Bruce Baird

Bruce A. Baird

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Covington & Burling LLP
One CityCenter
850 Tenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001-4956
Tel: +1 202 662 5122



  • New York University School of Law, J.D., 1975
    • Law Review, Editor-in-Chief
    • Vanderbilt Medal for extraordinary contribution to the School of Law
  • Cornell University, B.A., 1970

Judicial Clerkship

  • Hon. James L. Oakes, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 1976-1977

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • New York

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Bruce Baird is a partner in Covington's White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice Group and one of the country’s leading white collar defense and securities enforcement attorneys.  He has successfully defended Fortune 500 corporations and their officers and directors in hundreds of regulatory enforcement and criminal cases.  Mr. Baird has deep expertise in securities enforcement, advising companies and individuals in SEC and other securities investigations and civil cases arising from those investigations, advising Boards of Directors and Board committees on securities enforcement issues, leading internal investigations into possible financial wrongdoing, and providing solutions to corporate compliance issues.  He also often advises and defends clients in white collar cases involving antitrust cartels, health care fraud, environmental crime, government contracts and international trade controls and in Congressional and executive branch investigations and testimony.

Mr. Baird’s 35 years of experience include nine years as an Assistant United States Attorney in Manhattan, where he was Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division and Chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force.  In this latter role, he was responsible for all criminal securities cases, including those against Michael Milken and Drexel Burnham Lambert, as described in the book “Den of Thieves” by James Stewart.  He has tried numerous complex cases to both court and jury, and has persuaded the Department of Justice, the SEC, and other regulatory agencies not to proceed with cases on a significant number of occasions. 

Representative Matters

  • Representing JPMorgan Chase in an SEC investigation.
  • Representing Jefferies & Company, Inc. in SEC and NASD investigations.
  • Performing internal investigations on behalf of Board Committees of Adelphia Communications Corporation and Tyco International, Ltd.
  • Representing the Securities Industry Association on securities enforcement aspects of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation.  
  • Representing numerous NASDAQ and New York Stock Exchange companies and executives in DOJ and SEC investigations of insider trading and financial fraud and related civil securities actions.

Previous Experience

  • Southern District of New York, Deputy Chief, Criminal Division and Chief, Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force, Assistant United States Attorney, 1980-1989
  • Deputy Attorney General of the United States, Honorable Harold R. Tyler, Jr., Special Assistant, 1975-1976

Honors and Rankings

  • Named by Chambers USA as a Nationwide Leader in Securities Regulation (2009-2014). 
  • The Best Lawyers in America, White Collar Criminal Defense, Corporate Compliance, and Regulatory Enforcement Litigation (2005-2015)
  • Recognized by Securities Docket in its inaugural "Enforcement 40" list (2013).
  • Washingtonian, Securities (2013)
  • Endorsed by PLC, Which Lawyer? for White Collar Investigations (USA) (2010-2011).
  • Washington DC Super Lawyers, Criminal Defense: White Collar (2007-2011, 2014-2015)
  • Euromoney, Benchmark: Expert Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys, White Collar Litigation Star, National (2013-2014)
  • Expert Guide to the World’s Leading White Collar Crime Lawyers (2010)
  • Recommended by the Legal 500 US for Antitrust (2014), Securities: Shareholder Litigation (2014), White Collar Criminal Defense (2008-2013), and SEC Investigations and Enforcement (2007).
  • Who’s Who in the World, in America, in the East, and in American Law (1996-date)

Pro Bono

  • Testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on pending press shield legislation.
  • Led a team in presenting a prosecutorial misconduct motion in a pending death penalty case.
  • Supervise criminal trials and appeal.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • ABA Section on Criminal Justice White Collar Crime Committee, past Chair of Subcommittee on Securities and Commodities Fraud
  • ABA Section on Litigation Criminal Litigation Committee
  • ABA Section on Business Law Complex Crimes Committee
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York
  • Federal Bar Council

Publications and Speeches

  • Recently written or lectured on SEC enforcement trends, Sarbanes-Oxley legislation, internal investigations, compliance programs, and antitrust foreign cartel law.
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