James P. Dowden


  • JD, summa cum laude, Boston College Law School, 2000; Order of the Coif; Articles Editor, Boston College Law Review
  • BA, magna cum laude, Boston College, 1997; Phi Beta Kappa


  • Massachusetts, 2001

Court Admissions

  • Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, 2001
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, 2001
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 2002
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, 2007
  • Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer, Supreme Court of the United States (2004 - 2005)
  • Honorable Anthony J. Scirica, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (2000 - 2001)
  • Visiting Assistant/Adjunct Professor of Law, Boston College Law School
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers (2013-2016)
  • Financial Times US Innovative Lawyers Report 2013 - Recognized Ropes & Gray’s web-based econometric Risk Matrix tool, developed by the firm’s anti-corruption and international risk team, as a “standout” product.

James P. Dowden


Jim Dowden is a member of Ropes & Gray’s government enforcement practice group and co-coordinator of the firm’s anti-corruption core practice. Jim concentrates his practice on advising clients, including international pharmaceutical and medical device companies, major investment banking firms, financial institutions, and individuals in a wide variety of investigations and enforcement proceedings brought by federal, state and foreign government agencies. His practice focuses on white collar criminal, as well as civil and administrative matters involving the regulation of the commercial banking, securities, life sciences, health care, and pharmaceutical sectors. This includes advising clients on the growing number of fraud, FCPA compliance and other enforcement matters. 

Jim spent five years as a federal prosecutor in the Economic Crimes and Public Corruption Units at the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts. He investigated and prosecuted a variety of fraud matters and public corruption cases involving securities fraud, tax fraud, accounting fraud, and corruption related offenses. Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney's Office, Jim was a litigation associate at Ropes & Gray and clerked for Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer of the United States Supreme Court during the Court’s 2004 term.

Recently, Jim has led the effort to create Ropes & Gray’s Anti-Corruption Risk Matrix, ranked as a “standout” product in the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Report and featured in the ABA Journal.


  • Lead counsel for multinational pharmaceutical company in connection with SEC investigation.
  • Lead counsel for several publicly traded companies in connection with FCPA investigations.
  • Lead counsel for several international investment advisers in ongoing investigations and litigation concerning FOREX transactions.
  • Counsel for leading medical device manufacturer in civil False Claims Act litigation.
  • Counsel representing financial institution in industry-wide SEC FCPA investigation focusing on interactions with Sovereign Wealth Funds.
  • Counsel for two international medical device companies in connection with DOJ and state attorneys' general investigations.
  • Lead counsel for several multinational companies in conducting global anti-corruption risk assessments and internal investigations.
  • Defended two international pharmaceutical companies in federal health care fraud investigations alleging off-label marketing, Anti-Kickback, and False Claims Act violations.
  • Defended academic medical center in a federal criminal investigation into alleged improper relationships with a major pharmaceutical manufacturer.
  • Defended nationally prominent company involved in criminal tax investigation.



  • Presenter, “Current Anti-Corruption Hot-Topics,” Anti-Corruption Programs for Private Equity Firms in 2013, Knowledge Congress's live webcast (October 3, 2013)
  • Presenter, “Navigating the FCPA “Resource Guide”: Enforcement Trends and Compliance Tips,” Ropes & Gray webinar (November 2012)