Hon. George J. Terwilliger III

Partner, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP

George J. Terwilliger III is a partner in Morgan Lewis's Litigation Practice. Mr. Terwilliger provides counsel in litigation, internal investigations, and enforcement proceedings, especially those involving the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other primary enforcement agencies.

Mr. Terwilliger has represented U.S. and international energy, financial, telecommunications, healthcare, and industrial companies in government investigations and in civil and criminal litigation. He has tried numerous cases in his career and has continued to appear for clients in federal trial and appellate court proceedings. Mr. Terwilliger has also conducted corporate internal investigations and legal compliance reviews, including for boards of directors and board committees, involving work in more than 60 countries around the world. His individual clients have included prominent business executives, media personalities, lawyers, and elected and appointed public officials. He has also served in many proceedings involving political affairs, including as a leader of the Bush -Cheney legal team in the 2000 Florida recount, special outside counsel for a Senate committee investigation of alleged vote fraud, counsel to an executive commission on gambling, and as an advisor to companies, business, and government officials involved in investigations and other matters with political overtones.

In public service, Mr. Terwilliger served as a U.S. presidential appointee in two administrations. He was appointed a U.S. Attorney by President Ronald Reagan and served as Deputy Attorney General, the number two official of the DOJ, and as Acting Attorney General in the George H.W. Bush administration. He has 10 years of experience as a front-line federal prosecutor, conducting investigations, trials, and appellate proceedings. Major cases  in which  Mr. Terwilliger was personally involved as a prosecutor include the BCCI international banking scandal, where he led negotiations for the government that resulted ina comprehensive criminal and civil resolution involving more than 25 parties in the United States and abroad. He has had leadership responsibility in several domestic and international crises, including managing the federal response to massive civil unrest in Los Angeles,  working directly with the FBI in an operation to rescue federal officers held hostage in a prison takeover, and addressing, through the National Security Council and in legal proceedings, massive Haitian migration to the United States. While a front-line prosecutor, he tried scores of cases and had lead responsibility in significant white collar crime and terrorism matters.

Prior to joining Morgan Lewis, Mr. Terwilliger was a partner in the white collar practice of another international law firm. Since entering private practice, Mr. Terwilliger has been regularly called upon to provide legal and policy advice and commentary to the government, Congress, and private organizations concerning national security, terrorism, and homeland defense, as well as other public policy and legal issues.

Mr. Terwilliger earned his J.D. from Antioch School of Law in 1978 and his B.A. from Seton Hall University in 1973.

Mr. Terwilliger is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and before the U.S. Supreme Court; the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Fourth, and District of Columbia Circuits; and the U.S. Tax Court.

  • B.A., Seton Hall University, 1973
  • J.D., Antioch School of Law, 1978

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Publications and Multimedia
Defining Regulatory Crimes - Event Audio/Video
Criminal Law and the Administrative State: Defining and Enforcing Regulatory Crimes
June 11, 2014
Marijuana and the States: How Should Federalism Principles Inform the Federal Government’s Response to State Marijuana Initiatives? - Event Audio/Video
Sponsored by the Center for Business Law and Regulation at Case Western Reserve University School of Law and the Practice Groups of the Federalist Society
December 05, 2013
NSA Data Collection - Event Audio/Video
2013 National Lawyers Convention
November 22, 2013
Criminal Law at the Federal Level - Event Audio/Video
First Annual Executive Branch Review Conference
June 14, 2013
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act - Event Audio/Video
2012 National Lawyers Convention
November 20, 2012
Over-Criminalization and Public Opinion - Podcast
Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group Podcast
September 20, 2012
The Civilian Trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
Online Debate
January 05, 2010
Preventing Attacks through Surveillance and Intelligence - Event Audio/Video
International & National Security Law Practice Group and the Heritage Foundation
May 28, 2009
The SEC and the Financial Services Crisis of 2008 - Audio/Video
2008 National Lawyers Convention
November 22, 2008
The Obstruction of Justice - Event Audio/Video
Criminal Law and Procedure Practice Group
May 29, 2008