Nicholas Kato


Nicholas Kato is an associate in the Litigation Department. Nick has experience in white collar defense matters, internal investigations, and complex commercial litigation. He also has a substantial focus on issues arising from the Anti-Money Laundering/Bank Secrecy Act, has litigated BSA/AML issues, assisted with anti-money laundering investigations, and developed robust anti-money laundering policies for the firm’s Fintech clients.

Nick has significant experience assisting financial services clients facing investigation from state and federal regulators. He has taken numerous witness depositions, prepared clients for interviews and depositions, and coordinated and overseen significant discovery issues.

Prior to attending law school, Nick worked as an investigator who sought justice for wrongfully convicted prisoners. He located witnesses and evidence for trial and appellate court petitions and developed trial strategy and innocence case theories with attorneys.

Nick is a contributor to Money Laundering Watch, Ballard Spahr’s blog focused on money laundering issues.


Representative Matters

  • Representing a national bank in federal lawsuits alleging tort and Bank Secrecy Act violations
  • Representing a financial institution in investigative demands from state and federal regulators
  • Representing an international health care services company in lawsuits alleging public nuisance

Pro Bono Experience

Nick maintains a pro bono practice focused on criminal justice issues. He litigates prison civil rights claims on behalf of incarcerated individuals. Nick also provides assistance to the Pennsylvania Innocence Project, and he regularly assists individuals seeking a pardon from the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons. 

Professional Highlights

Speaking Engagements

Panelist, "Investigations Done Right: Avoiding Pitfalls, Staying the Course, and Getting the Evidence," Innocence Network Conference, April 2016

Board Memberships & Community Service

SEIU Local 925 Seattle, shop steward and bargaining team member, June 2012-May 2014



Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 2019)
Managing Editor, Temple Law Review
Order of the Coif
Finalist, Moot Court Competition Team
Co-Chair, Expungement Project

University of Washington (B.A. 2009)



U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania