Morgan Lewis

Related Publications

07/03/14 D.C. Circuit Protects Attorney-Client Privilege in Internal Corporate Investigations
The appellate court clarifies that internal corporate investigations are subject to the attorney-client privilege where one of the significant purposes of the investigation is to secure legal advice for the company.
View all publications

Related News

08/15/14 Supreme Court Petition Threatens FCPA Crackdown, Law360
Litigation partner George Terwilliger is quoted regarding the Court's petition to limit the scope of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
07/09/14 Cross-Border Investigations: When Your Company is in Hot Water Overseas, FTI Journal
Litigation partner George Terwilliger participated in a panel discussion on “Trends in Cross-Border Investigations” at the 2014 American Bar Association National Institute on Internal Corporate Investigations and In-House Counsel.
01/07/14 Twelve Morgan Lewis Partners Named to Washingtonian’s Best Lawyers Listing
Twelve Morgan Lewis partners were counted among Washington, DC’s “best legal minds” in Washingtonian magazine’s 2013 Best Lawyers list, published in its December 2013 issue.
View all news
Photo of  George J. Terwilliger III

honors + affiliations

Listed, Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2014)

Noted in The US Legal 500 for White Collar Criminal Defense (2014)

Listed, Who’s Who Legal: Business Crime Defence (2014)

Recommended as a local litigation star for Washington, D.C. for White Collar Crime in Benchmark Litigation (2010–2014)

Listed as a Leading White Collar Crime Lawyer by Expert Guide (2013)

Listed, Washingtonian magazine "Best Lawyers" (2013)

Listed, The Best Lawyers in America

Listed, 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America, The National Law Journal

bar admissions

  • District of Columbia

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Fourth, and District of Columbia Circuits
  • U.S. Tax Court
print profile

George J. Terwilliger III

Washington, D.C.
1111 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20004-2541
United States
Phone: +1.202.739.5988
Fax: +1.202.739.3001

George J. Terwilliger III is a partner in Morgan Lewis's Litigation Practice and co-chair of the White Collar Litigation and Government Investigations 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 (SEC), 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 vote 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 Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) banking scandal, where he led negotiations for the government that resulted in a 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.


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