Frederick T. Davis, now a retired partner and based in New York and Paris, is a former U.S. federal prosecutor and member of the Paris Bar. Part of the global Litigation Group, his practice focuses on criminal, regulatory and civil litigation and investigations involving U.S. and French laws.
Mr. Davis is an experienced trial lawyer who has represented clients in high profile matters in both French and English language tribunals. He has represented major U.S., French and multinational companies in both domestic and international criminal investigations. He has also appeared as legal counsel in international arbitrations administered by the ICC, AAA and other institutions, and has served as an arbitrator in ICC arbitrations. The French government has named him a “Chevalier” of the National Order of Merit of France. Mr. Davis is named a Thought Leader by Who’s Who Legal (2020) in the France and Crime sections, with the guide describing him as “a well-established figure in the French market where he enjoys a stellar reputation for his superb handling of white-collar criminal defence proceedings and US and French investigations.” He is also recommended by Chambers Global (2019) in the general Dispute Resolution and Litigation sections, by Chambers Europe (2018) in the White Collar Crime section, and by The Legal 500 EMEA (2019) in the Commercial Litigation section. The Chambers guides quote clients reporting that “his knowledge is top class” and that he “has a very fine legal mind and he understands white-collar and criminal investigation issues on both sides of the pond.” In previous editions of The Legal 500 EMEA, he is noted as being “highly knowledgeable in US law” and a member of an “unbelievably responsive team”. He is also praised for his “analytical, technical perceptive abilities” by Who’s Who Legal France (2016).
Mr. Davis’s recent matters include investigations, litigations and international arbitrations for General Electric, 3M, American Express, and Johnson & Johnson. He has represented five of the largest banks in France in litigations related to World War II assets. In John Hancock Leasing Corp. v. Frank, he was the lead counsel who obtained a $28 million judgment for the plaintiffs in a RICO jury trial, and in 2006 in RMST v. State Bank of Long Island he obtained a $44 million verdict in a jury fraud trial.
Mr. Davis is a past chair of the European Affairs Committee of the New York City Bar Association. He is also a member of the International Bar Association (where he served as Co- Chair of the Business Crime Committee), and is an elected life member of the American Law Institute and an elected fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He is a frequent lecturer for the International Bar Association, American Bar Association, International Chamber of Commerce, and Federal Bar Council, as well as at the Ecole Nationale de la Magistrature. Mr. Davis taught a full academic course on international litigation and arbitration as the Nomura Lecturer on International law at the Harvard Law School, as currently acts as a Lecturer in Law at Columbia Law School where he teaches courses on comparative criminal justice and international criminal investigations. He founded and led a series of trial advocacy training seminars (in French and English) for the prosecutors and defence counsel of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and has advised the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on trial strategy.
In 2019 Cambridge University Press published his book American Criminal Justice: An Introduction, and he is working on editions of the book to be published in French, German and Chinese.
Mr. Davis’s articles in French and English are published regularly in Paris, New York and London, and he appears regularly on television and radio in France on subjects relating to international criminal procedures. His recent publications include “United States v. Connolly and the Risk That ‘Outsourced’ Criminal Investigations Might Violate Foreign Blocking Statutes,” Compliance and Enforcement (November, 2019); “French Criminal Procedures—Surprising Features of a French Trial,” Bloomberg Law (July, 2019);“Policing Your Own Jardin – France Signals Eagerness to Take Control of Its White Collar Enforcement,” Compliance and Enforcement (July, 2019); “How national and local professional rules can mess up an international criminal investigation,” Global Investigations Review (June, 2019); “French Anti-Corruption Authority Raises Alarm About M&A Transactions,” Compliance & Enforcement (May, 2019); and “Storm Clouds or Silver Linings: The Impact of the U.S. CLOUD Act,” Litigation Journal of the American Bar Association (February, 2019).
Mr. Davis has also co-authored a number of chapters in industry publications. These include the France chapter and a chapter examining the challenges of multi jurisdictional investigations in the International Investigations Review (September, 2020); the France chapters in the Financial & Business Crime publication from Practical Law (May, 2020); and the France chapter in the Know-How: Privilege publication from Global Investigations Review (2019-2020).
Mr. Davis joined the firm as a partner in 2006, after serving as a partner in two other well-known firms. He served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York from 1974 to 1979, where he was Chief of Appeals from 1977 to 1978. Mr. Davis served as a law clerk to the Hon. Henry J. Friendly, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit and to Justice Potter Stewart of the U.S. Supreme Court.
He received his B.A. from Harvard University in 1967 and his J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1972, where he was the Writing and Research Editor of the Columbia Law Review.
He is a member of the Bars of New York and Paris. He is fluent in French, and speaks good German as well as Wolof.