Hon. Kenneth L. Wainstein

Partner, Cadwalader Wickerhsam & Taft LLP

Kenneth L. Wainstein focuses his practice on corporate internal investigations and civil and criminal enforcement proceedings. With a record of sustained accomplishment in significant positions in the U.S. government in the areas of criminal enforcement and national security, he brings clients a deep understanding of the substantive and procedural issues involved in white collar defense. His 20 years of public service have garnered him an intimate knowledge of Justice Department policy, extensive crisis management skills, of credibility among prosecutors and regulators, and strong relationships with Congress, the District of Columbia bench and bar, and U.S. Attorneys around the country.

In 2008, after 19 years at the Justice Department, Ken was named Homeland Security Advisor by President George W. Bush. In this capacity, he coordinated the nation's counterterrorism, homeland security, infrastructure protection, and disaster response and recovery efforts. He advised the President, convened and chaired meetings of the Cabinet Officers on the Homeland Security Council, and oversaw the inter-agency coordination process for homeland security and counterterrorism programs.

Prior to his White House service, Ken was twice nominated and confirmed for leadership positions in the Justice Department. In 2006, the U.S. Senate confirmed Ken as the first Assistant Attorney General for National Security. In that position, Ken established and led the new National Security Division, which consolidated DOJ's law enforcement and intelligence activities on counterterrorism and counterintelligence matters, and also oversaw the Department's role in regulatory mechanisms such as the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS). Ken led several national security initiatives, including the launch of the national, inter-agency Export Control Enforcement Initiative targeting illegal exports of sensitive technology and weapons components.

In 2004, he was appointed, and later confirmed as, the United States Attorney in Washington, DC, where he oversaw the investigation and prosecution of high-profile white-collar and public corruption cases, including the case against Riggs Bank for Bank Secrecy Act violations and the prosecution of the MZM Chief Executive Officer for paying bribes to former Congressman Randall "Duke" Cunningham. Prior to that, Ken served as General Counsel of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and then as Chief of Staff to Director Robert S. Mueller. At the FBI, Ken was involved in myriad sensitive national security and criminal enforcement matters, as well as a variety of civil litigation, managerial, and Congressional oversight issues. In 2001, Ken was appointed Director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, where he provided oversight and support to the 94 U.S. Attorneys' Offices.

From 1989 to 2001, Ken served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in both the Southern District of New York and the District of Columbia, where he handled numerous prosecutions, trying 25 jury trials and arguing over a dozen appellate arguments.

Ken maintains a Top Secret clearance. Ken is also frequently recognized for his work, recently being named one of Washington's "Top Lawyers" in the national security field by Washingtonian magazine. Over the course of his career, he has received the Edmund J. Randolph Award for Outstanding Service to the Department of Justice, the Department of Justice Director's Award for Superior Performance, and the Lawyer of the Year Award from the Bar Association of the District of Columbia. Ken has served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center since 2009, teaching National Security Investigations and Litigation. He is a member of the Director's Advisory Board of the National Counterterrorism Center; the Co-chair of the Committee on National Security Law, Policy & Practice of the District of Columbia Bar Association; a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; and a member of the steering committee of the George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute.

Ken earned his B.A. from the University of Virginia, with high distinction and Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, where he was a moot court board member and the Note and Comment Editor of the California Law Review. Following law school, Ken served as law clerk to the Honorable Thomas Penfield Jackson of the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia.


Education

  • B.A., University of Virginia
  • J.D., University of California at Berkeley

Publications

Foreign Intelligence Collection and the FISA Court - Event Audio/Video
The NSA, Security, Privacy, and Intelligence Symposium
March 3, 2014
Reforming the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court - Podcast
International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
January 24, 2014
Prosecutorial Misconduct - Event Audio/Video
2012 National Lawyers Convention
November 19, 2012
Supreme Court Preview: What Is in Store for October Term 2012? - Event Audio/Video
Co-sponsored by the Practice Groups, the Washington DC Lawyers Chapter, and the Faculty Division
September 27, 2012
Limits of Surveillance Warrants - Podcast
Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group Podcast
July 26, 2012
Supreme Court Preview: What Is in Store for October Term 2010? - Event Audio/Video
Washington, DC - Event Audio/Video
September 29, 2010
Pottawattamie County v. McGhee Post-Argument SCOTUScast
SCOTUScast 11-23-2009 featuring Kenneth L. Wainstein
November 23, 2009
Address by Kenneth L. Wainstein - Event Audio/Video
International & National Security Law Practice Group
May 28, 2009