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Andrew S. Cowan



T:  213-985-2200
F:  213-973-6282


  • USC Gould School of Law, University of Southern California

    • Juris Doctor, Order of the Coif

  • Yale University

    • Bachelor of Arts, Cum Laude


  • California

  • U.S. District Courts:

    • Central District of California

    • Northern District of California

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

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Mr. Cowan is a former federal prosecutor who specializes in white collar criminal defense and complex civil litigation.

A veteran courtroom lawyer, Mr. Cowan has investigated, litigated and supervised complex civil and criminal matters for nearly 30 years. During seven years as an Assistant United States Attorney in Los Angeles, Mr. Cowan successfully prosecuted numerous cases involving fraud and public corruption. He began his legal career clerking for a federal judge in Los Angeles and then serving as a trial attorney at the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice in Washington DC.

Mr. Cowan left government service to take a senior position at a prominent global private investigation firm, where he was responsible for investigating cases involving fraud, embezzlement, theft of trade secrets, and computer crimes. After returning to the courtroom, he built a diverse practice focused on criminal defense and business litigation.

Mr. Cowan's criminal, civil and investigative experience give him a unique perspective that benefits his clients. He knows how to find and present the crucial evidence to make or defend your case - or to devastate the other side. With meticulous preparation, vigorous advocacy, and sound strategic judgment, Mr. Cowan will take your case to trial if he cannot negotiate a favorable outcome.

Mr. Cowan graduated with honors from both Yale University and the University of Southern California Law Center, and is a member of the California State Bar.  He has been selected as a top-rated Super Lawyer based on his outstanding work and commitment to the spirit of the legal profession.




Andrew Cowan has served as lead counsel in over a dozen criminal jury trials in federal court.  

In recent years, he has won not guilty verdicts in cases such as these:

  • Not guilty jury verdict on all counts for client charged in Hawaii with conspiring to commit bribery and civil rights violations. After extensive FBI investigation, federal prosecutors presented evidence for two months and the jury returned not guilty verdict in less than two days.

  • Not guilty jury verdict on federal drug distribution charge that carried a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence.

  • Not guilty jury verdict on federal witness retaliation charge, saving client from potential 20-year sentence.

In many criminal cases, Mr. Cowan has convinced prosecutors not to file charges against his clients, or negotiated diversionary (non-custody) outcomes for them.  Examples include:


  • Persuading federal prosecutors not to file charges against owner of recycling firm, after accusations by industry competitors prompted FBI fraud investigation and search warrants.

  • Securing post-indictment diversion and dismissal for small business owner charged by feds with conspiracy to transport stolen goods.

  • Obtaining non-custody diversionary sentence for client who sold cocaine to FBI informant.

  • Securing non-custody sentence for client who pleaded guilty in multi-million dollar bank fraud scheme.

  • Obtaining non-custody sentences for clients who pleaded guilty to identity theft crimes.

  • Convincing federal authorities not to prosecute spouse of man convicted of selling counterfeit department store coupons.



Examples of other criminal matters handled by Mr. Cowan in recent years include:

  • Battling criminal fraud charges against clients that arose from investigations initiated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Obtained non-custody diversion sentence for one such client.

  • Representing witnesses in matters before federal grand juries.

  • Representing witnesses in campaign finance investigations before the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission and the California Fair Political Practices Commission.

  • Internal investigation on behalf of energy company defrauded by hackers using phony invoices, and subsequent outreach to federal prosecutors.

Representative civil matters include:

  • Successful resolution of toxic mold claim brought by former tenant against apartment owner.

  • Successfully litigating breach-of-contract and employment law claims brought by the former CEO of a body shop chain against her ex-employer.

  • Arbitrating breach-of-contract claims by property management company against the owners.

  • Defending real estate brokerage in class action lawsuit brought by one of its former agents.

  • Obtaining significant settlement for homeowner in construction defect litigation.

  • Representing media company in U.S. Department of Justice investigation related to the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

  • Defending individual sued by leading technology firm for allegedly impersonating its CEO.

  • Invoking anti-SLAPP statute to dismiss politically-motivated “citizen’s lawsuit” against prominent political consultant that alleged campaign finance violations.

  • Representing real estate developers against bank seeking to enforce personal loan guarantees.

  • Representing college student in campus disciplinary proceedings.

Seasoned Crisis Litigators in Your Corner

Los Angeles Law Office

Holmes, Athey, Cowan & Mermelstein LLP

811 Wilshire Boulevard

Suite 1460

Los Angeles, CA 90017

Tel: (213) 985-2200

Fax: (213) 973-6282

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