Neil M. Barofsky is an accomplished trial lawyer and well-known authority on a variety of issues at the intersection of economics, law, business, policy and politics. Drawing upon his experience as a former federal prosecutor and as the Presidentially appointed first special inspector general of the historic US$700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), Mr. Barofsky assists companies seeking to improve their corporate culture through compliance counseling and monitorships, as well as assisting clients in responding to regulatory and criminal investigations. He is chair of Jenner & Block's Monitorship Practice
Neil M. Barofsky is an accomplished trial lawyer and well-known authority on a variety of issues at the intersection of economics, law, business, policy and politics. Drawing upon his experience as a former federal prosecutor and as the Presidentially appointed first special inspector general of the historic US$700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), Mr. Barofsky assists companies seeking to improve their corporate culture through compliance counseling and monitorships, as well as assisting clients in responding to regulatory and criminal investigations. He is chair of Jenner & Block's Monitorship Practiceand co-chair of the Financial Services Litigation Practice.
As head of Jenner & Block’s COVID-19 Response Team, Mr. Barofsky counsels clients on how to navigate the crisis and the government’s response to the global pandemic. He is a regular commentator in national print, radio and TV media, focusing on the CARES Act and related government stimulus legislation, including authoring op-eds published by The New York Times and Bloomberg. Mr. Barofsky has also been a resource to lawmakers through the crisis, testifying in July 2020 at a hearing before the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on the relief programs’ effectiveness, improving oversight, and legislation that Congress should take into account as it considered authorizing additional programs and funding. Mr. Barofsky draws upon his time as SIGTARP where he established and supervised the audit division that oversaw the financial assistance provided to corporations after the 2008 financial crisis, and provided real-time advice and oversight as the US Department of Treasury developed and implemented many of the TARP programs. Mr. Barofsky also created and oversaw its law enforcement division, which conducted the criminal and civil investigations of those who abused the bailouts, and helped provide transparency through his testimony dozens of times to Congress.
Mr. Barofsky also focuses on white collar investigations and complex commercial litigation, often with a public interest component. In 2019, New York Law Journal recognized him as a "New York Trailblazer" for his work on monitorships. In 2015, he was named one of The National Law Journal’s "Winning" litigators as well as a regulatory and compliance "Trailblazer."
While not exhaustive, Mr. Barofsky’s recent engagements include:
In his role as chief watchdog for TARP, he created and oversaw a law enforcement division that conducted criminal and civil investigations of fraud and abuse linked to the bailout program, resulting in recoveries or avoided losses of more than $700 million in taxpayer money and which has led to more than 360 fraud convictions to date. He also established and oversaw an audit division that created reports that brought greater transparency and accountability to TARP, recommended ways to improve the program, and which protected taxpayers from fraud-related losses.
Previously, Mr. Barofsky spent eight years as a prosecutor in the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. There, he served in the Securities and Commodities Fraud Unit and later founded and led the office’s Mortgage Fraud Group as Senior Trial Counsel. He investigated and prosecuted some of the most significant cases in the United States, including the successful investigation, trial and conviction of former Refco, Inc. officers for their promotion of and participation in a $2.4 billion securities and accounting fraud. As a member of the International Narcotics Trafficking Unit, Mr. Barofsky investigated and prosecuted complex transnational narcotics cases, including the successful investigation leading to the indictment of the top 50 leaders of the terrorist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the largest narcotics indictment in US history.
For his work in the Refco matter, Mr. Barofsky received the US Attorney General’s John Marshall Award, the Department of Justice’s highest award for excellence in legal performance, and the Executive Office of the United States Attorneys’ Director’s Award for Superior Performance.
Immediately before joining Jenner & Block, Mr. Barofsky was Senior Fellow at New York University School of Law’s Center on the Administration of Criminal Law, an adjunct professor at the law school and affiliated with the Mitchell Jacobson Leadership Program on Law and Business. He is a frequent speaker and commentator on issues related to financial regulation, was a senior contributing editor for Bloomberg TV, and has written opinion columns for publications such as The New York Times, the Financial Times, The New Republic, Bloomberg, Reuters and others. He is also the author of Bailout, his bestselling book about his experiences as SIGTARP.
At Jenner & Block, Mr. Barofsky serves on the firm’s Management Committee.