Leslie R. Caldwell

  • Partner
  • Eleslie.caldwell@lw.com
  • 505 Montgomery Street
  • Suite 2000
  • San Francisco, CA 94111-6538
  • USA
  • T +1.415.395.8254
  • 140 Scott Drive
  • Menlo Park, CA 94025
  • USA
  • T +1.650.328.4600


Leslie Caldwell, a nationally recognized white collar lawyer, advises companies, individual executives, and boards facing crises or government investigations.

Ms. Caldwell, former Assistant Attorney General (AAG) of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) Criminal Division, draws on her experience handling many of the most closely watched corporate criminal, fraud, and foreign bribery matters of the past two decades. She serves as a trusted advisor to numerous Fortune 500 corporations — including leading technology companies — regarding sensitive matters such as crisis management, internal investigations, and government enforcement. Ms. Caldwell regularly advises senior executives in connection with government investigations.

She helps clients to achieve the best possible results in:

  • White collar criminal matters
  • Internal investigations
  • DOJ and other government investigations
  • SEC regulatory enforcement matters
  • Crisis management
  • Other highly sensitive and confidential matters


Prior to joining Latham, Ms. Caldwell served for nearly three years in the Obama Administration as AAG for the DOJ’s Criminal Division — nominated by President Obama and unanimously confirmed by the Senate. In that role, she led more than 600 lawyers handling a range of criminal enforcement matters. She also oversaw the development of DOJ policy, legislation, and law enforcement issues. Ms. Caldwell was personally involved in many of the most significant matters handled by the Criminal Division. She worked closely with her counterparts at DOJ’s Antitrust, Civil, Environment and Natural Resources, National Security, and Tax Divisions, as well as with leaders at the SEC, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Federal Reserve, Treasury, and other US and foreign agencies.

Ms. Caldwell has held other leadership positions at DOJ. As the original director of the Enron Task Force, she led a team of lawyers and agents and oversaw investigations resulting in the successful convictions of more than 30 individuals. She also served as chief of the Criminal Division in the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, and tried more than 30 cases as an AUSA in the Eastern District of New York.

At Latham, Ms. Caldwell has led investigations on behalf of board and audit committees, and represented senior executives, board members, and general counsel in an array of enforcement matters relating to accounting and other fraud, trade secret theft, economic espionage, the FCPA, and other sensitive matters. While most of her matters are non-public, she successfully led the representation of United Microelectronics Corp., a Taiwan-based semiconductor manufacturer charged by DOJ with conspiracy to engage in theft of trade secrets and economic espionage for the benefit of China. Although the indictment alleged a sweeping conspiracy and sought US$8 billion in penalties, Ms. Caldwell successfully negotiated a resolution in which UMC pled guilty to possession of a single trade secret, and paid US$60 million. The original indictment against UMC was dismissed.

She also served in the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, where she had various leadership roles, tried more than 30 cases, and argued more than 20 appeals.


Ms. Caldwell’s many prestigious awards include:

  • Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service for her performance as Director of the Enron Task Force
  • Attorney General’s John Marshall Award, the highest award for trial performance
  • Attorney General’s Award for Fraud Prevention
  • Global Investigation Review’s (GIR’s) 2018 Women in Investigations
Speaking Engagements
  • Speaker, The Bar Association of San Francisco’s “The Modern Special Counsel” (San Francisco, January 2019)
  • Speaker, 2018 ChIPs Global Summit (Washington, D.C., October 2018)
  • Keynote Speaker, Association of Business Trial Lawyers’ 45th Annual Seminar (Maui, October 2018)
  • Keynote Speaker, GIR Live Women in Investigations Program (London, June 2018)
  • Panelist, American Bar Association 2018 Paris Sessions, “Investigations: Navigating Attorney-Client Privilege and Other Thorny Issues in the Cross-Hairs of Competing Law Enforcement Regimes” (Paris, June 2018)
  • Moderator, Association of Business Trial Lawyers’ “The Anatomy of An Investigation: A Discussion With Eric Holder, the 82nd Attorney General of the United States” (San Francisco, May 2018)
  • Panelist, New York City Bar Association’s 7th Annual White Collar Crime Institute, “Special Counsel Investigations” (New York, May 2018)
  • Panelist, PLI Enforcement 2018: Perspectives from Government Agencies, “Retail Investors: The New Enforcement Frontier?” (New York, May 2018)
  • Co-Chair/Speaker, 20th New York Conference on FCPA (New York, May 2018)
  • Keynote Speaker, Women’s Luncheon, SIFMA C&L Annual Seminar (Orlando, March 2018)
  • Keynote Speaker, George Washington University Law School, “Emerging Issues in FCPA Enforcement” (Washington, D.C., March 2018)

Thought Leadership

  • US Congress Affirms and Expands SEC’s Disgorgement Authority in Annual Defense Spending Bill -  January 04, 2021
  • US Supreme Court Upholds SEC’s Authority to Seek Disgorgement -  June 24, 2020
  • DOJ Announces Revised Guidance for Corporate Cooperation Credit  -  December 10, 2018
  • Compliance Remains a Key DOJ Priority -  October 29, 2018
  • Second Circuit Reinforces FCPA’s Jurisdictional Limits -  August 29, 2018
  • New DOJ Policy Will Curb “Piling On” Multiple Penalties for Same Corporate Misconduct -  May 14, 2018
  • DOJ Expands and Codifies Policy Incentivizing Corporations to Voluntarily Self-Disclose FCPA Violations -  November 30, 2017
  • Deputy Attorney General Announces Comprehensive Review of DOJ Corporate Enforcement Policies -  October 12, 2017

“A mover and shaker”
“Has a tremendous reputation among market observers”

Chambers USA 2020
Bar Qualification
  • California
  • New York
  • BA in Economics, Penn State University, 0
    summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
  • JD, George Washington University, 0
    Articles Editor, George Washington Law Review, cum laude
  • White Collar Defense & Investigations
  • Litigation & Trial Practice
  • False Claims Act
  • Securities Litigation & Professional Liability
  • Export Controls, Economic Sanctions & Customs
  • Complex Commercial Litigation
  • Data Privacy & Security