John D. Couriel photo
John D. Couriel
Lawyer
Miami
201 South Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 1900
Miami, Florida 33131
+1 305 967 6115
Buenos Aires
Bouchard 557/599
Bouchard Plaza Building, 20th Floor
Buenos Aires, C1106ABG
Argentina
+54 11 5171 4204
Miami
201 South Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 1900
Miami, Florida 33131
+1 305 967 6115
Buenos Aires
Bouchard 557/599
Bouchard Plaza Building, 20th Floor
Buenos Aires, C1106ABG
Argentina
+54 11 5171 4204

John Couriel handles high-stakes cross-border disputes, with a particular focus on Latin America. A native Spanish speaker, Mr. Couriel conducts internal investigations and represents individuals and corporations in jurisdictions including Brazil, Argentina and Mexico.

Government enforcement actions, including allegations of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations, spoofing and market manipulation, money laundering and tax evasion, are central to Mr. Couriel's practice.

He also represents companies in cross-border commercial, financial and insolvency-related disputes, including those involving joint ventures, complex financial products, and transactions. Mr. Couriel has significant experience in litigating cross-border civil RICO claims, including in matters involving allegations of bribery.

Before joining Kobre & Kim, Mr. Couriel served as a prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice (as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida), where he prosecuted significant wire fraud, money laundering, healthcare fraud, and other conspiracies, including in cases involving cross-border prosecutorial cooperation and extradition matters.

Prior to his time as a prosecutor, Mr. Couriel practiced with Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, where he focused on cross-border internal investigations, white-collar and regulatory enforcement matters, and multijurisdictional complex commercial disputes.

After law school, Mr. Couriel clerked for the Honorable John D. Bates of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Admissions

  • Florida
  • New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second and Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Courts for the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida
  • U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern District of New York

Education

  • Harvard Law School, JD (Harvard Law School Journal on Legislation, Supervising Editor)
  • Harvard College, AB

Languages

  • Spanish

Clerkships

  • Honorable John D. Bates, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Accolades

  • Chambers USA, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Florida)

Select Engagements

Investigations & Monitorships

  • Under the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act of 2016 ("PROMESA"), service as independent investigator to the Special Investigation Committee of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico to perform a comprehensive review of the factors contributing to Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis.
  • Representation of a director of a Florida bank owned by a major Portuguese financial group in responding to certain inquiries arising from an internal review of compliance matters conducted by the bank.
  • Representation of high-profile individual in Brazil in reporting alleged acts of extortion and defamation to federal and state authorities in Florida.
  • Representation of several health insurance company executives in responding to inquiries from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida.
  • Representation of an international conglomerate in a wide-ranging internal investigation, including with respect to allegations of bribery and compliance failures in Mexico.
  • Representation of a global investment bank in an investigation undertaken in connection with a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-registered bond issuance underwritten by its Mexican affiliate.
  • Representation of a British Virgin Islands (BVI) investment entity in asserting claims of US $30 million+ against several defendants and their principals related to a fraudulent film financing scheme in an action pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
  • Represented a European energy company in its internal investigation of its proven natural gas reserves in Latin America.
  • Representing a major consumer products company in an internal investigation concerning internal control and labor relations in Venezuela.
  • Coordination of on-site compliance reviews and internal investigations in multiple countries, including Spain, Venezuela, Mexico, Austria, and UAE.

Insolvency & Debtor-Creditor Disputes

  • Representation of judicial administrator and foreign representative of one of the largest liquidation proceedings in Brazilian history in connection with the commencement and prosecution of a Chapter 15 ancillary bankruptcy case in the Southern District of Florida to assist in the tracing and recovery of assets fraudulently removed from the debtor's estate.
  • Representation of the trustee of a Brazilian bankruptcy estate in filing a Chapter 15 proceeding to engage in asset tracing and related discovery matters in the U.S.
  • Representation of the trustee of a Brazilian bankruptcy estate in developing strategies for asset recovery and discovery in the U.S. in the wake of a succession dispute.
  • Representation of the bankruptcy trustee for a major Brazilian retailer in obtaining recognition of the Brazilian bankruptcy under Chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, enforcement of an order issued by the Brazilian Court making the company's majority shareholder liable for the debts of the estate, and injunctive relief over the assets of the company's majority shareholder in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Government Enforcement Defense

  • Representation of the former CEO of large media company in responding to charges under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and of money laundering and wire fraud brought by the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York in connection with the acquisition and maintenance of broadcasting rights contracts for international sports tournaments.
  • Representation of a London-based foreign exchange trader at global investment bank in response to an investigation led by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Financial Conduct Authority into alleged market manipulation.
  • Representation of a multinational auditing and professional services firm in responding to an investigation led by Florida’s Department of Financial Services and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida concerning the alleged failure of a major consumer electronics company to escheat unclaimed rebates from the company’s subsidiaries to the state.
  • Representation of the managing director of a London-based alternative investment company in coordinating certain cross-border strategies in response to an inquiry from Argentine authorities relating to the company and certain specified accounts held in Switzerland.
  • Representation of employees of a health insurance company in preparing for witness interviews and potential trial testimony in a Medicare fraud prosecution by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida.
  • Representation of several executives of a precious metals commodities wholesaler in investigations conducted by various regulatory entities, as well as in parallel proceedings against the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
  • Representation of a leading food company in connection with an investigation by the SEC into its accounting practices and public filings.
  • Representation of a major international conglomerate in a landmark case under the FCPA, including preparation of numerous presentations to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and SEC.

Joint Venture & Partnership Disputes

  • Representation of a major natural gas joint venture in Latin America in connection with potential events of default alleged by its creditors.
  • Representation of a Florida-based retail gasoline distributor in connection with claims against its wholesale supplier, a national gasoline refiner, related to allegations of predatory pricing in violation of the Sherman Act and the Florida Motor Fuel Marketing Practices Act.

International Arbitration

  • Represented a Spanish gaming company in the arbitration conducted by the International Chamber of Commerce regarding the scope of an advisory agreement that is suitable for the development of several casinos in Latin America.
  • Representing an Argentinean petrochemical company in handling the arbitration conducted by the International Chamber of Commerce regarding its long-term natural resource supply contract with a global energy company.
 

Professional & Community Involvement

  • American Bar Association Section of International Law, International Criminal Law Committee, Vice Chair
  • American Bar Association Section of International Law, Latin American and Caribbean Committee, Vice Chair
  • Florida International University College of Law, Adjunct Professor
  • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, Member

Publications & Presentations

  • Co-author, "New settlement requirements raise the regulatory bar throughout the Americas" (Compliance Matters, April 2016)
  • Co-author, "Getting Justice in International Joint Ventures" (Gas International, August 2015)
  • Co-author, "Implications of Brazil's Anti-Corruption Movement" (New York Law Journal, April 2015)

Credentials

Admissions

  • Florida
  • New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second and Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Courts for the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida
  • U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern District of New York

Education

  • Harvard Law School, JD (Harvard Law School Journal on Legislation, Supervising Editor)
  • Harvard College, AB

Languages

  • Spanish

Clerkships

  • Honorable John D. Bates, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Accolades

  • Chambers USA, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Florida)

Engagements

Investigations & Monitorships

  • Under the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act of 2016 ("PROMESA"), service as independent investigator to the Special Investigation Committee of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico to perform a comprehensive review of the factors contributing to Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis.
  • Representation of a director of a Florida bank owned by a major Portuguese financial group in responding to certain inquiries arising from an internal review of compliance matters conducted by the bank.
  • Representation of high-profile individual in Brazil in reporting alleged acts of extortion and defamation to federal and state authorities in Florida.
  • Representation of several health insurance company executives in responding to inquiries from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida.
  • Representation of an international conglomerate in a wide-ranging internal investigation, including with respect to allegations of bribery and compliance failures in Mexico.
  • Representation of a global investment bank in an investigation undertaken in connection with a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-registered bond issuance underwritten by its Mexican affiliate.
  • Representation of a British Virgin Islands (BVI) investment entity in asserting claims of US $30 million+ against several defendants and their principals related to a fraudulent film financing scheme in an action pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
  • Represented a European energy company in its internal investigation of its proven natural gas reserves in Latin America.
  • Representing a major consumer products company in an internal investigation concerning internal control and labor relations in Venezuela.
  • Coordination of on-site compliance reviews and internal investigations in multiple countries, including Spain, Venezuela, Mexico, Austria, and UAE.

Insolvency & Debtor-Creditor Disputes

  • Representation of judicial administrator and foreign representative of one of the largest liquidation proceedings in Brazilian history in connection with the commencement and prosecution of a Chapter 15 ancillary bankruptcy case in the Southern District of Florida to assist in the tracing and recovery of assets fraudulently removed from the debtor's estate.
  • Representation of the trustee of a Brazilian bankruptcy estate in filing a Chapter 15 proceeding to engage in asset tracing and related discovery matters in the U.S.
  • Representation of the trustee of a Brazilian bankruptcy estate in developing strategies for asset recovery and discovery in the U.S. in the wake of a succession dispute.
  • Representation of the bankruptcy trustee for a major Brazilian retailer in obtaining recognition of the Brazilian bankruptcy under Chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, enforcement of an order issued by the Brazilian Court making the company's majority shareholder liable for the debts of the estate, and injunctive relief over the assets of the company's majority shareholder in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Government Enforcement Defense

  • Representation of the former CEO of large media company in responding to charges under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and of money laundering and wire fraud brought by the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York in connection with the acquisition and maintenance of broadcasting rights contracts for international sports tournaments.
  • Representation of a London-based foreign exchange trader at global investment bank in response to an investigation led by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Financial Conduct Authority into alleged market manipulation.
  • Representation of a multinational auditing and professional services firm in responding to an investigation led by Florida’s Department of Financial Services and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida concerning the alleged failure of a major consumer electronics company to escheat unclaimed rebates from the company’s subsidiaries to the state.
  • Representation of the managing director of a London-based alternative investment company in coordinating certain cross-border strategies in response to an inquiry from Argentine authorities relating to the company and certain specified accounts held in Switzerland.
  • Representation of employees of a health insurance company in preparing for witness interviews and potential trial testimony in a Medicare fraud prosecution by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida.
  • Representation of several executives of a precious metals commodities wholesaler in investigations conducted by various regulatory entities, as well as in parallel proceedings against the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
  • Representation of a leading food company in connection with an investigation by the SEC into its accounting practices and public filings.
  • Representation of a major international conglomerate in a landmark case under the FCPA, including preparation of numerous presentations to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and SEC.

Joint Venture & Partnership Disputes

  • Representation of a major natural gas joint venture in Latin America in connection with potential events of default alleged by its creditors.
  • Representation of a Florida-based retail gasoline distributor in connection with claims against its wholesale supplier, a national gasoline refiner, related to allegations of predatory pricing in violation of the Sherman Act and the Florida Motor Fuel Marketing Practices Act.

International Arbitration

  • Represented a Spanish gaming company in the arbitration conducted by the International Chamber of Commerce regarding the scope of an advisory agreement that is suitable for the development of several casinos in Latin America.
  • Representing an Argentinean petrochemical company in handling the arbitration conducted by the International Chamber of Commerce regarding its long-term natural resource supply contract with a global energy company.

Professional & Community Involvement

  • American Bar Association Section of International Law, International Criminal Law Committee, Vice Chair
  • American Bar Association Section of International Law, Latin American and Caribbean Committee, Vice Chair
  • Florida International University College of Law, Adjunct Professor
  • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, Member

Publications & Presentations

  • Co-author, "New settlement requirements raise the regulatory bar throughout the Americas" (Compliance Matters, April 2016)
  • Co-author, "Getting Justice in International Joint Ventures" (Gas International, August 2015)
  • Co-author, "Implications of Brazil's Anti-Corruption Movement" (New York Law Journal, April 2015)

He is “a really brilliant strategist and an excellent courtroom advocate.” - Chambers