Mr. Nassar practices in the areas of international disputes, sanctions, commercial litigation, and financial fraud and asset tracing. He represents a host of domestic and foreign clients on a wide variety of transnational political cases, business disputes, and U.S. sanctions laws, earning him a reputation as a trusted and pragmatic adviser on many of the most high-profile and complex international legal cases of the day.
In recognition of his excellence in the field of international law, Mr. Nassar was selected as a 2017 Washington, DC “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers. In 2019, he was recognized as an “Equality Trailblazer” by the National Law Journal in its list of top lawyers who serve as “agents of change” through new legal strategies or innovative court cases. During his tenure at Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss, Mr. Nassar has developed a unique wealth of expertise in managing complex legal matters concerning the Middle East, directly representing a host of foreign and domestic parties on a range of corporate and litigation matters involving the successful navigation of complex international and U.S. laws, as well as the laws of nearly every country in the region.
His innovative and relentless approach has made him a trusted adviser to a wide variety of clients on some of the most politicized legal matters of our day pertaining to the Middle East, including Anti-Terrorism Act and Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act litigation, numerous high-profile sanctions matters, the European asset freezes of illicit Middle Eastern assets subsequent to the Arab Spring, as well as the multi-week trial of an accused international terrorist in a U.S. civilian court. Mr. Nassar also dedicates a significant amount of his practice to pro bono work and has worked over the years to alleviate the plight of political prisoners across the globe and to secure their ultimate release from captivity.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Nassar clerked for the Honorable Denise Page Hood, Chief Judge of the Eastern District of Michigan, and worked several years as an associate in an international law firm in Washington, DC. While in law school, Mr. Nassar interned with the United States Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York where he worked on a variety of matters relating to suspected terrorism financing as well as financial fraud prosecutions, also serving as a legal research fellow for the Institute of Development and Labour Law in Cape Town, South Africa.
- The American Bar Association Death Penalty Representation Project, Steering Committee
- Egyptian American Rule of Law Association (EARLA), Board Member
- International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Young Arbitrators Forum
- Judicial Law Clerk for the Honorable Denise Page Hood, Eastern District of Michigan (2007-2008)
- Intern, United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York (2006)
- Research Associate, Institute of Development and Labour Law, Cape Town South Africa
- Associate, Washington office of International Law Firm (2008-2011)
- Representation of Saudi Arabian conglomerate in global litigation concerning complex financial service fraud totaling in excess of $10 billion, managing multiple facets of civil proceedings and government investigations in the Middle East, European Union and the United States.
- Representation of Australian hedge fund in multiple actions filed domestically against prominent Wall Street banks and collateral managers stemming from the fraudulent sales of collateralized debt obligations and other subprime mortgage products.
- Representation of Middle Eastern charities in multi-district litigation relating to alleged violations of the Anti-Terrorism Act and other intentional tort claims.
- Provide strategic expertise to ministers and top government officials of the Arab Republic of Egypt on repatriation of Mubarak-era assets.
Represent New York based hedge fund, victim of a multi-million dollar fraudulent international money laundering scheme arising out of the Middle East, before various United States based entities in ancillary support of legal actions filed abroad.
Successfully obtained the de-listing of foreign branch offices of Middle Eastern NGO from the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control Specially Designated Nationals List after successful challenge of the designations.
Orchestrated the successful briefing and oral argument of a highly sensitive motion in the Southern District of New York involving the introduction of suspected forgered documents, introducing evidence gathered from across the globe after months of forensic investigations and witness interviews of foreign parties to obtain the pre-trial striking of the documents by the Court.
Conducted cross and direct examinations of lay and expert witnesses in Federal Court suppression hearings and during a multi-week jury trial in high profile international terrorism case that ultimately resulted in a jury verdict acquitting the client of 14 of the 18 charged offenses.
Co-authored an amicus brief on behalf of former military officials involving the torture of Iraqi civilians by U.S. contractors in the infamous Abu Ghraib facility.
Engineered complex cross border negotiations between banking interests in the Middle East and the United States investors, leveraging international banking interests with and international diplomatic channels to obtain successful results.
Negotiated successful pre-suit settlement on behalf of Middle Eastern situated party against U.S. based healthcare provider, alleging multi-million dollars in damages stemming from fraud and failure to provide proper services.
- Secured release of U.S. national sentenced to life in prison in Egypt on political charges, liaising with U.S. State Department, White House, members of Congress and key international power brokers over the course of his two year detention.
- Successfully negotiated settlement with the U.S. government and whistle-blower of a Civil False Claims Act claim lodged against corporate executive alleged to have participated in multi-million dollar fraudulent billing scheme.
- Pro bono representation in detainee cases in federal court arising out of the Guantanamo and Bagram, Afghanistan detention facilities.
Publications & Events
In recent weeks, the world has been engulfed by the spread of COVID-19 as governments scramble to protect their citizens and avoid the collapse of public health systems and long-term damage to their economies. The wide-ranging efforts to flatten the curve of COVID-19 has created a tidal wave of ramifications for an international business community that is today more interconnected than ever, and led to high levels of uncertainty surrounding current and future contractual obligations. At a time when government policies fluctuate daily and courts and arbitration centers are becoming increasingly inaccessible to resolve active disputes, it is difficult for a party to seek or obtain interim measures or relief. From country to country and company to company, the responses have not been uniform: some commercial parties have continued to perform their obligations, while others have argued for wholesale abdication of their responsibilities, and still others are somewhere in between. Certain trends of government action and commercial response are emerging worldwide, no less so in the hyper-connected global businesses that are found in the Middle East.April 20, 2020
- November 2016
- Statement on OFAC’S Removal of IIROSA Philippines and Indonesia from OFAC Specially Designated Nationals ListAugust 18, 2016
- May 30, 2015
In the News
In a recent wide-sweeping decision, Twitter v. Taamneh, the United States Supreme Court dramatically reshaped liability under the 2016 Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (“JASTA”), which imposes secondary, civil liability under the Anti-Terrorism Act (“ATA”) on persons who aid and abet or conspire to commit acts of international terrorism.May 25, 2023
LBKM’s Middle East team is featured in The Legal 500 Private Practice Powerlist 2023 for Arbitration (Middle East). The publication is designed to highlight the region's leading arbitration counsel to Legal 500's broad international readership of private practice lawyers, in-house counsel, and expert witnesses.April 27, 2023
Waleed Nassar, a lawyer who worked on Egypt’s asset recovery efforts, said foreign banks regularly built personal relationships with wealthy customers in Egypt, who could then move money out of the country in a way that might have otherwise raised red flags. “You and I can’t go to a bank right now and get away with some of the most basic things that are atypical protocol-wise, but these guys can,” he said. “But for [the banks’] conduct, a lot of the money would have never have been able to be transferred outside of Egypt in the first place.”OCCRP.org, February 21, 2022
- LBKM Further Expands Capabilities in MENA with Sports and Entertainment Practice and the Addition of Nada Hachem as Foreign Legal CounselNew engagements in the region include World Cup kick-off event in Qatar.
In recent weeks, LBKM’s Middle East practice group expanded its reach to help launch a large-scale, multi-day event in Qatar to kick off the World Cup 2022. As part of these efforts, LBKM’s Sports and Entertainment group led negotiations with various talent agencies and third parties, managing myriad legal and logistical issues to bring together such public figures as Trevor Noah of The Daily Show; Jalen Rose and David Jacoby of ESPN; and NBA Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady. The event served to promote cross-cultural understanding and demonstrate the ways in which sports and entertainment can be used to bridge cultural divides and effect social change.December 1, 2021
- AP, June 11, 2020
- Courthouse News Service, June 1, 2020
- Mohamed Soltan, U.S. citizen held as political prisoner, files torture lawsuit against Egypt’s ex-prime ministerThe Washington Post, June 1, 2020
LBKM partner Waleed Nassar has been recognized as a 2019 “Equality Trailblazer” by the National Law Journal in its inaugural list of top lawyers who serve as “agents of change” and have made an impact on equality through new legal strategies or innovative court cases.September 3, 2019
- Aeroflot allegedly told US citizens they faced being 'deported' to Delhi after connecting flight from Moscow to New York cancelled
The complaint was filed to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) by civil rights legal organisation Muslim Advocates and litigation specialist law firm Lewis Baach…Waleed Nassar, a partner in Lewis Baach, said: “This complaint is to ensure that a clear and unequivocal message is sent worldwide to any airline that chooses to contract with United States citizens and to offer flights to the United States: discrimination against any United States citizen on any basis – be it racial, religious, perceived ethnic origin or sexual orientation – is simply unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”Independent, March 26, 2018
- New York Post reports FBI evidence in a lawsuit alleges Saudi Arabia's US embassy may have funded test run for Sept 11.
Waleed Nassar, an international disputes lawyer who represents two Saudi charities that are defendants in 9/11 litigation alongside Saudi Arabia, said, "the evidence, along with much of what has been submitted, is innuendo and circumstantial".
"The plaintiff's burden is to show something more direct, and that's really the only hope they have to have Saudi Arabia remain in the litigation," Nassar said.September 11, 2017
In September 2016, the US Congress passed the Justice Against State Sponsors of Terrorism Act (“JASTA”) into law, overriding President Obama’s veto to narrow the scope of foreign sovereign immunity for terrorism related claims and expanding liability under the Anti-Terrorism Act (“ATA”) to now also include those who ‘aid, abet, or conspire’ with a foreign terrorist organisation. JASTA’s twin expansions of liability now make it easier to hook Middle Eastern countries and institutions into the web of costly US litigation. As President Obama himself recognised as a basis for his veto, ‘courts [can] potentially consider even minimal allegations…sufficient to open the door to litigation and wide-ranging discovery…’Lexis Middle East Law, June 28, 2017
A host of likely legal challenges will confront Middle East related entities doing business in or with the United States under President Trump, write Waleed Nassar and Kate Toomey.The New Arab, January 16, 2017
"It's still their burden to prove their allegations, which right now is based on a lot of innuendo and leaps of logic," said Waleed Nassar, a partner at Lewis Baach, which represents two of the Saudi charities named in the case.The Hill, October 9, 2016
- Swiss banks froze Mubarak's assets hours after his removal. 5 years and a corruption conviction later, the money still hasn’t moved.Mada Masr, February 11, 2016
- BBC World Service Newshour, May 30, 2015
- Mohammed Soltan was convicted of financing anti-goverment protest amid proceedings his lawyers describe as ‘a Kafkaesque political show trial’The Guardian, May 30, 2015
- The United States has come under criticism for not doing enough to secure Mohamed Soltan's release from Egyptian jail.
"The case had a low profile until he started his hunger strike, with the Egyptians reluctant to even admit he was being held," said Waleed Nassar, a senior associate with Lewis Baach PLLC, the law firm representing Soltan in the US. This led to "an uphill battle where you have to prove your client exists”, Nassar told Al Jazeera.
"Some [American] congressmen told us the Egyptian ambassador denied that Egypt was holding Soltan in prison on at least two occasions," said Nassar, who specialises in international dispute resolution.Aljazeera, April 12, 2015
- Efforts to recover assets misappropriated by members of the former Mubarak regime have largely evaporated, writes Waleed NassarAl-Ahram Weekly, August 28, 2013
- Negotiation with Mubarak regime officials accused of financial misappropriation should be viewed as being a piece of the greater asset-recovery puzzle.Al-Ahram Weekly, February 12, 2013
- Two years after the 25 January Revolution, not enough has been done to recover the assets of corrupt figures from the former regimeAl-Ahram Weekly, January 30, 2013
- The Business Monthly, American Chamber of Commerce Egypt, December 2012
- October 4, 2012
- The recoupment of illicit funds pilfered from the country through the decades of Mubarak led corruptionDaily News Egypt, July 19, 2012
- The New York University School of Law (J.D. 2007)
- The University of Michigan Ross School of Business (B.B.A. 2004 with honors)
- District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan