Michael Diaz is a multilingual litigator, trial lawyer, and arbitral advocate with 33 years of experience advising clients, trying cases, and negotiating resolutions to complex civil, arbitral and criminal disputes. He has extensive experience handling visa recovery efforts, FCPA and OFAC violations, and Specially Designated Nationals classifications. He regularly counsels on preventative arbitration and litigation strategies and conducts parallel investigations in complex, high-stakes regulatory, investigative and compliance matters that involve financial fraud, money laundering, international asset recovery and white-collar crime. Mr. Diaz’s sophisticated asset tracing techniques have resulted in millions of dollars in recoveries for U.S. receivers, financial institutions, and individual fraud victims. He has handled and advised on numerous notable, well-publicized litigation and arbitration cases, and cases of alleged money laundering and public corruption in the United States, Latin America, Western and Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
Mr. Diaz is a certified anti-money laundering specialist (CAMS).
Qualified to represent clients before U.S. administrative and governmental agencies, arbitral bodies, U.S. state, federal, and appellate courts.
Mr. Diaz has a highly active practice representing clients, including prominent businessmen, governments, high-net worth individuals, and companies throughout Latin America, Russia, and the Middle East in cross border matters including parallel proceedings, criminal investigations, OFAC violations, and the recovery of US visas.
Frequently serves as advisory co-counsel outside the U.S. in international litigation and arbitration matters in Latin America, the Middle East and China.
Assistant State Attorney in the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office for the Honorable Janet Reno.
1990: joined and later became a Partner in an AV-rated international litigation firm where he litigated complex financial and international money laundering cases.
1998: founded his own firm, which immediately became Martindale-Hubbell AV-rated, and quickly grew to include 23 offices worldwide.
Awards: Legal500 USA; Chambers USA, Chambers Latin America, Chambers Global; GIR100; Best Lawyers USA 2019; Martindale-Hubbell AV-Preeminent; Florida SuperLawyers.
Florida Bar • American Bar Association • International Bar Association • Cuban American Bar Association, Past-President, officer, and director • Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow • Miami International Arbitration Society • National and Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers • Florida International Bankers Association • Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists
• Chambers Global Practice Guide 2019, Anticorruption.
• An Overview of Business Crime in Latin America, ‘The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Business Crime.’ (Global Legal Group Ltd., 2014-17 Editions.)
•‘Aspatore Special Report: Understanding Anti-Corruption Issues in Latin America.’ (Thompson Reuters, 2011.) Contributing Author.
•‘Violencia, Criminalidad y Terrorismo.’ (Foundation for a Positive Venezuela, 2006.)
J.D., cum laude, University of Miami School of Law;
B.B.A., International Finance, University of Miami.
- Corruption & OFAC: Successfully represent and avoid criminal charges for bankers and financial institutions for alleged role in laundering funds from a PDVSA kickback, bribery and corruption (FCPA) scheme, terrorist financing and OFAC violations.
- Asset Recovery: Represent bank supervising government authority in asset recovery matters.
- Money Laundering: Successfully represent and avoid criminal charges for attorney and agricultural pesticides importers alleged to have conspired in a foreign exchange money laundering scheme.
- Arbitration: Representation of government owned mining and minerals company in parallel U.S. and European based arbitrations.
- Corruption, Money Laundering & OFAC: Successfully represent and avoid criminal charges for in-house oil company counsel alleged to have conspired in FCPA, corruption, bribery, OFAC and money laundering violations.
Visa Revocation: Successfully represent banker in the recovery of U.S. visa for alleged violations of significant acts of corruption.
Corruption and Money Laundering: Represent sports marketing officials in FIFA corruption scandal, pre- and post-indictment and sentencing.
OFAC, SDN/SDNT: Successfully represent Mexican national in removal from OFAC list as Specially Designated National (SDN/SDNT) for his alleged ties to “El Chapo” Guzman.
- Arbitration: Represent U.S./Qatar based engineering company in arbitration proceedings against Brazilian construction company behemoth Odebrecht.
- Litigation: Represent joint venture partners in multimillion dollar commercial litigation dispute against founding partners of Miami based Law Firm.
- Asset Recovery: Represent commercial bank in collection of credit facilities extended in U.S., Europe, and Latin America.
- OFAC: Represent cruise line and hotel start-up in Cuba.
- Project Finance and OFAC: Represent Middle Eastern liquid natural gas (LNG) producers and investors in projects in Latin America, Caribbean, and Cuba.
- Class Action and Asset Recovery: Represent class action bondholders against the Republic of Argentina for defaulting on millions of dollars in bonds.
- Intellectual Property and Litigation: Represent Chinese goods manufacturers for alleged trademark violations.
- Corruption and Money Laundering: Represent individuals alleged to have conspired with former Treasurer of foreign government in money laundering, corruption, bribery/kickback schemes and various criminal law violations.
- Compliance: Represent Central Bank on FINCEN, Sanctions Programs, OFAC and anti-money laundering compliance and regulatory issues.
- OFAC: Advice and counsel Russian financial institution on prohibited activities and permissible transactions under sanctions regime.
- Visa Revocation: Represent former Minister of Energy in Central America to avoid revocation of US Visa.
- Visa Revocation: Represent family members in successful agricultural conglomerate in Central America in recovery of their visas which were revoked for alleged acts of corruption.
- FCPA and Money Laundering: Represented former assistant to Minister of Energy and Power (Electricity) for alleged kickbacks, bribery, corruption and money laundering scheme in South America.
USA, Venezuela, Argentina, México, Guatemala, Brazil, Honduras, Panama, Colombia, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Russia.