Howard M. Shapiro


Howard M. Shapiro


  • Chair, Litigation/Controversy Department

Howard Shapiro, a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, has 35 years of courtroom experience as a trial lawyer in civil and criminal matters, and has been repeatedly recognized as one of Washington's leading lawyers. In 2002, 2009 and 2011 he was named by Washingtonian magazine as one of the top lawyers in the District of Columbia; in 2004, he was voted the “Leading Lawyer in Litigation” in a poll of the DC legal community conducted by the Legal Times; he is consistently selected by Chambers USA and Best Lawyers in America as a leading lawyer in the areas of business litigation and white collar criminal defense; and he is listed in the Expert Guide to the World's Leading White Collar Crime Lawyers.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Shapiro served as the General Counsel of the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1993 to 1997. In 1997, Mr. Shapiro was awarded the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal by the Director of Central Intelligence. He was previously a much-decorated Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he tried numerous cases ranging from bank fraud and political corruption to organized crime and narcotics. During his tenure as an AUSA, Mr. Shapiro was specially assigned by the Justice Department to investigate and prosecute the notorious mail bombing assassinations of former United States Circuit Judge Robert Vance and former civil rights attorney Robert Robinson.


  • Mr. Shapiro's practice is focused largely on white collar criminal defense, complex commercial litigation and securities enforcement matters. He recently led the trial team that won a $52 million jury verdict for our client, Loral Space & Communications Holdings Corporation, in its contract dispute with Cablevision Systems Corporation and its subsidiaries. The dispute related to a joint venture the two companies formed in 1996 to launch a direct broadcast satellite service.

  • Mr. Shapiro previously led the trial team in IGEN International, Inc. v. Roche Diagnostics GmbH that secured a jury verdict for IGEN which allowed it to terminate its licensing agreement with Roche, IGEN's key business objective, and awarded $505 million in damages. The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit sustained the termination right, after which Roche purchased IGEN in a $1.25 billion deal. The $505 million jury verdict, which the Fourth Circuit reduced, ranked fourth in the National Law Journal's top verdicts for that year.

  • Mr. Shapiro represents numerous companies and individuals in connection with criminal investigations undertaken by the United States Department of Justice and United States Attorney's Offices throughout the country. He represented a major telecommunications company at trial in litigation brought by the Washington Attorney General alleging violations of the state’s Consumer Protection Act, where he successfully prevailed on summary judgment on one of the state’s claims and prevailed on a “half-time” motion to substantially curtail the scope of the remaining claims. Mr. Shapiro has also conducted numerous sensitive internal investigations for major banking and corporate clients in the United States, England, Latin America and Asia.


  • Recognized as a DC leader in the Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations field in the 2010–2021 editions of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers in Business
  • Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2011–2022 editions of Best Lawyers in America in the areas of bet-the-company litigation, real estate law, commercial litigation and white-collar criminal defense
  • Named to LMG Life Sciences' shortlist for 2016 Government Investigations Attorney of the Year
  • Selected by clients and peers as being among the world's leading investigations lawyers in the 2015, 2016 and 2017 editions of Global Investigations Review's Who's Who Legal: Investigations, and was also recognized in the 2015 edition of Who's Who Legal: Business Crime Defence
  • Consistently recommended by The Legal 500 United States for his white-collar criminal defense and commercial litigation practices
  • Listed in each edition of the Expert Guide to the World's Leading White Collar Crime Lawyers since 2008
  • Named a "Life Sciences Star" in the 2012–2016 and 2019–2021 editions of LMG Life Sciences for government enforcement/investigations
  • Recognized as one of Washington DC's "Top 100" lawyers in the 2014 edition of Super Lawyers, and recognized for his criminal defense/white collar and general litigation practices in the 2008–2021 editions
  • Named a "National Practice Area Start" and a "Local Litigation Star" for white collar crime by Benchmark Litigation in 2021 and 2022

Insights & News


  • Education

    • JD, Yale Law School, 1985

      Articles and Book Review Editor, Yale Law Journal
    • BA, Williams College, 1982

      magna cum laude
  • Admissions

    • District of Columbia

    • New York

  • Clerkships

    • The Hon. Pierre N. Leval, US District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1985 - 1987