Morris A. Anyah | Former Prosecutor and War crimes Attorney; Top 100 Trial Lawyers

Attorney Morris A. Anyah

Morris A. Anyah is a trial lawyer with an international reputation for excellence. He brings a wealth of experience (over 20 years) and skill to the cases that he handles. He is a former Cook County prosecutor and war crimes attorney at The Hague who now handles some of the most complex criminal and civil cases before the courts. He founded his law firm with the objective of providing the highest quality of legal representation to persons charged with, or convicted of, serious crimes and those who have sustained serious personal injury due to the negligence, recklessness, or willfulness of others. He has served as lead trial or appeals counsel in several high-profile cases before national and international courts. He recently obtained an acquittal for a defendant charged with six counts of first degree murder, after a jury trial before the Circuit Court of Cook County. He represented former Liberian president Charles Taylor at his war crimes trial in The Hague between 2007 and 2012 and he has argued some of the most important genocide cases on appeal before international tribunals, including that against the former Prime Minister of Rwanda, Jean Kambanda. A former prosecutor in Chicago and at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, Attorney Anyah has also represented victims of post-election violence in Kenya before the International Criminal Court. In addition to his criminal law practice in Chicago, Attorney Morris Anyah has represented indigent defendants charged with capital felonies in the Atlanta metropolitan area. His experience also extends to plaintiffs’ civil rights and personal injury litigation, and he has filed suits and won significant monetary compensation for injured victims in cases involving wrongful death, medical malpractice, and automobile accidents. Attorney Anyah’s winning strategy has made him the pre-eminent, “go to” lawyer when people in and around Chicago search for a criminal defense or appellate attorney, a civil rights attorney, or a personal injury lawyer. He is admitted to the bars of several U.S., jurisdictions, including, Illinois, Washington, D.C., and Georgia, and to the List of Counsel at the International Criminal Court at The Hague, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, and the Special Court for Sierra Leone. His commitment and dedication to his clients and their cases are unwavering, and his experience as a trial litigator leaves him uniquely-placed to successfully handle the most complex of cases.


1st degree murder jury trial (six counts);

The jury returned a verdict of not guilty on all six counts;

Had overall responsibility for the preparation and conduct of the appeals case of the former Liberian president. Recruited, managed, and supervised a team of over 10 lawyers, plus investigators and several interns working on the case from 5 countries (Liberia, Sierra Leone, The Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand) on 3 continents;

Supervised the preparation and filing of an appellant’s brief of 1056 pages (including annexes), a respondent’s brief of 663 pages (including annexes), and a reply brief of 494 pages (including annexes);

Dealt extensively with major international and African news TV, radio, and print media;

Appointed by Pre-Trial Chamber II of the ICC as lead counsel for 233 Kenyan victims in the Muthaura, Kenyatta, and Ali case of alleged crimes against humanity in Kenya. Was one of two lawyers appointed by the Court out of over 75 lawyer-applicants for the position of victims’ counsel in two Kenyan cases;

Cross-examined all witnesses during the Confirmation of the Charges Hearing, including the then Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister (now President) of Kenya, Hon. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta;

Had overall responsibility for all aspects of the victims’ participation in the case (including, recruiting and supervising a diverse team of legal and non-legal professionals working from different geographic regions of the world, undertaking field visits to Kenya and client interviews, liaising with civil society groups, NGOs, the media in Kenya, and other stakeholders, in addition to making oral and written submissions before the Court);

Cross-examined 25 prosecution witnesses, including Hollywood actress Mia Farrow. Led the direct-examinations of 7 defense witnesses;

Presented the Defense’s motion for judgment of acquittal oral argument, as well as its final rebuttal closing argument;

The trial lasted 4+ years and there were 115 viva voce witnesses, 1521 admitted exhibits, a record of 49,622 pages of transcripts of proceedings and 1,279 filings and decisions, totaling 38,069 pages, and a final trial judgment in excess of 2500 pages in length – the longest of any international criminal case in history;

Lead defense counsel in over 100 felony and 50 misdemeanor cases, including capital cases, jury and bench trials, and revocation of probation hearings. Served on two indigent defense county programs in metro Atlanta;

Civil litigation on behalf of injured plaintiffs in personal injury, medical malpractice, and premises liability causes of action;

Was counsel for respondents facing removal/ deportation before the Immigration Court, and for petitioners claiming asylum or seeking immigration benefits from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, and on appeal before the Board of Immigration Appeals;

Argued for the prosecution before the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in the genocide case against the former Prime Minister of Rwanda, Jean Kambanda, in June 2000, a time when both tribunals had a common prosecutor;

Argued for the prosecution in two other genocide cases before the ICTR Appeals Chamber: The Prosecutor vs. Jean-Paul Akayesu and The Prosecutor vs. Clément Kayishema and Obed Ruzindana;

Worked on the investigation and prosecution of Major General Stanislav Galić for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity during the Siege of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina;

Served in the Criminal Appeals Division, Juvenile Justice Bureau, and Criminal Prosecutions Bureau;

Prosecuted criminal jury and bench trials, as well as felony preliminary hearings, revocation of probation and traffic cases, and civil proceedings involving child abuse, neglect, and termination of parental rights before the Juvenile Court in Chicago;

Briefed nine and argued four cases before the Illinois Appellate Court, First Judicial District, Chicago;


JD, Law, University of Dayton School of Law
MA, Criminal Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago
BA, Criminal Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago