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Lanny A. Breuer, named by the National Law Journal as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America, is Covington’s Vice Chair and one of the leading trial and white collar defense attorneys in the United States. He specializes in helping clients navigate financial fraud, anti-corruption, money laundering, securities enforcement, congressional, environmental, and other criminal and civil investigations presenting complex regulatory, political, and public relations risks. He has been recognized by numerous national publications as one of the country's premier defense lawyers, including Chambers Global, Chambers USA, Legal 500, and Ethisphere, and he has successfully defended dozens of institutions and individuals in high-stakes criminal and civil cases. Mr. Breuer is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

From 2009-2013, Mr. Breuer served as Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he was widely acknowledged as a thought leader in the area of criminal law enforcement. For his work as the longest serving leader of the Criminal Division in recent history, Mr. Breuer received the Edmund J. Randolph Award for outstanding service, as well as numerous other accolades.

Mr. Breuer previously served as Special Counsel to President William Jefferson Clinton (1997-1999), whom he defended in the impeachment proceedings, and Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan (1985-1989).

  • Counsel for Mobile Telesystems (“MTS”) in FCPA investigations by the Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Counsel for Takata in criminal investigation by the Department of Justice involving the manufacture and testing of airbags.
  • Counsel for auto manufacturer in fraud investigation.
  • Counsel for government contractors in fraud investigations by the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, and other agencies.
  • Counsel for Hyperdynamics Corporation in FCPA investigations by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Counsel for global financial institutions in FCPA investigations by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Counsel for global consumer product company in FCPA investigations by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Counsel for global pharmaceutical company in FCPA investigation by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Counsel for numerous corporations and individuals facing sensitive inquiries and investigations by the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, World Bank, and other agencies.
  • Counsel for pitcher Roger Clemens in a congressional investigation.
  • Counsel for former National Security Advisor Samuel Berger in a Department of Justice investigation.
  • Counsel for former Russian Minister of Atomic Energy in a Department of Justice investigation alleging theft of tens of millions of dollars of U.S. government funds.
  • Counsel for Special Litigation Committee of the Hewlett Packard Board of Directors.
  • Counsel for many corporations before Congress.
  • Counsel for leading telecommunications investors in a billion-dollar False Claims Act lawsuit.

Pro Bono

  • Counsel for University of California in its challenge to the government’s rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
  • Counsel to foster mother in one of the longest contested adoption trials.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow
  • Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Mid-Atlantic Region, Board Member
  • Council for Integrity, Board Member
  • Columbia Law School Board of Governors, Member
  • The Washington DC Police Foundation, Board Member
  • American Law Institute, Member
  • Edward Bennett Williams Inn of Court, Master Emeritus
  • United States Holocaust Memorial Council, Member (Presidential appointee) (1999-2004), Committee on Conscience, Member (1999-2009)

Previous Experience

Mr. Breuer served from 2009-2013 as Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division at the U.S. Department of Justice. As one of the longest-serving Criminal Division chiefs, Mr. Breuer oversaw nearly 600 lawyers at the center of federal criminal prosecution, policy, and legislation in the United States. In his role as Assistant Attorney General, Mr. Breuer was widely recognized as a national leader on a range of federal law enforcement priorities, including financial fraud, money laundering, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, health care fraud, cybercrime, intellectual property theft, human rights, and public corruption.

While at the Justice Department, Mr. Breuer spearheaded the publication of the Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which stands as the definitive guidance document from the United States government regarding its enforcement of the FCPA. Mr. Breuer also oversaw numerous prosecutions that set new benchmarks across a host of enforcement areas, including anti-corruption, money laundering, health care fraud, and cybercrime.

For his work as Assistant Attorney General, Mr. Breuer received the Edmund J. Randolph Award for outstanding service, the highest award the Attorney General can bestow on a Department employee. He also ranked sixth on Ethisphere’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics internationally and was named by the National Law Journal as one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America.

Prior to his service at the Justice Department, Mr. Breuer co-chaired the firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice Group.

From 1997-1999, Mr. Breuer served as Special Counsel to President William Jefferson Clinton, representing the White House in investigations by the Independent Counsel, Department of Justice, and Congress, and defending President Clinton in impeachment proceedings.

From 1985-1989, Mr. Breuer served as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan.

  • Named to the National Law Journal’s inaugural list of 50 Governance Risk & Compliance Trailblazers & Pioneers (2014)
  • Ethisphere Magazine, Attorneys Who Matter (2014-2016)
  • Washington D.C. Super Lawyers, Criminal Defense: White Collar (2014-2019); Named to "Top 100 Washington D.C. Area Super Lawyers" (2016-2019)
  • Benchmark Litigation, White Collar Crime Local Litigation Star - DC and US (2015)
  • Chambers USA, FCPA and White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (2014-2019) and Litigation (2006-2008)
  • Chambers Global, FCPA and Corporate Investigations (2015-2020)
  • Chambers Latin America, Corporate Crime & Investigations (2017-2019)
  • Legal 500 US, White Collar Criminal Defense (2007-2008, 2014-2017), Litigation: Securities - Shareholder Information (2015), and Antitrust - Cartel (2017)
  • Who's Who Legal - Named a "Thought Leader" in WWL: Investigations, an in-depth report by Who’s Who Legal and Global Investigations Review (2018)
  • Who’s Who Legal, Investigations (2016-2017)
  • National Law Journal, 100 Most Influential Lawyers (2013)
  • Washingtonian, Criminal Defense "Top Lawyer" (2018, 2017, 2015, and 2013)
  • Sixth on Ethisphere’s 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics internationally (2012)
  • National Law Journal, named a "Visionary" in the Washington, DC legal community (2010)
  • Washingtonian, named one of thirty “Big Guns,” the top lawyers in Washington (2007)
  • American Lawyer, Top 45 private lawyers under the age of 45 in the United States (2003)