Michael D. Nicoleau


Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33309


Banking, Business, Civil, Commercial, Complex Litigation, Contract, Real Estate

Michael Nicoleau is a co-founding partner of Cohen Nicoleau. Mr. Nicoleau has extensive experience in complex commercial litigation. He has represented a variety of litigants including real estate companies, community banks, large financial institutions, and individuals.

Mr. Nicoleau served as Senior Attorney and Counsel for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. His responsibilities included managing a variety of complex litigation involving open banks and receivers of failed banks.

Mr. Nicoleau has extensive experience with banking laws and regulations. Prior to becoming a co-founder of Cohen Nicoleau, Mr. Nicoleau practiced litigation with a prominent national law firm headquartered in New York, an elite litigation firm in Washington, D.C., and a Florida-based AM Law 200 firm. Mr. Nicoleau’s recent representations include:

  • Represented a client in a $15 million complex litigation involving predatory lending and fraud
  • Represented a client in a $3.5 million proceeding involving a U.S. based blocked bank account stemming from foreign proceedings
  • Counseled a foreign bank regarding complex Bank Secrecy Act matters
  • Counseled a community bank regarding exposure to federal anti-tying laws
  • Represented a Columbian company whose bank account had been seized by the Office of Foreign Asset Control
  • Represented a foreign bank before the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency regarding bank board compliance issues
  • Provided regulatory opinions for one of the largest financial institutions in the U.S.

During Mr. Nicoleau’s tenure at the FDIC, he worked for the Special Issues Unit in conjunction with Litigation and Claims and the Professional Liability & Financial Crimes Group. Mr. Nicoleau’s representation included:

  • Managed outside counsel in complex receivership litigation
  • Managed the FDIC’s response to over 750 discovery and investigation requests, including subpoenas from both federal and state criminal and civil agencies
  • Reviewed and revised the pleadings and motions of banks involved in litigation that involved assets of FDIC failed banks
  • Drafted informative motions to district courts regarding receivership worthlessness determinations and the preeminence of the National Depositor Preference Law
  • Assisted attorneys and their investigators in their response to discovery requests from opposing counsel and law enforcement authorities seeking to bring criminal charges against officers and directors of failed banks
  • Served as Counsel to the FDIC’s Litigation Support Group, which included interfacing with other federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency), The Department of Justice, Internal Revenue Service, and the Securities and Exchange Commission


Cohen Nicoleau PLLC is a Florida-based banking, regulatory, commercial finance, litigation and real estate law firm located in Miami, Florida. Attorneys Lewis R. Cohen and Michael D. Nicoleau have more than 50 years combined experience in banking, real estate, litigation, and commercial law. We are proud to represent many of the banks and businesses that have contributed to Florida’s growth over the last 35 years. Our clients range from small start-up ventures to community and regional banks, as well as successful companies, individuals and entrepreneurs. Cohen Nicoleau strives to meet the legal needs of its clients by employing a practical, business-oriented approach designed to achieve our clients’ business objectives.


  • Cornell Law School, Ithaca, NY Juris Doctorate, May 1997
  • Editor, Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy
  • University of Maryland, College Park, MD B.S. in Consumer Economics, December 1993
  • Summa Cum Laude, Valedictorian and Commencement Speaker
  • University of Maryland’s World Debate Team, British Parliamentary Debates


  • Florida
  • New York
  • Washington, D.C.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • The Florida Bar
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator


  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Star Award 2010, 2012 and the Mission Accomplished Award, 2011


  • U.S./United Kingdom; lived in England, France, and worked in the Democratic Republic of the Congo


  • Fluent in French, Creole, and Lingala
11900 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 806
Miami, FL 33180

P: 305-438-7883
E: [email protected]