James C. Sherwood

James C. Sherwood has been a partner of the firm since 1993. For over 30 years, he has defended individuals and entities from investigations and prosecutions in every area of white-collar crime – tax fraud, securities fraud, trademark violations, Foreign Corrupt Practice Act violations, Ponzi schemes, antitrust violations, customs fraud and public corruption. He also represents his clients in related civil litigation that often follows a criminal case. Mr. Sherwood masters complex fact patterns swiftly, understanding the government’s strategies and countering them effectively, and ending investigations before indictment. Mr. Sherwood focuses on tax controversies, both civil and criminal, in which he has had hundreds of representations. Recent cases include federal and New York State criminal investigations into corporate, individual, and withholding tax returns; offshore and domestic voluntary disclosure; offenses by professionals; eggshell federal and state audits of a corporate client; collections and appeals; and obtaining innocent spouse and offer in compromise relief after criminal convictions.


  • Representing a private equity fund which was a subject of a four-year grand jury investigation into possible violations of terms of public financing and other frauds, resulting in no charges brought;
  • Defending a high executive of Stratton Oakmont in a criminal investigation, resulting in no charges brought;
  • Representing an executive of A.R. Baron in criminal investigation (no charges brought), litigation by SIPC trustee (no recovery), litigation by bankruptcy trustee (settled), and securities fraud civil litigation (dismissed);
  • Representing a member of Antar family in the Crazy Eddie securities litigation (settled);
  • Representing a registered representative associated with D.H. Blair in a criminal securities fraud investigation (settled);
  • Representing a high executive of Harriman Group Incorporated in a criminal securities fraud investigation (settled).


  • Representing subject of a criminal investigation into price fixing in a Kosher food market, resulting in no charges brought;
  • Representing an officer of an airline in criminal investigation into price fixing in international freight rates, resulting in no charges brought;
  • Representing a major motion picture distributor in civil litigation re: restraint of trade;
  • Representing a trade association in civil antitrust litigation.


  • Representing officers of foreign and domestic companies in FCPA investigations;
  • Representing a ranking member of the leadership of a state legislature who was the subject of a criminal investigation into public corruption, resulting in no charges brought;
  • Representing an individual accused of forging IRS release of levy certificates, resulting in a deferred prosecution agreement;
  • Representing an individual in a payroll service company Ponzi scheme, resulting in no federal charges brought, as well as several accountants accused of participating in Ponzi schemes;
  • Representing the central figure in a real property tax fraud investigation, resulting in no jail time;
  • Representing the manufacturer of allegedly counterfeit car brakes in a trademark litigation, as well as a defendant in a criminal investigation into importation of counterfeit goods;
  • Representing the owner of slaughterhouse and a sausage manufacturer in criminal investigations into FDA violations;
  • Representing a tribal leader in a grand jury investigation into corruption allegations.

Mr. Sherwood is a member of the tax and criminal law committees of the American Bar Association and New York State Bar Association.

Mr. Sherwood received his B.A. from Yale University in 1972 and his J.D. from Columbia University Law School in 1977, where he was a Stone Scholar. Following graduation from Yale College, Mr. Sherwood taught for two years at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. From 1977 to 1982, he was associated with Donovan Leisure Newton & Irvine. He then worked as a partner at Kostelanetz Ritholz Tigue & Fink until joining the firm in 1993.