Matthew Fishbein is a retired litigation partner whose practice focused on white collar criminal defense, internal investigations and complex commercial litigation. He has tried over 25 criminal and civil cases in federal and state court and argued numerous appeals in the Second Circuit and other appellate courts. He has also helped lead the defense of several major international corporations in multijurisdictional criminal investigations.

In 2018, Mr. Fishbein was inducted as a Fellow into the American College of Trial Lawyers, a distinction reserved for those whose careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality. Chambers USA (2010–2018) has recommended Mr. Fishbein as a leader in litigation in the field of white collar crime and government investigations, where he has been described by clients as “unflappable” and “enormously respected by the government.” Mr. Fishbein is a member of The National Trial Lawyers’ Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyers for 2016. He has also been recognized by The Legal 500 US (2018) and named as a “Litigation Star” for white collar crime in IFLR Benchmark: Litigation (2016–2018).

Mr. Fishbein currently serves as a mediator with the New York Peace Institute, is a Special Master with the Appellate Division, Second Department, and is a member of the Eastern District of New York’s Mediation Panel. He was recently selected by New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority as a member of its “Fareness” blue-ribbon panel to combat fare evasion. Mr. Fishbein is also a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, where he teaches seminars on white collar crime.

Prior to joining Debevoise, Mr. Fishbein served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York as Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney from 1993 to 1997, and Chief of the Criminal Division from 1995 to 1997. He also served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, as Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney from 1992 to 1993, Chief of the Special Prosecutions Unit from 1991 to 1992, Chief of the Appeals Division from 1989 to 1991 and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney from 1985 to 1989. During his tenure, he twice received the Director’s Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. Following his retirement from Debevoise, Mr. Fishbein served for two years as Executive Assistant District Attorney for the Investigations Division in the Kings County, New York District Attorney’s office.

Mr. Fishbein received the Thurgood Marshall Award from the Association of the Bar of the City of New York in recognition of his pro bono representation of several clients in death penalty trials and appeals, and before his retirement he was Co-Chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Knickerbocker Tennis Foundation and has previously served on the boards of the Brooklyn Historical Society, The Bronx Defenders and the Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A.

Mr. Fishbein joined the firm as a partner in 2002. He received his J.D. in 1979 from New York University Law School, where he was articles editor of the New York University Law Review, a member of the Order of the Coif and the recipient of the Maurice Goodman Memorial Prize and the John Norton Pomeroy Prize. He obtained his A.B. in 1975 from Williams College, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Mr. Fishbein served as a law clerk to the Hon. Raymond J. Pettine, U.S. District Court.


  • New York University School of Law, 1979, J.D.
  • Williams College, 1975, A.B.

Bar Admissions

  • New York