Nancy Hollander

An internationally recognized criminal defense lawyer, Nancy Hollander joined the firm in 1980 and became a partner in 1983. She is also an Associate Tenant at London’s Doughty Street Chambers, and is Of Counsel with the Geneva Firm of Savolainen Avocats. She has been admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court, nine U.S. Courts of Appeal, seven U.S. District Courts, the United States Army Court of Criminal Appeals, The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and New Mexico. She is also on the list of counsel for the International Criminal Court (ICC) as well as the Department of Defense’s Pool of Qualified Civilian Defense Counsel for Military Commissions.

For more than four decades, Ms. Hollander’s practice has largely been devoted to representing individuals and organizations accused of crimes, including those involving national security issues, in trial and on appeal. She was lead appellate counsel for Chelsea Manning in the military appellate courts. She also won Ms. Manning’s release in 2017 when President Obama commuted her sentence from 35 years to seven years. Ms. Hollander has also represented two prisoners at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, and in 2016, she won the release of one of them – Mohamedou Ould Slahi – after 11 years of pro bono representation. His story is chronicled in his New York Times-bestselling book Guantanamo Diary, which Ms. Hollander helped facilitate and publish and a feature film, titled The Mauritanian.

For her other client at Guantanamo, Abd Rahim Al-Nashiri, who is facing the death penalty, she has won two cases in the European Court of Human Rights, providing funds for his family and accountability for his torture at the hands of agents of the US government. She continues to represent him in European venues.

In addition to her criminal defense practice, Ms. Hollander has been counsel in numerous civil cases, forfeitures, and administrative hearings, and she has argued and won a historic case involving religious freedom in the U.S. Supreme Court. Ms. Hollander also served as a consultant to the defense in a high-profile terrorism case in Ireland and has assisted counsel in other international cases. In 1992-93, Ms. Hollander was the first woman president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Chosen by her peers as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers as well as the American Board of Criminal Lawyers, she also is a member of the European Criminal Bar Association, and in 2017, she was appointed to one of the American Bar Association’s International Criminal Justice Standards Steering Committees to develop standards for international criminal tribunals.

A seasoned trial lawyer and respected criminal law expert, Ms. Hollander has taught in numerous trial-practice programs, including the National Criminal Defense College, National Institute for Trial Advocacy, and Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College. Today, she teaches trial advocacy in the U.S. and Europe. She has taught training courses for criminal defense lawyers wishing to appear before international tribunals, coordinated a jury trial training project in Russia, and been a consultant to the U.N. Development Programme in Vietnam.

Ms. Hollander has written extensively and conducted more than 200 seminars and presentations around the globe on various subjects, including the securing of evidence in international cases, forfeiture, illegal search and seizure, expert witnesses, defense of child abuse cases, ethics, evidence, and trial practice.

She has received many professional awards. Among them, in 2016, Ms. Hollander received a Lifetime Achievement Award from America’s Top 100 Lawyers for New Mexico. She was chosen as Best Lawyers’ Albuquerque Criminal Defense: Non-White-Collar Lawyer of the Year in 2010, White-Collar Lawyer of the Year in 2011, and General Practice Lawyer of the Year in 2016. She was the cover story in the 2021 “Women in the Law” Business Edition. In 2001, she was named as one of America’s top 50 women litigators by the National Law Journal. She was selected as Professional Lawyer of the Year by the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Foundation in 2006. That same year, she was profiled in Super Lawyers’ top 25 New Mexico lawyers and has continued to be recognized every year since.

Ms. Hollander is on the Board of Trustees of Fair Trials America and the Advisory Board of International Bridges to Justice. She holds security clearances.

While Ms. Hollander is no longer taking on new cases, she is available to consult on significant matters of interest and assist her colleagues.

“The biggest challenge–and pleasure–in working with Nancy (Hollander) is her absolute attention to details and her expectations. There is no room for error, no room for slacking off. She expects you to turn over every rock, every time. Nancy is a great team player but also a natural leader … the natural quarterback. She’s right there in the huddle with the team, but it’s her job to call the play after dissecting what she thinks the other team is going to do. And as a result, she almost always leads the way to a win.”

Nancy Hollander’s Awards