Max Nicholas


Mr. Nicholas is an experienced trial and appellate attorney who focuses on white collar criminal defense, securities enforcement, and complex civil litigation.  He joined Spears & Imes from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where he served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney from 2014 through 2020.  During that time, he tried 10 cases to verdict.  From December 2017 through December 2020, Mr. Nicholas was a member of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Securities & Commodities Fraud Task Force and conducted several major investigations and trials involving valuation fraud, investment adviser fraud, insider trading, misappropriation of investor funds, wire fraud, and money laundering.  Among other cases, Mr. Nicholas handled the prosecutions of:  then-U.S. Congressman Christopher Collins for insider trading; the founder of an international private equity firm for racketeering and misappropriation of investor funds; the CEO of a private equity firm for mismarking mortgage-backed securities; the manager of a private equity firm for insider trading; and the trial and conviction of the founder of an investment management firm for misappropriation of investor funds.

Prior to his time in the Securities & Commodities Fraud Task Force, Mr. Nicholas was a member of the Violent and Organized Crime Unit, where he ultimately served as Acting Deputy Chief.  Mr. Nicholas also investigated and tried cases involving health care fraud, racketeering, murder, robbery, firearms offenses, and narcotics trafficking.

Mr. Nicholas served as a law clerk to the Hon. Robert D. Sack on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and to the Hon. John G. Koeltl on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.  He graduated from Harvard Law School magna cum laude in 2008 and from Harvard University summa cum laude in 2005.

Professional Activities

Mr. Nicholas is a member of the Federal Criminal Practice Committee of the Federal Bar Council. He is also a member of the American Bar Association and the New York City Bar Association.

212-213-1715 T
212-213-0849 F

• J.D., magna cum laude, Harvard Law School, 2008
• B.A., summa cum laude, Harvard University, 2005

• New York
• Southern and Eastern Districts of New York

• The Honorable Robert D. Sack, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 2009-2010
• The Honorable John G. Koeltl, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 2008-2009

• Max Nicholas & Cynthia Chen, “The Newfound Significance of U.S. Prison Conditions in Contesting Extradition,” New York Law Journal (Mar. 11, 2021)