nigeria and Kazakhstan.

  • Negotiated 65 million USD plea agreement on behalf of large Asian engineering company in connection with fraud in US Department of Defense contract.

  • Successfully represented clients in proceedings before Interpol and obtained cancellation of Red Notices for them.

  • Served as adviser to a former prime minister of an East European country in the largest corruption case in the country's history.

  • Obtained a declination from DOJ for an individual under investigation as an unregistered foreign agent in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

  • Advised the governments of Romania and Ukraine on anti-corruption reforms.

  • Represented three Swiss banks in the US DOJ amnesty program.

  • Served as US support lawyer for a European monitor in connection with Deferred Prosecution Agreement with DOJ.

  • Advised companies on legal risks and compliance in the global cannabis market.

Professional Honors

  • Superior Honor Award, US Department of State, 2010 and 2004
  • Special Award for Advancing US-Russian Cooperation in Antitrust Enforcement, presented by Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service, 2010
  • Best Professor Award, Pericles American Business Law Education Project, Moscow, awarded for class on "Corporate and White Collar Crime," 2009-2010
  • American Bar Association Section of International Law Award for Best Stand-Alone Program, 'Resolution of Russia-Related Business Disputes: The Next Wave," September 2009
  • Outstanding Performance Award, US Department of Justice, 2008, 2009
  • Award for Advancing US-Russian Cooperation, Moscow Oblast Advocates Chamber, 2008

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Council on Foreign Relations - Member
  • U.S.- Russia Foundation - Director; Chair, Nomination and Governance
  • Center for European Policy Analysis - Director
  • Integrity Initiatives International - Director
  • U.S.- Kyrgyzstan Business Council - Immediate past Chairman
  • U.S.- Tajikistan Business Council - Immediate past Secretary - Treasurer
  • America Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce - Board Member
  • EurasiaNet.Org - Director

Admissions

  • District of Columbia (2018)
  • New York (1994)

Education

  • Harvard Law School (J.D. Cum Laude) (1993)
  • University of California at Berkeley (M.A. Soviet & East European Politics) (1987)
  • Harvard College (B.A. Slavic Languages and Literature Magna Cum Laude with Highest Honors) (1986)
  • Catholic University of Lublin (Certificate) (2018)
  • Varia Language School, Krakow, Poland (Certificate Summer Language Program) (2016)
  • Varia Language School, Krakow, Poland (Certificate) (2015)
  • Rolang Romanian Language School, Bucharest, Romania (Certificate Intensive Summer Program) (2017)

Languages

  • English
  • Russian
  • Polish

Previous Offices

  • Moscow
  • London

Publications

  • Author, "Virus, 'Tiger King' Point to Need for Wildlife Trafficking Law" Law360, June 11, 2020

  • Author, "COVID and Marijuana Legalization: Lessons of History" Benzinga, May 8, 2020

  • Author, "DOJ Should Issue No Action Letters For Marijuana Industry" Law360, May 1, 2020

  • Author, "Protecting Against Corruption In State Cannabis Licensing" Law360, October 29, 2019

  • Author, "Legal Risk and Opportunity in the Cannabis Industry: What Every Director Needs to Know," NACD Directorship Magazine, NACDonline.org, September 2019