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Meet Our Professionals

Brian S. Cromwell

Board of Directors of the Firm
Charlotte | 704.335.9511
Fax | 704.334.4706

Brian Cromwell counsels clients on regulatory enforcement issues, white collar criminal defense, civil litigation, fintech, and internal investigations. He also advises corporate and individual clients under investigation by consumer protection agencies that include the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In addition, he is a member of the Public Company Growth & Compliance group. He is admitted to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, as well as the United States District Courts for the Western, Middle, and Eastern Districts of North Carolina.

Prior to entering private practice, Brian was both a state and federal prosecutor. From 1997 to 2000, he served as an assistant district attorney for Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, where he gained substantial investigative and trial experience in a variety of matters. From 2000 to 2004, he served as an assistant United States attorney for the Department of Justice, Western District of North Carolina.

Prior to attending law school, Brian gained valuable experience as a financial analyst and a tax consultant, which sparked his practical and legal insight into complex corporate criminal issues.

Representative Experience

  • Obtained summary judgment for an international equipment company in excess of $12 million against a former employee on claims for theft and embezzlement, unjust enrichment, fraud, conversion, RICO, NC RICO, and unfair and deceptive trade practices, based on his sale of company assets for his and others’ benefit. We also obtained a $1 million consent judgment against his wife and a default judgment in excess of $12 million against his shell company.
  • Successfully defended a client in a three-week, high-profile political bribery trial. The federal trial involved allegations against a billionaire political donor attempting to bribe North Carolina's insurance commissioner. A jury found the donor and one of his associates guilty but found our client not guilty.
  • Represented an American subsidiary of a Japanese company in an investigation conducted by the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice which resulted in declination of prosecution.
  • Represented a large regional hospital during a wide-scale state insurance investigation where no substantive sanctions were levied against the health care facility.
  • Represented a bank executive in a CFPB investigation that resulted in no enforcement action being taken.
  • Represented a municipality, police force and others in a racially divisive 42 U.S.C. §1983 excessive use of force case in which 55 of 59 claims were dismissed by the close of summary judgment, and was able to negotiate a settlement at a fraction the plaintiff’s initial demand.
  • Represented a sports and entertainment conglomerate in an SEC investigation, resulting in no enforcement action being taken.
  • Represented an asset management firm and its principals in an SEC investigation that resulted in no enforcement action being taken despite criminal sentences being levied against alleged co-conspirators.
  • Represented a CPA in an IRS-CID investigation, which resulted in no formal charges being filed.
  • Acted as pool counsel for executives of a government-sponsored enterprise in a protracted SEC investigation.
  • Represented a mortgage company regarding an investigation conducted by the North Carolina Commissioner of Banks, which resulted in no formal charges being filed.
  • Conducted internal investigations for corporations in various industries including chemical manufacturing, medical provision, insurance, banking, energy and food processing.
  • Represented the CEO of a textile corporation investigated by the SEC, resulting in no enforcement action being taken.
  • Represented a Fortune 100 manufacturing company in response to law enforcement subpoenas and requests for information.
  • Represented medical professionals in various criminal investigations.
  • Defended, pro bono in a high-profile trial, an individual who was charged with a homicide offense; trial concluded in a dismissal at the close of the government’s evidence.

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Honors & Awards

  • The Best Lawyers in America in Criminal Defense: White Collar, 2010-2023
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers in Litigation: White Collar Crime & Government Investigations, 2021-2022
  • Business North Carolina magazine's "Legal Elite" in Criminal Law, 2011, 2013, 2018
  • North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, Leaders in the Law Honoree, 2016
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers, 2022-2023


  • Blumenthal Performing Arts, Board of Trustees, 2018-present, Chair, 2021-present
  • N.C. Commission on Indigent Defense Services, Commissioner, 2016-present
  • Mecklenburg County Teen Court, Judge and Lawyer Trainer, 1998-present
  • Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Board of Directors, 2008-2018, Chair, 2014-2016
  • Mecklenburg County Bar, Board of Directors, 2012-2014; Diversity & Inclusion Committee, 2016-2019
  • Western District of North Carolina, Federal Defender, Board of Directors, 2008-2012
  • United Family Services, Board of Directors, 2002-2008, Chair, 2007