Main Menu Jump to Content Search
Attorney Search

Robert M. Appleton

Print PDF


  • Robert is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, an invitation only-trial lawyer Honorary Society; membership is limited to 3,500 Fellows, representing less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers. 


J.D., magna cum laude, Western New England School of Law, 1989

B.A., cum laude, Emory University, 1985

Bar & Court Admissions

  • New York
  • Connecticut
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Robert M. Appleton is a world renowned and internationally recognized cross border litigation attorney focused on assisting global, foreign and US companies, organizations and individuals in regulatory and enforcement actions in FCPA, AML, fraud and corruption, OFAC sanctions, insider trading, government investigations and compliance, and related matters. Robert has held several prominent positions in government and international organizations, including serving 15 years in the US Department of Justice prosecuting numerous high profile cases, and as the first anti-corruption chief at the United Nations. In private practice, Robert has continued representing clients in high profile national and international cases, investigations and cross border matters. Robert has developed a specialty of OFAC sanctions, Russia and China regulations as well as CFIUS matters.

Robert is one of the leading cross border government investigations, white collar litigators in the world. Robert’s practice is focused on assisting international, foreign and U.S. companies, organizations and individuals in regulatory and enforcement actions in FCPA, AML OFAC, fraud and corruption, insider trading, securities, government investigations and compliance, and related matters and he has led, supervised or managed more than 1,000 corruption and compliance cases in over 150 countries. Robert has successfully assisted numerous individuals and companies trace and regain assets lost through fraud and identity theft.

Robert served with the U.S. Department of Justice for 15 years, both as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division and as Branch Chief, Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney. During his tenure he twice received the highly coveted Director's Award from the United States Attorney General, the 2nd highest award in the Department of Justice.

Robert has also served in leading enforcement, chief compliance and legal roles in a number of international organizations and NGO’s, including at the United Nations where he served for three years as Chief of the first-ever UN Anti-Corruption Unit. He has led Government Investigations and White Collar practice groups at two large law firms, and served as Director of Financial Investigations and Forensic Audit Deputy Inspector General at the Global Fund to Fight AIDs, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

While serving as Special Counsel for former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker’s Independent Inquiry Committee Investigation into the Iraqi Oil for Food Investigation, Appleton served as lead counsel of the Procurement Forensics Team responsible for investigating all bribe payments to the Iraqi regime providing advice and assisting the Committee chairs on recovering assets and losses in foreign jurisdictions. Robert and his team successfully retrieved hundreds of millions of dollars in stolen assets, diverted through cross border schemes.

As a cross border asset recovery expert, Robert has represented numerous entities and organizations with U.S. regulatory issues as well as domesticating foreign judgments. He has most recently focused his efforts on Brazil based financial institutions and asset management organizations and assists them in the recovery of funds in the U.S. and abroad. He has been involved with, and also called upon as an authority, regarding many of the world’s most prominent corruption scandals. Most recently, Appleton has been active in addressing the Lava Jato (“Car Wash”) scandal in Brazil, assisting companies navigate the FCPA risks and defending individuals.

Prior to joining Olshan, Robert was a partner at Murphy & McGonigle PC.

Professional & Community Affiliations

Litigation Counsel of America

Media Mentions/News

Speaking Engagements

A pivotal event exploring the aftermath of the wide ranging Lava Jato enforcement actions in Brazil and featuring authorities who were centrally involved in investigating that historic scandal.

Back to Page