Lathrop B. Nelson, III
Philadelphia Office

123 South Broad Street
Avenue of the Arts
Philadelphia, PA 19109

P: 215-772-7473
F: 215-731-3708


Lathrop B. Nelson, III concentrates on complex commercial litigation and white collar and government investigations. He has particular experience handling civil and criminal matters involving alleged fraudulent conduct, antitrust and collusive behavior, and other financial crimes. He represents individuals and corporate entities in all phases of civil and criminal litigation, including internal investigations.

Lathrop has argued civil and criminal matters before the United States Court of Appeals for the Third and Fourth Circuits, Pennsylvania Commonwealth and Superior Courts and federal and state trial courts. He is a former member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Appellate Rules Committee, which makes formal recommendations to the court to refine the appellate rules.

Additionally, Lathrop serves as an editor of the firm’s White Collar Alert blog, focused on government investigations and white collar crime.

Prior to joining Montgomery McCracken, Lathrop was a law clerk for the Honorable Eduardo C. Robreno of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Selected Representations

Lathrop has represented clients in federal criminal matters and related enforcement proceedings involving a wide range of alleged offenses, including most recently:

  • Successfully defended U.S. Army BG Jeffrey Sinclair as part of trial team in court-martial in which court imposed no jail sentence and no dismissal from service; drafted and argued motion to dismiss for unlawful command influence, which the court granted upon reconsideration, finding unlawful command influence in connection with offer to plead.
  • An executive of a public corporation in a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation by the Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission;
  • An executive of a public finance company in an investigation by the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice and a related Securities and Exchange Commission investigation in which the government reversed its decision to prosecute and did not bring charges against the executive;
  • A small business owner in a criminal tax prosecution resulting in a non-custodial sentence;
  • A construction company in a bid-rigging investigation by the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice resulting in no charges against the company or its executives;
  • An executive of a financial services company against public corruption charges and a related Securities and Exchange Commission investigation; and
  • A nonprofit entity in an investigation by the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice in which the government declined prosecution.

Lathrop has also represented companies and individuals in a wide range of commercial disputes in state and federal court. He frequently represents clients in matters involving fraud, breach of fiduciary duties, and business torts, as well as intellectual property, breach of contract and other commercial matters, including:

  • A committee of creditors in a bankruptcy adversary proceeding asserting fraud, breach of fiduciary duties, and other claims against a parent corporation and various officers and directors;
  • A landlord in an appeal involving the enforcement of a confessed judgment before the Pennsylvania Superior Court, which affirmed the trial court’s denial of a petition to strike a $1.5 million confessed judgment in favor of the landlord over a tenant restaurant;
  • A corporate entity investigating and pursing claims arising out of a multimillion dollar theft by employees;
  • A pharmaceutical company in actions alleging unfair trade practices and common law fraud arising out of pharmaceutical pricing;
  • A retail entity in connection with matters involving breach of contract, breach of warranty and other claims;
  • Clients in connection with “corporate divorce” matters involving allegations of tortious interference with contract, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and other business tort claims;
  • A major software manufacturer in federal copyright and trademark infringement litigation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Selected Publications

Selected Speaking Engagements

Community Involvement

Lathrop has served in leadership positions for several community and nonprofit organizations. He is the former President of the Washington & Lee University Alumni Association’s Philadelphia Chapter. Lathrop serves on the Board of Directors of the Committee of Seventy, a non-partisan, good government organization. He also served as chairman of the Chi Psi Fraternity’s National Executive Council, where he led the fraternity through strategic planning and expansion efforts. Lathrop continues to serve on the fraternity’s national housing corporation, Spencer Properties, LLC. He serves as a class agent for the University of Virginia Alumni Association and The Haverford School Alumni Association. He is a graduate of Leadership Philadelphia’s Core Class of 2015.

Honors & Awards

  • Lathrop has been recognized as a top lawyer in Pennsylvania by Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Rising Stars 2006, 2010-2015.

Professional Activities & Achievements

  • American Bar Association
    • Antitrust Law and Criminal Justice Section
  • Served as the co-chair of the Philadelphia Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association’s White Collar Crime Committee
  • Philadelphia Bar Association

Academic Achievements

Lathrop received his J.D. degree in 2001 from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he served as Chief Justice of the William Minor Lile Moot Court Board and a member of the Editorial Board of the Virginia Law Review. He graduated cum laude from Washington and Lee University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Politics.