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Washington DC

About the Office

Davis Polk’s Washington office provides our clients a full range of legal services, with particular emphasis on practice areas with significant activity in the nation’s capital, such as white collar, congressional and other government investigations, antitrust and competition, financial institutions regulation and enforcement, and economic sanctions and national security.

Our Washington team combines years of government experience with the breadth and scope of the entire range of Davis Polk’s corporate, litigation and tax practices. Our ranks include many with considerable government experience. 

Former high-level government positions held by our lawyers include: 


White House
  • Associate Counsel to the President
  • General Counsel of the White House Office of Management and Budget
  • Homeland Security Advisor to President Bush
  • Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs 

Government Regulators
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation– General Counsel
  • Federal Reserve System – Legal Division Member of the Board of Governors
  • Federal Trade Commission – Chairman
  • Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Economics – Director
  • Central Intelligence Agency – General Counsel
  • Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Division of Trading and Markets – Deputy Director and Chief Counsel
  • Department of State Office of the Legal Adviser – Attorney-Adviser
  • Department of Commerce – Attorney-Advisor of the Office of the General Counsel

Department of the Treasury
  • U.S. Treasury, Office of the Chief Counsel, Foreign Assets Control – Senior Counsel 
  • U.S. Treasury, General Counsel – Senior Advisor 

Securities and Exchange Commission
  • SEC – Commissioner
  • Division of Trading and Markets, SEC – Director
  • Division of Enforcement, SEC – Director

Department of Justice (Main Justice)
  • Criminal Division, Fraud Section, DOJ – Chief
  • Criminal Division, DOJ – Deputy Assistant Attorneys General
  • National Security Division, DOJ – Assistant Attorney General

U.S. Attorney’s Office
  • Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys – Director
  • District of Columbia – U.S. Attorney
  • Southern District of New York – Assistant U.S. Attorney
  • Eastern District of Virginia – U.S. Attorney
  • Eastern District of Virginia – Deputy Chief of the Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Unit

ANTITRUST AND COMPETITION

Davis Polk has one of the nation’s leading antitrust practices, combining broad experience in complex corporate transactions with a sophisticated litigation practice.

Working closely with our M&A Group, our antitrust lawyers advise and represent clients in a wide variety of U.S. and cross-border transactions in many industries.

We represent clients before the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice on the antitrust aspects of mergers and acquisitions, as well as in private antitrust litigation.

ECONOMIC SANCTIONS and NATIONAL SECURITY

Davis Polk brings unique experience to clients affected by U.S. economic sanctions, the USA PATRIOT Act, the Exon-Florio statute, including associated reviews by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and the Defense Security Service, and other laws.

We have represented large domestic and foreign financial institutions and other companies in connection with some of the most prominent enforcement matters brought by U.S. financial regulators, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the Department of Justice and the SEC, involving sanctions, anti-money laundering and anticorruption issues.

We also regularly advise clients on high-profile matters involving the U.S. trade and investment laws that apply to cross-border transactions, especially those affecting national security or the protection of critical infrastructure.

FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS REGULATION

Davis Polk has one of the world’s most prominent financial institutions practices. Our Washington-based lawyers counsel global financial institutions, Fortune 500 companies and leading non-U.S.-based multinationals with respect to complex financial regulatory matters and transactions.

We also advise our clients on a variety of other matters, including capital markets, M&A, compliance and enforcement, credit risk management and insolvency issues. Davis Polk is at the forefront of advising financial institutions on Dodd-Frank Act regulatory implementation issues, and has been engaged as outside counsel on Dodd-Frank matters by all six of the largest U.S. banking organizations, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), many of the largest foreign banks with operations in the United States, and numerous other financial institutions.

SECURITIES ENFORCEMENT

Davis Polk’s securities enforcement practice is a leader in the field, representing the world’s foremost financial institutions, accounting firms and corporations in their most significant investigations and enforcement actions.

We offer integrated teams of leading lawyers across multiple disciplines to advise clients on the full range of government enforcement, investigations and advisory matters, including those associated with anticorruption laws, anti-money laundering and antiterrorist financing laws, insider trading and accounting irregularities matters related to financial fraud.

WHITE COLLAR CRIMINAL, CONGRESSIONAL AND REGULATORY INVESTIGATIONS

Davis Polk is widely recognized as having one of the most distinguished white collar criminal defense and government investigations practices in the United States and internationally. We regularly represent institutions and individuals in investigations by the U.S. Congress, the Department of Justice, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and numerous other government agencies.

Davis Polk is also known for having one of the premier Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) practices, and our litigators have represented corporate and individual clients in some of the largest and most significant anti-corruption-related matters to date.

In addition, our lawyers routinely help clients anticipate and comply with the evolving and heightened standards of government regulators, including extensive experience helping clients design and implement effective compliance procedures.