Overview

Erin Nealy Cox, the former United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, is a trial lawyer who represents corporations, boards of directors, and executives involved in complex multi-jurisdictional disputes and high-stakes investigations. As a partner in the Firm’s Dallas and Washington, D.C., offices, she is a member of the Firm’s Government, Regulatory & Internal Investigations Practice Group.

Erin has a broad practice focused on matters arising from alleged violations of state and federal laws, including fraud, cybersecurity, public corruption, national security, workplace compliance, and issues involving board governance. She has successfully tried numerous cases in federal courts throughout her two and a half decades in public service and private practice.

Erin has deep experience in government service having served at the highest levels of the Department of Justice as United States Attorney, and before that as an Assistant United States Attorney. As the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, Erin led an office of 250 employees responsible for prosecuting wide-ranging and complex federal cases, including financial, securities, health care, government contracting and program fraud, as well as Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), money laundering, public corruption, computer crime, and opioid-related matters. She successfully quarterbacked the Northern District of Texas’ most significant investigations, and during her tenure, the office prosecuted more cases and more defendants than any other non-border district in the nation. As U.S. Attorney, she was recognized nationally for her work in developing strategic responses to benefit the eight million residents of the Northern District of Texas. She was also recognized nationally and locally for her efforts to combat domestic violence through gun control initiatives and her work to eradicate human trafficking through the efforts of the North Texas Trafficking Task Force.

While serving as U.S. Attorney, she also served as Chairperson of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC), a body of 15 U.S. Attorneys selected by the Attorney General to advise on national priorities, including policy and operational issues. Erin also led the AGAC task force on domestic violence and firearms crimes.

Prior to her appointment as U.S. Attorney in 2017, she served briefly as a senior advisor at McKinsey & Co., in the consulting firm’s cybersecurity and risk practice. Before that, Erin was executive managing director at Stroz Friedberg, a cybersecurity and investigations consulting firm, ultimately leading the firm’s global incident response business. During her prosecutorial career, Erin served as Chief of Staff and Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General in the DOJ’s Office of Legal Policy in Washington, D.C. She also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Texas, where she prosecuted white collar, cyber, and violent crimes for almost a decade.

More

Thought Leadership

Publications

White-Collar Crime Practice Guide – U.S. Chapter, Chambers & Partners, 2022

“Dealing with Cyber Threats,” Governance, 2016

Navigating the Digital Age - The Definitive Cybersecurity Guide for Directors and Officers - Chapter 11: Establishing a Board-Level Cybersecurity Review Blueprint, Palo Alto Networks & NYSE, 2015

“Taking the Blame — and the Lead — to Unite Against Data Breaches,” Chain Store Age, 2014

“The Need for Greed, Inside the Hacker’s Head,” RetailingToday, 2014

Measuring the Cybersecurity Problem, EastWest Institute, 2013

Building Trust in Cyberspace - 3rd Worldwide Cybersecurity Summit in New Delhi, EastWest Institute, 2012

Seminars

Panelist, “Addressing Risk in Portfolio Companies – Staying Ahead of Hackers and Government Regulators to Lower Your Risk Profile,” Kayo Conference Series, September 2023

Speaker, “The Midnight Knock – When the DOJ Comes Calling,” TexasBarCLE, August 2023

Panelist, “The Bench, The Bar, and The Fourth Estate,” NDTX Bench Bar Conference, April 2023

Panelist, “The Dallas-Fort Worth Conversation on Board Diversity,” 50/50 Women on Boards, October 2022

Moderator, “When the Feds Come Calling: The Importance of Corporate Compliance in the Wake of New DOJ Scrutiny,” General Counsel Conference Southwest, September 2022

Recognition

Recognized by Best Lawyers® for Commercial Litigation & Criminal Defense: White-Collar, 2024

“500 Leading Litigators in America,” Lawdragon, 2024

“Dallas 500,” D CEO, 2022–2024

“Best Lawyers in Dallas,” D Magazine, 2023 

“500 Leading Global Litigators,” Lawdragon, 2023

“500 Leading Lawyers in America,” Lawdragon, 2023

Recognized in Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense, The Legal 500 U.S., 2022–2023

Recipient of the 2020 Jane Doe Award given by Genesis Women’s Shelter, a non-profit dedicated to supporting victims of domestic violence

Women in Business Award, Dallas, Business Journal, July 2010

“40 under 40” Top Business Leaders in the Metroplex, Dallas Business Journal, June 2009

Memberships & Affiliations

Member, American Law Institute, elected in 2019

Member, Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee, 2014–2017; 2021–Present

Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation, 2020

Executive Board Member, SMU Dedman School of Law, 2021–Present

Board Member, New Friends New Life, a non-profit dedicated to supporting victims of human trafficking, 2021–Present

Young Presidents Organization (YPO)

  • Dallas Chapter, 2015–2020
  • Gold Chapter 2020–Present

Credentials

Admissions & Qualifications

  • Texas
  • District of Columbia
  • New York

Courts

  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Education

  • Southern Methodist University Dedman School of LawJ.D.cum laude
    Editor, SMU Law Review, 1994–1995; Staff Member, 1993–1994
  • University of Texas at AustinB.B.A., Finance