• J.D., University of Chicago Law School
  • A.B., Columbia University
Bars and Courts
  • Florida Bar
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • US District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • US District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • “OSI’s Prosecution of World War II Persecutor Cases,” United States Attorneys Bulletin, January 2006

Adam S. Fels is a founding partner of Fridman Fels & Soto, PLLC. His current practice, which includes appearances in Florida, District of Columbia, and New York courts, as well federal courts in California and Illinois, focuses on international money laundering cases, white-collar criminal defense, and complex internal investigations. A former recipient of the Daily Business Review’s “Most Effective Lawyer” recognition for the field of Criminal Law, Mr. Fels was recently ranked in Band 4 for White-Collar Crime & Criminal Investigations by Chambers and Partners for his extensive work in the practice area.

Since co-founding Fridman Fels & Soto, PLLC, Mr. Fels has represented several clients in criminal, and regulatory matters involving various federal statutes, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the money laundering, spending, and unlicensed money transmitter statutes, the False Claims Act, the health care fraud and anti-kickback statutes, the Sherman Act (Antitrust), the Securities Act of 1933, the mail and wire fraud statutes, the bank fraud statute, the federal false statements statute, the trade secret theft statute, and the food and drug misbranding statutes. Mr. Fels has represented both corporations and individuals under federal investigation and has obtained several successful outcomes for his clients, including a federal court of appeals reversal of a civil judgment, probation or below-guideline sentences for multiple clients, and agreements by prosecutors not to charge subjects or targets of federal investigations. In the civil arena, Mr. Fels has represented several individuals and corporations in diverse disputes involving breaches of contract, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), civil fraud, civil RICO, debt collection practices, and extortion.

Before forming Fridman Fels & Soto, PLLC, Mr. Fels served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of Florida for thirteen years, specializing in international money laundering, counternarcotics, and counterterrorism prosecutions. He also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in both the Southern District of New York and the Eastern District of New York. Mr. Fels was one of the lead prosecutors and delivered the opening statement in the Government’s successful prosecution of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán, one of the largest drug kingpins ever tried in the United States. The members of the prosecution team, including Mr. Fels, were honored with the 2019 U.S. Department of Justice Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, the Department’s highest award for employee performance.

Throughout his thirteen-year career as a federal prosecutor, Mr. Fels successfully managed and directed a wide array of criminal investigations and cases in district court, and successfully argued several cases in federal courts of appeal. He handled some of the Miami U.S. Attorney’s Office’s highest-profile cases, including a variety of counterterrorism prosecutions, and the prosecution of some of the most prominent Colombian drug cartel leaders of the time.

Mr. Fels has lectured extensively to various audiences, including domestic and foreign law enforcement personnel and university students. His seminars and guest lectures have addressed international criminal procedure, money laundering, terrorist financing, and psychology of the courtroom. He has participated in state-sponsored money laundering panels on three continents.

Prior to his tenure as a federal prosecutor in Miami, Mr. Fels served as a Senior Trial Attorney with the Department of Justice’s Office of Special Investigations in Washington, DC, where he worked to denaturalize and deport several World War II concentration camp guards who had unlawfully entered the United States after the war. For his role in bringing Nazi camp guards to justice, Mr. Fels was recognized alongside other OSI attorneys with the first U.S. Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General Award for Human Rights Law Enforcement.

Before joining the Department of Justice, Mr. Fels spent four years as a commercial litigation and appellate associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Latham & Watkins LLP, participating in several trials and developing expertise in internal investigations. Mr. Fels began his legal career by clerking for United States District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks in the Southern District of Florida.

Awards and Recognition
  • Recipient of Attorney General’s David Margolis Award for Exceptional Service, 2019
  • “Most Effective Lawyer” for Criminal Law, Daily Business Review, 2019
  • Recipient of Federal Law Enforcement Foundation Award, 2019
  • Recipient of Timothy Evans Award for Outstanding Assistant United States Attorney, 2012
  • Recipient of Assistant Attorney General Award for Human Rights Law Enforcement, 2008
Client Testimonials

I was blessed to be referred to Fridman Fels, and Soto while scrambling for answers. They treated me with respect, and kindness, and from the very outset were preparing me for what the future might hold. They listened to me intently while communicating hard truths and truly fulfilled their capacity as counselors. Going through the hardest period of my life, I knew I could trust Adam with my worries, thoughts, and concerns. Not only did every strategic conversation come to fruition, but I felt confident and prepared as I went through it. Adam connected with me on a personal level and I always felt in safe and trustworthy hands. I’d highly encourage friends, family, and beyond to remember the names and the firm.

– Ronnie Green

I couldn’t ask for more thorough, competent, and compassionate representation.  This firm literally saved my life. My experience with Adam Fels exceeded all expectations. From the very first consultation, it was evident that I was in capable hands. In addition to his exceptional legal skills, Mr. Fels also possesses a rare intelligence that sets him apart from his peers. His ability to anticipate the opposing party’s arguments and counter them effectively was truly impressive. It was evident that he was always several steps ahead, which ultimately led to a favorable outcome for my case. Overall, I cannot recommend this law firm highly enough. If you’re in need of legal representation, look no further. With his combination of thoroughness, compassion, professionalism, and intelligence, Mr. Fels is simply unparalleled. Choosing him as your attorney will be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.

– Will Goldsmith

News Reports and Media Accounts