John Nassikas draws on his extensive experience in federal grand jury practice and trial work to counsel clients on complex parallel criminal and civil litigations, internal corporate investigations, congressional investigations, and cross-border cases across a wide range of industries. In ranking him in the top tier of Washington defense counsel, Chambers USA describes John as a "strong communicator" and "strategic thinker with an approach that inspires confidence." He has defended companies and individuals in significant federal and state investigations throughout the United States and internationally, particularly in the areas of financial, healthcare, and government contracts fraud and global anti-corruption, antitrust, and environmental enforcement.
As a former federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, John's deep government experience has earned him high respect among enforcement agencies. He regularly engages with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and federal and state enforcement agencies across the country. He has broad experience with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the False Claims Act (FCA), and the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA), and has successfully represented an array of pharmaceutical and medical device companies and health care providers in multi-jurisdictional national and international matters for over three decades.
John is a frequent speaker at ABA and other conferences on cross-border, constitutional, and other criminal law issues. He has been a visiting law school lecturer on criminal law and an instructor of continuing legal education courses on corporate and individual criminal law topics, and is former Chairman of the Criminal Law Committee of the D.C. Bar Association. He has been a court-appointed member of the Merit Selection Panel for U.S. Magistrate Judge openings in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA). A committed advocate of pro bono and non-profit work, John has done extensive work for Martha’s Table and Afghan refugees seeking political asylum, served for many years on the advisory board of the Amazon Biodiversity Center and on the Board of Trustees for Potomac School. Judges in EDVA have also reached out to John often over the years to represent defendants in both high- and low-profile matters.
- Leads trial and defense teams in complex parallel criminal and civil investigations. Recent public cases include corporate defenses of AdvanSix Inc., Boston Scientific, Oracle Corp., and Par Pharmaceutical; and individual defenses of executives and managers in investigations involving, among others, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Computer Sciences Corporation, KPMG, Hitachi Automotive, NGK Ltd., Lufthansa/BizJet, Chi Mei OptoElectronics/Innolux, Synthes, Guidant, Biomet, Purdue Pharma, Stryker/OtisMed, and Embraer.
- American chemical company in a criminal investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Justice, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia against alleged violations of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. Secured an important victory for the client.
- Korean auto parts manufacturer in winning total dismissal of criminal antitrust charges.
- Multiple key witnesses in response to requests for documents and testimony from the January 6 House Select Committee.
- Former Chief Legal Officer of public utility in connection with an ongoing public corruption investigation of the company by the DOJ and SEC and related civil class action and litigation.
- Publicly traded American retailer in post-Deferred Prosecution Agreement compliance monitoring, risk assessments, training, enhancements, and required reporting to DOJ. DOJ dismissed charges after successful completion of three-year monitoring and reporting period.
- Military housing company under investigation for Clean Air Act violations.
- Par Pharmaceutical Companies in large-scale, multi-year off-label promotion investigation by the DOJ, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and New Jersey U.S. Attorney's Office, and in a related Third Circuit Appeal, and publicly filed First Amendment and statutory challenge to FDA's intended use regulations in federal court in Washington, D.C.
- Washington Wizards professional basketball team in grand jury investigation of guns in players locker room at Verizon Center.
- Former Embraer executive in a global FCPA investigation by U.S., Brazilian, and Saudi authorities. At sentencing, after a five-year investigation and prosecution, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York rewarded defendant for his cooperation by ordering forfeiture and a small fine, with no jail or probation.
- Chief of Staff of Congressman Robert Ney in Jack Abramoff-related investigations. Chief of Staff was first of government cooperators to be sentenced and received community service, with no jail time.
National Practice Area Star – White Collar Crime (2024)
Local Litigation Star – White Collar Crime (2018)
- J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1984
- B.A., Yale University, 1981, magna cum laude
- District of Columbia
- Supreme Court of the United States
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court, District of Maryland
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
Government & Military Service
- Assistant U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Virginia
- Court-Appointed Member and Chairman, Merit Selection Panel for U.S. Magistrate Judge openings, Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria division; Member (2021–2022); Chair (2023)
- Former Chair, Criminal Law Committee of District of Columbia Bar Association
- Former Trial Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America