Michael Diaz is a multilingual litigator, trial lawyer, and arbitral advocate with 32 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, 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 numerous notable, well-publicized litigation and arbitration cases, OFAC and sanctions matters, and cases of alleged money laundering and public corruption.
Mr. Diaz is recognized and ranked in Legal500 USA 2018 for “Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense: Advice to Individuals”; Legal500 USA 2018 for “International Litigation”; Chambers Latin America 2019 and Chambers Global 2018 for “Corporate Crime & Investigations, Latin America-wide”; Chambers USA 2018 for “Litigation, Florida”; Best Lawyers USA 2019 for “International Arbitration – Governmental and Commercial”; Best Lawyers Panama 2018 for “Litigation”; Florida Super Lawyers International Law and Top Lawyers Honors for South Florida Legal Guide; Global Investigation Review 100 (GIR100). He is recognized by the Bar Register of Preeminent Attorneys and listed among the Top Litigators in Latin America by Latinvex. Mr. Diaz has earned ongoing recognition from his peers, maintaining an AV Preeminent-rating from Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review rankings for more than 20 years. Mr. Diaz is a certified anti-money laundering specialist (ACAMS).
“Michael Diaz es un ‘abogado extraordinario’ el cual está ‘bien preparado y tiene bastante experiencia’ y ‘a quien le importa usted como persona y no solamente como un cliente’.”
- University of Miami School of Law, J.D., cum laude
- University of Miami, School of Business, B.B.A., International Finance
- 11th Circuit Court of Appeals
- Southern District of Florida
- Middle District of Florida
- S. Supreme Court
- 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals of New York
- S. Court of International Trade
- Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (ACAMS)
Areas of Practice
- Litigation and Arbitration
- White Collar Crime, Government Sanctions (OFAC, Magnitsky, CAATSA, GLOMAG, etc.), investigations and defense
- Fraud and Asset Recovery
- Regulatory and Corporate Investigations, Governance and Compliance
- Athlete Representation & Entertainment Law
- Bankruptcy, Creditors’ Rights, Asset Collections
- Corporate, business transactions and international trade
- Estate & Tax Planning
- Real Estate
- Bankruptcy and Asset Recovery
- Family Law
Certifications & Specializations
- Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (ACAMS)
- Legal500 USA
- Chambers USA
- Chambers Global
- Chambers Latin America
- Global Investigation Review 100 (GIR 100)
- Latinvex Latin America’s Top 100 Lawyers 2018: FCPA & Fraud; Arbitration & Litigation
- Best Lawyers® USA: International Arbitration – Governmental and Commercial
- South Florida Legal Guide: Top Lawyer: International, International Litigation
- Best Lawyers® Panama: Litigation
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent-rated
- Florida Super Lawyers: International, Criminal Defense: White Collar, Business Litigation, Immigration
- Florida Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- International Bar Association
- Cuban American Bar Association, Past-President, officer, and director
- Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow
- International Association of Lawyers and Professional Advisors
- Miami International Arbitration Society
- National and Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Florida International Bankers Association
- Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists
- Espionage: Coordinated defense of multiagency investigation of various U.S. Homeland Security Agent’s and the successful defense of private attorney for alleged acts of espionage, violations of trading with the enemy, corruption, kickbacks and money laundering.
- 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: Advise 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.