White Collar Defense, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP Photo
Print PDF

White Collar Defense


We understand that clients facing an investigation or enforcement action by the government need help quickly. Every step or misstep can have an irreversible impact on the outcome. Whether it’s the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the SEC, the IRS, the DOJ, FINRA, FERC, the Massachusetts Securities Division, or another federal or state agency or a self-regulatory organization, an investigation can be serious, alarming and potentially damaging. Knowing what direction to take, what strategy to pursue, what to communicate when and to whom, is critical.

The Nutter team is a tightly-knit group of dedicated white collar defense attorneys who work together on strategies to solve clients’ problems. Highly experienced partners share their expertise and insight to optimize each client’s case in a collaborative approach that benefits the client with their combined knowledge and the strength of their collective commitment. We give each client an exceptional degree of direct partner attention, together with the consistent support of talented litigation associates who concentrate in government investigations and white collar defense work.

Our Team

What matters most is having the right team in your corner – legal counsel who are:

  • Experienced both as prosecutors and trial lawyers
  • Creative and practical at problem-solving
  • Responsive and proactive
  • Committed to understanding your business
  • Dedicated to providing the highest quality of service
  • Cost-sensitive
  • Driven to win

Our litigators are prominent and highly respected members of the legal and business communities.

Jonathan Kotlier served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for 12 years in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, during eight of which he was Chief of the Economic Crimes Unit. He worked closely with the SEC and the Massachusetts Division of Securities on securities fraud cases. His many successful representations have earned him recognition by Chambers and Partners in the area of White Collar Crime and Government Investigations. Jonathan is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America (LCA), a trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers.

Ian Roffman served as Senior Trial Counsel in the Boston Office of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, where he handled high-profile cases and received both the Chairman’s Award for Excellence and the Enforcement Director’s Award. His work on behalf of individuals and companies has earned Ian recognition by Chambers and Partners in the area of securities litigation. He has served as a member of the governing Council of the Boston Bar Association and co-chair of the Financial Services Section of the Boston Bar Association. Ian is also a Fellow of the LCA.

Seth Berman is one of the nation’s leading experts in cybersecurity and data privacy. He previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and a member of the New England Electronic Crimes Task Force. Seth was also an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office and was a member of the New York Electronic Crimes Task Force.

What we do

The extensive experience we provide in specialty areas include:

  • Health care
  • Securities fraud and insider trading
  • Computer fraud and abuse
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)
  • Banking issues including suspicious transactions and money laundering
  • Sarbanes–Oxley Act compliance
  • Other issues facing the financial services sector

The services we provide include:

  • Vigorously defending clients who are targets, subjects or witnesses in governmental investigations and civil, criminal and regulatory actions
  • Handling grand jury investigations, subpoena responses, hearings, negotiations, trials, appeals and all other aspects of litigation with the government
  • Counseling clients on corporate compliance
  • Conducting internal investigations and audits
  • Representing clients in False Claims Act cases and qui tam investigations

Who we represent

The Nutter white collar defense team represents companies and institutions, corporate management and employees, and a variety of other individuals who have included board members, chief executives and other top officers. Clients come from a wide range of industries and fields, including:

  • Pharmaceuticals and other life sciences sectors
  • Broker dealers and investment advisors
  • Health insurance companies
  • Bank and credit unions
  • Life insurance companies
  • High technology
  • Manufacturing
  • Major educational and medical institutions
  • Energy and utilities

Our clients range from Fortune 500 companies to world-renowned universities to employee groups to smaller businesses, who have turned to the firm for representation on the full spectrum of criminal and civil matters, regulatory proceedings, compliance efforts, internal investigations and other interactions with the state and/or federal governments.

Some examples of our success

Successes the Nutter team has achieved for clients include:

  • Nutter won an acquittal in a high-profile federal trial for the general counsel of a publicly traded software company charged with securities fraud and false statements.
  • Nutter won an acquittal for a pharmaceutical company manager after a nationally watched three-month federal trial on conspiracy and health care fraud charges.
  • Nutter represented a multi-national health care provider in a government investigation with potentially extensive criminal exposure which resulted in relatively modest civil fine and closure of the government investigation.
  • Nutter represented the target of an IRS criminal enforcement matter involving over $10 million of prime real estate in which the individual was not charged and ultimately received a tax refund.
  • Represented a mutual fund company in a Massachusetts Division of Securities investigation; no suit was filed.
  • Nutter obtained a non-prison time sentence after a multi-day sentencing hearing for the chief in-house lawyer of a large construction company; the attorney had been charged in a multi-million dollar workers’ compensation fraud and the government sought a substantial prison term.
  • Nutter convinced the government not to bring criminal charges against an officer of a major health care company who had received a target letter from the government; the other officers who received target letters were all criminally charged.
  • Nutter represented a financial institution that had failed to file currency transaction reports for over $50 million in cash deposits; the U.S. Treasury Department ultimately took no enforcement action.

Our areas of expertise

Health Care Fraud and Abuse
Nutter's government enforcement defense attorneys have been involved in virtually every major health care fraud case in New England over the past decade, including actions brought under the anti-kickback statute and a wave of cases challenging the off-label promotion of pharmaceutical products. Our group represents corporations, medical institutions and individuals in federal and state civil and criminal health care enforcement actions.

Securities Enforcement
Our attorneys have extensive experience with all types of federal and state, criminal and civil, SEC, and FINRA investigations and enforcement actions, including those involving allegations of insider trading and accounting/revenue recognition fraud. Our group also conducts internal investigations into corporate governance and breach of fiduciary duty issues. Ian Roffman is a former senior counsel at the SEC, and Jonathan Kotlier worked extensively with the SEC, FINRA, and Massachusetts Division of Securities during his 12 years at the US Attorney’s Office; he also served on the Department of Justice’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Working Group.

False Claims Act and Government Contracts
Nutter has broad experience representing private and non-profit entities, and individuals, who have been sued for submitting allegedly false claims to government agencies. Nutter has successfully defended several blood laboratories and health insurance companies in False Claims Act cases alleging fraudulent billing. Nutter has also represented individuals whose work on government contracts has led to criminal charges. Our extensive work in the area covers industries ranging from military procurement to import/export firms, hospitals and medical devices.

Computer Crime/Cyber Security
Nutter attorneys have deep expertise in the issues surrounding the investigation, prosecution and defense of complex computer crime and intellectual property offenses, including theft of trade secrets, violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and other issues related to computer intrusions and the unauthorized use of electronic information. Seth Berman is a former member of the Computer Crime Unit at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston and is recognized as one of the nation’s top experts in this area. He also advises companies on compliance with state and federal disclosure obligations related to identity theft and the misuse of personal information.

Academic Fraud
Nutter attorneys have represented scientists in both academic inquiries and criminal investigations in investigations into whether they misrepresented/falsified data.

Internal Investigations
Handling internal investigations is an integral part of the legal services we provide. Our attorneys extend expert legal advice, identify potential exposures at the earliest possible point, and assist clients in developing and adopting a plan to address these issues internally or negotiate a resolution with the regulator involved.

View Practice Team

Representative Matters

Representative Matters

  • Represented Parents in “Varsity Blues” Prosecutions

    Nutter represented two individuals who were prosecuted as part of the “Varsity Blues” college admissions sting operation.

  • Nutter Achieved Jury Trial Win for Big Four Accounting Firm

    After a three-week jury trial, Nutter won a verdict in favor of their client, a Big Four accounting firm, which was alleged to have failed to detect a criminal fraud during the course of their annual audits of a college.

  • Represented C-Suite Executives in Health Care Criminal and Securities Enforcement Win

    Nutter represented the chief financial officer, chief medical officer and general counsel of a pharmaceutical company in connection with Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigations, shareholder class actions, and a qui tam action. After a six-year investigation, the DOJ and SEC closed their investigations without taking any action against Nutter’s clients, and the qui tam and shareholder class actions were settled on very favorable terms.

  • Nutter Won Dismissal of Qui Tam Action Brought Against Health Insurance Company

    Nutter represented a health insurer in a false claims act case brought in Texas alleging billing improprieties. The court granted its motion to dismiss.

  • Represented Pathology Laboratory in Qui Tam Case

    Nutter represented a pathology laboratory in a qui tam case alleging fraudulent billing practices, and reached a very favorable settlement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

  • Government Dropped Insider Trading Claims Against Food and Beverage General Counsel

    Nutter represented the former General Counsel of a brand-name food and beverage company in an SEC investigation relating to potential insider trading prior to the public announcement of an acquisition by a private equity fund in a going private transaction. After a two-year investigation, the SEC closed the matter without any charges.

  • Nutter Achieved Victory for Private Equity Firm Founder in Insider Trading Investigation

    Nutter won a significant victory on behalf of our client, the founder of a successful private equity firm, who was being investigated by the SEC in connection with several trades made prior to public announcements of clinical trial results. The SEC closed its insider trading investigation of the founder and his spouse, a star portfolio manager, without recommending any enforcement action.

  • Advise Clients on Issues Related to Search and Seizure of Computer and Electronic Data

    Nutter routinely advises clients and other lawyers on issues related to the search and seizure of computers and other electronic data.

News & Insights






Nutter’s eDiscovery team is comprised of knowledgeable and seasoned litigation attorneys working in concert with our litigation technology professionals. Nutter is focused on providing creative, agile, and cost effective eDiscovery solutions to our clients starting from preservation at the initial anticipation of litigation through production, retention, and, ultimately, destruction.

Our Team
Our multidisciplinary team understands the ever-expanding universe of data and the technical, legal, and financial challenges it presents. Nutter has a deep bench of litigation attorneys with extensive experience handling complex eDiscovery matters. Nutter’s litigators draw on the substantial technical expertise from the firm’s technology professionals, including multiple Certified E-Discovery Specialists (CEDS) with the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS).

What We Do
Our experienced litigation technology professionals can handle Electronically Stored Information (“ESI”) internally from collection to production through our advanced technology platforms, or work with our vendors and our clients to craft a tailored approached to ESI management. We have extensive experience in managing all aspects of the eDiscovery process, including identification, preservation, collection, review and analysis, and production. Our data hosting infrastructure provides secure access to clients and external parties at a cost significantly below vendor market rates.

The Nutter team, led by Seth Berman, leverages its experience with a wide array of workflows and advanced technology, including technology-assisted review, to maximize efficiency in the document review process with strategies that are defensible in court. We design meticulous quality control procedures when managing a team of expertly trained contract lawyers and advanced forensic data analysis firms, to ensure an effective and efficient process.

Nutter approaches each new eDiscovery challenge with practical and defensible processes to ensure a streamlined and cost-effective outcome.


More >


  • Chambers USA 2020 recognized Nutter for excellence in litigation in Massachusetts. Jonathan Kotlier was ranked in White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations and Ian Roffman was ranked in Securities Litigation.
  • Nutter earned a "Tier 1" ranking in Criminal Defense: White-Collar Law in Boston in the 2021 U.S. News & World Report / Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" survey. Jonathan Kotlier was selected in Criminal Defense: White Collar Law and Ian Roffman was selected in Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy) Law in Best Lawyers 2021.
Back to Page