Jack M. Knight

Jack Knight focuses his practice on white collar and internal investigations. He is an experienced attorney who routinely handles complex white collar matters involving the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and across other federal and state enforcement agencies. As part of his practice, he regularly represents Fortune 500 companies and individuals facing federal and state grand jury investigations and parallel proceedings.

Prior to joining Winston, Mr. Knight served as a prosecutor for 10 years and worked for the Department of Justice as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Western District of North Carolina focusing on white collar fraud prosecutions and was the sole Assistant United States Attorney on the Anti-Terrorism Task Force. Mr. Knight has tried more than 50 cases to verdict in state and federal court.

Mr. Knight is routinely recognized as one of the top attorneys in his field. He is listed as one of the Best Lawyers in America, as a North Carolina Super Lawyer, and recognized by Chambers USA as a leader in the field of white collar law.

Some of his recent cases include:

  • Represented corporate officers in a high profile securities investigation conducted by the SEC and DOJ.
  • Represented a major financial institutions in a DOJ matter related to allegations of fraud in loan applications and mortgage fraud.
  • Represented individual in response to a grand jury investigation related to the release of dangerous chemicals into a public waterway. After a lengthy investigation, no charges were filed.
  • Defended an individual in one of the largest antitrust cases ever brought by the Department of Justice.
  • Defended the General Counsel of a national mortgage company investigated by DOJ and State Attorneys General.
  • Conducted an internal investigation and defended a major power and electric company during a federal environmental grand jury investigation which resulted in no charges against the company or any employees.
  • Represented numerous individuals in DOJ health care fraud cases related to upcoding and other matters.
  • Represented a Fortune 500 Company in an options backdating investigation being investigated by the SEC and the Department of Justice.
  • Defended one of the country’s largest construction firms during a federal investigation related to allegations of political kickbacks and fraud. No charges were brought against the company or any individuals.
  • Regularly advises a Fortune 25 Company on matters related government investigations and other regulatory matters.
  • Represented the Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives during state, federal, and regulatory investigations.
  • Obtained a preliminary injunction in Hong Kong for a major financial institution to halt the activities of a known fraudster.
  • Defended a national health care provider and conducted an internal investigation for a matter being investigated by a state's attorney general’s office.
  • Conducted an internal investigation for a major defense contractor.
  • Defended SEC charges of insider trading and stock option backdating.
  • Handled numerous appeals in the Fourth Circuit and Sixth Circuit related to criminal and civil litigation issues.
  • Defended corporations and individuals in investigations conducted by the Environmental Crimes Section of the EPA.
  • Represented a large financial institution in a recent FINRA Arbitration.

Mr. Knight received a B.A. in Political Science in 1990 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Jody Akers Scholar. He received a J.D., cum laude, from American University in Washington, D.C. in 1994. He served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina from 2000-2004.

Honors & Awards

Mr. Knight was selected as one of the Best Lawyers in America for "Criminal Defense: White Collar" as listed in U.S. News and World Report and Corporate Counsel magazine in 2010-2015. Mr. Knight was also named a North Carolina Super Lawyer in 2011-2014 and is listed in Chambers USA as a leader in the field of white collar law.


Mr. Knight is the past president of the Mecklenburg County Bar Criminal Justice Section. He also was a member of the Local Rules Committee of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina.

In 2012, Mr. Knight was an instructor at the Department of Justice National Advocacy Center in Columbia, SC.


Mr. Knight frequently writes and speaks about the legal issues affecting his practice.

His recent publications include:

  • “Abuse of Discovery Prompts U.S. Reform,” April 16, 2010, Charlotte Business Journal.
  • “Internal Investigations: When the Government Comes Calling,” co-author, October 2007, The Banking Law Journal.

His recent speaking engagements include:

  • “Securities Fraud Conference”, Speaker, June 13, 2013.
  • Instructor, Department of Justice National Advisory Center (NAC).
  • "Securities Litigation in 2012 and Beyond: New Targets, New Solutions" presentation, May 9, 2012.
  • "From Enron to Today- An Insider's Guide to Safely Navigating the New Enforcement Landscape," presentation for In-House Counsel at Financial Institutions, Oct. 20, 2011.
  • "What to Do when Federal Investigators Come Calling," presentation for Corporate In-House Counsel of Fortune 500 Company, Oct. 12, 2011.
  • Spoke to Assistant United States Attorneys at the National Advocacy Center (NAC) on issues related to recent prosecutions throughout the country, June 14, 2011.
  • “The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act” presentation to risk management group at a Fortune 25 financial services institution, Dec. 8, 2010.
  • “Document Retention and Destruction Issues” seminar held in Charlotte, N.C. in 2007 and 2010.
  • “The Criminal Trial – the Art of Cross Examination,” presented in Charlotte at a National Business Institute seminar in 2008.
  • Guest on the television show “Carolina Business Journal,” as well as the “Mike Collins” radio show.
  • Speaker at the International Association of Police Chiefs (IAPC), Toronto, Canada.