Former acting ICE Director and team join Nixon Peabody, form new practice with homeland security focus

September 04, 2019

Senior Manager, Media Relations
Nicholas Braude

Washington, DC. John Sandweg, former acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and former acting General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has joined Nixon Peabody together with his legal team. The Washington, DC-based team will spearhead the firm’s new Cross-Border Risks team. 

John comes to Nixon Peabody from Frontier Solutions, the investigatory, compliance, due diligence, and crisis management firm he founded in 2015. He joins Nixon Peabody with his Frontier team: counsel Rachel Winkler, associate Catherine Ingram, legal assistant Tracey Ford, and investigative directors Jerry Robinette and Miguel Unzueta. The full team is based in Nixon Peabody’s Washington, DC, office.

“Helping clients in the U.S. and abroad navigate complex cross-border criminal, regulatory, reputational, and immigration issues are top priorities of our Cross-Border Risks team,” said Andrew Glincher, CEO and managing partner of Nixon Peabody. “Having served as a principal architect of the Department of Homeland Security’s immigration, border security, and law enforcement policy, John brings a unique perspective to one of the legal community’s most prominent current topics.”

The team comprises former Department of Homeland Security officials, federal investigators, regulators, law enforcement executives, and government affairs professionals who specialize in national security, immigration, Homeland Security compliance, cross-border regulatory, and international criminal matters. They provide valuable legal, regulatory, and reputational risks insight and counsel to help their clients build strong programs, handle crises, and manage risk on issues including anti-money laundering matters, import/export control, international sanctions work, and immigration for high-net-worth, global business leaders.

“With government regulations increasingly enforced through criminal prosecution, John and team present a huge opportunity for our already formidable Government Investigations & White Collar Defense practice,” said David Vicinanzo, leader of Nixon Peabody’s Government Investigations & White Collar Defense practice team. “With his experience, John addresses all the parallel issues, criminal and civil, that could arise in the process of doing cross-border transactions.”

Nixon Peabody’s Cross-Border Risks team handles matters arising at the intersection of criminal and immigration law, including challenging visa denials and cancellations, defending individuals in removal proceedings, and securing individuals lawful entry and status in the United States. They frequently assist individuals seeking refuge in the United States and defend against efforts to extradite or restrict cross-border movement through international agencies such as INTERPOL.

“We’re thrilled to have John and team join us locally,” said Colette Dafoe, managing partner of Nixon Peabody’s Washington, DC, office. “The group significantly strengthens our presence in the marketplace related to cross-border transactions and investigations as well as national security and immigration issues.”

Through extensive fieldwork, this team has gained investigative techniques that help clients navigate the extremely challenging landscape of cross-border laws and regulations related to export, immigration, customs, employment, investments, and international trade.

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