DOJ Criminal Division Head Lanny A. Breuer Returns to Covington As Vice Chair
WASHINGTON, DC, March 28, 2013 — Lanny A. Breuer, most recently the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, is returning to Covington & Burling as Vice Chair of the firm.
Mr. Breuer’s practice will encompass a wide range of civil and criminal litigation matters, as well as governmental and internal investigations. As Covington’s Vice Chair, Mr. Breuer will work closely with senior leadership to implement the firm’s long-term strategy, with a particular focus on the firm’s international initiatives and practices.
“We are extremely proud of Lanny’s outstanding and dedicated service to the nation, and we are delighted that he is returning to Covington,” said Timothy Hester, Chair of the firm’s management committee. “Lanny is one of the finest and most talented advocates and counselors of his generation. We are excited about his return to private practice, and I look forward to working closely with Lanny in his new role as the firm’s Vice Chair in which he will work with our clients and colleagues on global and strategic business, litigation and compliance issues.”
Mr. Breuer rejoins the firm after four years at the Justice Department. As one of the longest-serving Criminal Division chiefs in history, Mr. Breuer oversaw nearly 600 lawyers and established himself as a national leader on a range of federal law enforcement priorities, including on such matters as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, health care fraud, money laundering, financial fraud, cybercrime, intellectual property theft, and public corruption. The National Law Journal named Mr. Breuer this week one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in the nation, and he was recently ranked sixth on Ethisphere’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics internationally.
At the Justice Department, Mr. Breuer increased enforcement of the FCPA, overseeing more than 40 corporate resolutions and eight of the top 10 largest penalties in U.S. history. The Criminal Division secured convictions of more than three dozen individuals on overseas corruption-related offenses, a department record. And he collaborated with the Securities and Exchange Commission to publish critical guidance on the government’s anti-corruption enforcement efforts. Mr. Breuer also developed an innovative program known as the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, a program that identified and forced the forfeiture of proceeds from foreign official corruption.
In addition, Mr. Breuer oversaw the investigation concerning the London Interbank Offered Rate and launched the Justice Department’s Money Laundering and Bank Integrity Unit. On his watch, the unit secured approximately $3.1 billion in criminal forfeitures from major financial institutions. Mr. Breuer also led the largest traditional organized crime prosecution and the two largest Medicare fraud cases in U.S. history. And he oversaw the prosecution of the owners of an international data storage website for allegedly committing intellectual property infringement, one of the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States.
“Covington is a firm that continues to build upon its storied history and move forward in dynamic and important ways, and I am returning at a particularly exciting time,” said Mr. Breuer. “I look forward to my new leadership role in helping to shape the future of one of the country’s most prestigious firms.”
John Hall, Chair of the firm’s Global Litigation Practice, noted that when Mr. Breuer left Covington to head the Criminal Division in 2009, he had already established himself as one of the pre-eminent trial lawyers and white collar defense practitioners in the nation. “It is a privilege to welcome Lanny back to Covington, where his talents, energy, creativity, and wisdom will be tremendous assets to clients navigating corporate crises, anti-corruption investigations and other issues,” Mr. Hall said.
Mr. Breuer will practice alongside colleagues with strong federal and international enforcement backgrounds such as: Robert Amaee, the former Head of Anti-Corruption and Head of Proceeds of Crime at the UK Serious Fraud Office; Bruce Baird, former Chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York; Tom Barnett and Deborah Garza, both a former Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division; Michael Chertoff, himself a former Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division before becoming Secretary for Homeland Security; Steve Fagell, former Deputy Chief of Staff and Counselor in the Criminal Division; Jim Garland, former Deputy Chief of Staff and Counselor to Attorney General Eric Holder; Haywood Gilliam, former Chief of the Securities Fraud Section in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California; Nancy Kestenbaum, former Chief of the General Crimes Unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York; Lynn Neils, former Chief of the Major Crimes Unit in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York; Ethan Posner and Jean Veta, both former Deputy Associate Attorneys General; Alan Vinegrad, former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; and numerous other former federal prosecutors and enforcement officials, including Stephen Anthony, David Bayless, Casey Cooper, Geoffrey Hobart, David Kornblau, and Simone Ross. In January 2012, Law360 named Covington’s white collar practice as one of five "White Collar Practice Groups of the Year."
Mr. Breuer began his legal career in 1985 as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan, where he prosecuted violent crime, such as armed robbery and gang violence, white collar crime, and other offenses. In 1989, he joined Covington, where he worked until 1997, when he joined the White House Counsel’s Office as Special Counsel to President William Jefferson Clinton. As Special Counsel, Mr. Breuer assisted in defending President Clinton in the Senate impeachment trial and handled a wide array of congressional investigations.
Mr. Breuer returned to Covington in 1999 as Co-Chair of the White Collar Defense and Investigations practice group, where he specialized in white collar criminal defense and complex civil litigation and represented individuals and corporations in matters involving significant legal and reputational risks. He was also Vice-Chair of the firm’s Public Service Committee. At Covington, Mr. Breuer developed a reputation as one of the top defense lawyers in the country. He has been recognized as a leading litigator by numerous publications, including American Lawyer (“45 Under 45”), Chambers USA, The Best Lawyers in America, Guide to the World’s Leading White Collar Crime Lawyers, National Law Journal (Visionary), and Washingtonian. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a Barrister of the Edward Bennett Williams Inn of Court, and a member of the American Law Institute.
Mr. Breuer received his undergraduate degree from Columbia College and his law degree from Columbia Law School.