Nancy Kestenbaum

Nancy Kestenbaum

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Covington & Burling LLP
The New York Times Building
620 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10018-1405
Tel: +1 212 841 1125



  • Yale Law School, J.D., 1990
  • University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 1985
    • magna cum laude
    • Phi Beta Kappa

Judicial Clerkship

  • Hon. Kimba M. Wood, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 1990-1991

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • New Jersey

Nancy Kestenbaum is the co-chair of Covington’s White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice Group.  She represents companies and individuals in a variety of white collar criminal and regulatory enforcement matters and complex civil litigation.  Ms. Kestenbaum has conducted corporate internal investigations and defended institutions and dozens of officers, directors, executives, accountants and attorneys in grand jury, SEC, antitrust, and other regulatory investigations.  Ms. Kestenbaum has extensive experience representing clients in the financial services, life sciences and technology industries and also represents clients in complex civil litigation.

Ms. Kestenbaum served for nine years as a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where she investigated and prosecuted numerous cases including securities fraud, tax offenses, bank fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice, civil rights violations, bribery and perjury, and served as Chief of the General Crimes Unit and Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, where she supervised and trained dozens of other prosecutors.

Representative Matters

  • Representation of oil exploration company in DOJ and SEC FCPA investigations. 
  • Representation of various pharmaceutical companies in connection with investigations by the Department of Justice concerning marketing, physician interaction and drug safety and labeling issues.
  • Representation of companies and individuals in connection with various parallel insider trading investigations by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the SEC.
  • Advise companies on compliance with Dodd-Frank’s whistleblower provisions.
  • Representation of a non-profit in connection with an investigation by the New York Attorney General’s Office.
  • Internal investigation for Fortune 50 company concerning revenue recognition practices.
  • Internal investigation on behalf of a University’s Audit Committee concerning allegations of misconduct and retaliation by the University’s President.
  • Defense of several life sciences companies in connection with litigation involving the U.N. Oil-for-Food Programme.
  • Representation of an individual in a criminal tax case involving foreign bank accounts.
  • Representation of investment managers in connection with the Madoff securities matters.

Previous Experience

  • U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York, Chief, General Crimes Unit (2002-2003)
  • U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York, Deputy Chief, Criminal Division (2002)
  • U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York, Assistant United States Attorney (1994-2002)

Honors and Rankings

  • Global Investigations Review, Women in Investigations (2015)
  • Listed as a leading lawyer in Who’s Who Legal: Business Crime Defence (2014-2015)
  • Best Lawyers in America, Criminal Defense - White Collar (2013-2016)
  • Selected by Chambers USA as a leading attorney in the areas of White Collar Crime and Government Investigations (2014-2015)
  • Euromoney, Benchmark: The Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys - Future Litigation Star, NY (2013-2014)
  • Legal 500 US, Litigation - White Collar Criminal Defense (2012-2015)
  • New York Super Lawyer, White Collar (2007-2013)

Publications and Speeches

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