Press Release

Top Justice Department Official John P. Carlin Joins Morrison & Foerster; Will Lead the Firm's Global Risk & Crisis Management Practice

The former Department of Justice’s assistant attorney general will also further grow the cybersecurity and government enforcement practices at Morrison & Foerster

10 Jan 2017

NEW YORK (January 10, 2017) – Morrison & Foerster, a leading global law firm, is pleased to announce that John P. Carlin, recently the top national security attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), has joined the firm to chair its global risk and crisis management practice.

Mr. Carlin has served as a top-level official in both Republican and Democratic administrations, most recently as the assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s National Security Division (NSD), having been appointed by the President and overwhelmingly confirmed by the Senate on a bipartisan basis.  Previously, he served as chief of staff and senior counsel to Robert S. Mueller, III, former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).  As a partner at Morrison & Foerster, Mr. Carlin will drive a cross-disciplinary risk and crisis management practice and will also expand the firm’s already market-leading practices in cybersecurity and data privacy, national security, government enforcement, and white-collar defense.

“John led a nationwide outreach campaign focused on raising c-suite awareness of cutting-edge cyber and economic espionage threats during his tenure as a senior administration official.  His exceptional blend of experience positions him to lead a strong risk and crisis management practice focused on advising companies responding to global and national security threats,” Larren Nashelsky, chair of Morrison & Foerster, said. “John is the latest key addition to our elite group of litigators with high-level government experience who are meeting the increasingly complex regulatory needs of our clients.  We have welcomed to the firm numerous Washington, D.C.-based partners such as Katie Thomson who recently joined us after serving as general counsel of the Department of Transportation and chief counsel of the Federal Aviation Administration; Chuck Duross and James Koukios who also joined us from DOJ; and Jessie Liu who was an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia and deputy chief of staff in DOJ’s NSD.”

As assistant attorney general for DOJ’s NSD for three years, Mr. Carlin regularly briefed high-ranking government officials, including the President.  He oversaw nearly 400 employees responsible for protecting the United States against international and domestic terrorism, espionage, cyber, and other national security threats.  Key milestones and accomplishments during Mr. Carlin’s tenure at DOJ included:

  • Creating a threat team to study potential national security challenges posed by the Internet of Things;
  • Overseeing DOJ’s Counter-intelligence and Export Control Section, which is responsible for investigating and prosecuting cases involving espionage, the illegal export of military and strategic commodities, insider threats, and national security cyber threats;
  • Leading investigations into breaches of public and private sector e-mail systems and protocol;
  • Investigating the attack on Sony Entertainment’s computer systems;
  • Pressing charges, in conjunction with the FBI, against seven Iranians working for Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps affiliated entities for conducting coordinated campaign of cyberattacks against the U.S. financial sector;
  • Overseeing the National Security Cyber Specialist Network and the National Security/Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council program;
  • Overseeing all matters and litigation in front of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court;
  • Securing the first federal jury conviction on charges brought under the Economic Espionage Act of 1996;
  • Leading DOJ’s participation on the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States; and
  • Disrupting multiple terrorist plots and national security threats and bringing those involved to justice.

Mr. Carlin joined the NSD after helping lead the FBI’s evolution to meet growing and changing national security threats, including cyber threats.  A career federal prosecutor, Mr. Carlin also held positions as National Coordinator of DOJ’s Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Program, and as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia in which he prosecuted cases ranging from homicide and sexual offenses to cyber, fraud, and public corruption matters. As a trial lawyer, he has tried 40 cases to verdict.

Mr. Carlin, who joined DOJ through the Attorney General’s Honors Program, earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School and his B.A. from Williams College.

“I chose MoFo in part to join the world’s best privacy and data security practice and also for the firm’s global platform and longstanding expertise in technology including the Internet of Things and autonomous vehicles,” Mr. Carlin said.  “I look forward to building on the existing expertise across multiple practices to deliver what clients want: strategies to manage and mitigate risk before a crisis occurs and the experience to navigate complex matters throughout a business when the worst happens and the company is on the line.”



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