Jim Walden is a distinguished business crime lawyer with extensive experience representing corporate clients and high-profile individuals in complex white-collar cases.
Jim is a nationally recognised trial lawyer focusing on high-profile criminal, civil and regulatory matters. Through his use of creative and aggressive legal strategies, Jim has broken new ground in a wide range of successful and significant cases of national and global importance, ranging from the dismantling of New York’s infamous “five families” of organised crime to a class action school bullying lawsuit that set a precedent for sweeping national reform. He is an accomplished litigator who has prevailed in a broad range of criminal, civil and administrative matters, representing both private defendants and plaintiffs as well as government agencies.
Jim began his career at the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the US Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of New York. As a federal prosecutor, he helped break up a human trafficking ring before moving to the organised crime unit where he worked in close collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the New York Police Department and other agencies to indict and convict hundreds of mob members including the bosses, captains and soldiers of the Bonanno, Colombo, Gambino, Genovese and Lucchese crime families. He ascended to lead the DOJ’s first computer crimes and intellectual property unit.
Following his public service, Jim led the white-collar practices at two major international law firms, spearheading successful legal strategies for internal corporate investigations in contexts including antitrust, foreign bribery, banking, securities and accounting fraud, procurement and billing fraud, embezzlement, and market manipulation.
He accomplished these victories while championing good government work to bring a substantial and welcome change to people’s lives. His success was the catalyst for his decision to found Walden Macht & Haran with two other distinguished prosecutors. The firm has flourished, growing to over 50 professionals in five years.
At Walden Macht & Haran, Jim has represented the administrations of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy; and has prevailed in high-profile social justice, white-collar litigation and whistleblower matters for clients including the cryptocurrency stablecoin company Tether (USDT), Russian whistleblower Dr Grigory Rodchenkov, William Anderson and Mark Hazelwood. His class action litigation cases include representation of parents of New York City schoolchildren who successfully sued the Department of Education for its failure to protect students from endemic bullying; tenants of the New York City Housing Authority who won actions against the City for its failure to provide heat and hot water, and remediate lead; and customers of WeWork who stood up for their consumer and contractual rights against the co-working space giant during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Jim’s work has garnered numerous accolades, including the DOJ Director’s Award for Superior Performance; and the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation’s Prosecutor of the Year award. Chambers USA calls him “a tireless, dogged advocate for his clients”; and in 2019 the Financial Times ranked him as one of the “Top 10 Innovative Lawyers in North America”. He is also included in the “Law Power 50” lists of both City & State New York (2019 and 2020) and NJBIZ (2020). He is the winner of the New York Law Journal’s Distinguished Leader Award (2017) and its Innovation Award (2020). New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio stated, “If there is magic in the law, Jim Walden has found it.”
Jim’s work is depicted on screen in the Oscar-winning documentary film Icarus; Aaron Sorkin’s Molly’s Game; the National Geographic documentary series Inside the American Mob and an episode of the Vanity Fair Confidential documentary series, titled “The Disco Inferno”.
Jim served as a law clerk for the Honorable Anthony J Scirica, US judge at the Court of Appeals, Third Circuit. He is a cum laude graduate of Hamilton College; and a magna cum laude graduate of Temple University School of Law, where he served as a law review editor.