Katherine Sawyer, a former federal prosecutor and experienced trial lawyer, represents clients in white collar litigation and government investigations.

Ms. Sawyer advises corporations, boards of directors, and individuals on investigations conducted by the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and other federal agencies.

Ms. Sawyer also conducts internal investigations regarding a wide range of criminal, quasi-criminal, and regulatory matters including, corruption, financial irregularities, healthcare fraud and abuse, and securities fraud.

She represents clients in investigations and enforcement actions related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and alleged sanctions violations. Ms. Sawyer also advises clients on their internal FCPA and anti-corruption policies and procedures, helps clients design and implement effective systems of internal controls, and provides training to clients on anti-corruption and FCPA compliance.

Additionally, Ms. Sawyer regularly advises clients in connection with cross-border M&A and capital markets transactions, including pre- and post-acquisition due diligence and counseling.

Prior to rejoining Latham, Ms. Sawyer was an Assistant United States Attorney in the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, Chicago, and the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. As a former federal prosecutor, Ms. Sawyer draws on experience having tried more than 30 criminal cases. She argued numerous evidentiary motions in federal court and multiple appeals before the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Ms. Sawyer oversaw the investigation, indictment, and trial of complex conspiracies, international narcotics, obstruction of justice, export, and cybercrime cases.

Fluent in Spanish, Ms. Sawyer led multiple international criminal investigations, conducted countless witness interviews in Spanish, and worked extensively with foreign law enforcement authorities in Mexico and Colombia.

From 2005 to 2008, Ms. Sawyer served as a Latham associate in the Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles offices in the White Collar Defense & Investigations Practice.

Prior to joining Latham, Ms. Sawyer served as a law clerk to Judge Claude M. Hilton in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Ms. Sawyer has represented numerous clients in resolving high-stakes criminal and regulatory enforcement issues, including:


  • A multinational, publicly traded US-based company operating in the food product and biomaterials markets in parallel DOJ and SEC investigations involving allegations of bribery by a Mexican subsidiary
  • A US-based provider of software applications, cloud services, and telematics products in conducting a virtual/remote investigation of alleged bribery by employees at one of its Mexican subsidiaries
  • A global insurance firm in responding to anti-bribery and anti-money laundering investigations by both the DOJ and UK Serious Fraud Office arising out of business in Ecuador
  • A US-based energy company in various state Attorneys General investigations

Criminal and Regulatory Litigation Matters

  • A US-based natural gas marketing company in various state regulatory proceedings
  • An individual investor in an SEC insider trading investigation
  • An individual defendant charged with various federal criminal offenses including conspiracy and violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute

Transactional Due Diligence/Compliance

  • A global food services company in designing and implementing a risk-based anti-corruption compliance program following an IPO
  • Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation in advising on anti-corruption risks with respect to acquisition decisions
  • Multiple private equity firms in advising on anti-corruption risks with respect to acquisition and investment decisions
  • An Israeli technology company in designing and implementing a risk-based anti-corruption compliance program following an IPO
  • A UK power generation business in conducting anti-corruption due diligence on acquisition targets in Trinidad and Tobago
  • Several non-profit organizations in designing, implementing, and executing risk-based anti-corruption compliance programs

Bar Qualification

  • California
  • District of Columbia


  • JD, American University Washington College of Law, 2004
    summa cum laude
  • BA, University of Maryland, 2000
    magna cum laude

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • Spanish
General Recognition Thumbnail
January 10, 2023Recognition

Litigator of the Week Runners-Up and Shout Outs

Latham recognized for representing a defendant in an alleged Medicare-related kickback scheme involving a clinical research program testing for opioid addiction risk which concluded with prosecution dropping all charges.