Former Assistant Attorney General, Leader of the Criminal Division to Join Latham & Watkins

Leslie R. Caldwell will draw on vast experience in major federal criminal cases to further strengthen the firm’s litigation and trial team.

June 21, 2017

Latham & Watkins LLP1 is pleased to announce that Leslie R. Caldwell will join the firm’s San Francisco office as a partner in the White Collar Defense & Investigations Practice in September. Caldwell most recently served as the Presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division. She is a nationally renowned white collar lawyer who brings key insights and extensive experience, having been involved in many of the most closely watched corporate criminal, fraud and foreign bribery matters of the past decade. 

“I am honored to have had wonderful opportunities in public service and to now be joining Latham & Watkins,” Caldwell said. “The level of skill and talent of Latham’s lawyers in major government investigations and criminal prosecutions has always impressed me. I’m excited to join the team in the Bay Area as the firm further expands its white collar investigations and litigation platform. I look forward to working with the firm’s clients on business-critical matters, as well as to being part of Latham’s fantastic global team.” 

Caldwell has dedicated most of her career to handling federal criminal cases, representing both the government and those under government investigation. As head of the Criminal Division, she oversaw more than 600 lawyers who prosecute the most sophisticated federal criminal cases across the country, helped spearhead changes in criminal law and legislation, and formulated criminal enforcement policy. Caldwell also worked closely with the nation’s 93 United States Attorneys in the investigation and prosecution of major criminal matters in their districts. Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Caldwell was in private practice for nearly a decade. Before that, she was the first Director of the Department’s elite Enron Task Force, and previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in both the Eastern District of New York, where she tried more than 30 cases, and in the Northern District of California, where she was Chief of both the Criminal Division and the Securities Fraud Section under U.S. Attorney Robert S. Mueller, III. 

Alice Fisher, who also previously led the Criminal Division and who is now a partner and member of Latham’s Executive Committee, said: “I’m beyond thrilled to welcome Leslie to Latham and have a fellow head of the Criminal Division join the firm’s ranks. Leslie possesses diverse experience at the front lines of criminal enforcement, and clients will benefit from her strategic trial prowess, intellectual firepower and responsive, hands-on approach to their most complex legal challenges.” 

Caldwell will join a team at the forefront of white collar defense and investigations. She adds to an impressive list of former government officials and federal prosecutors who have recently joined Latham’s White Collar Defense & Investigations Practice, both in the United States and internationally, including former Deputy White House Counsel to President Obama and Assistant US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Nicholas McQuaid, former Head of the Fraud Division at the UK’s Serious Fraud Office Stuart Alford QC, and others. 

Former White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler, a Latham partner who now serves as global Co-chair of the firm’s White Collar Defense & Investigations Practice, added: “I’ve known Leslie for 14 years and she is a natural leader and talented strategist who has been battle-tested at the highest levels. She will work tirelessly to achieve the best possible solution for any issue that our clients face and I am delighted to be working with her again.” 

Ruemmler worked with Caldwell in numerous roles, including during their recent service in the Obama administration and previously on the Enron Task Force, along with fellow Latham partners Fisher and Complex Commercial Litigation Practice Chair Sean Berkowitz. 

With her move to Northern California, Caldwell will be one of few lawyers in the Bay Area with such extensive national and high profile government experience. 

Kirt Switzer, Office Managing Partner of the firm’s San Francisco office, said: “Leslie is a phenomenal addition to our dynamic team here in the Bay Area and complements our very active California white collar and trial practices. The group, which has recently handled significant confidential counseling and investigations as well as high profile trials including U.S. v. Pacific Gas and Electric Co., InfoSpan Inc. v. Emirates NBD Bank PJSC, and SEC v. Moshayedi, will be an excellent home for a noted lawyer like Leslie. She has rightfully earned her reputation as one of the nation’s preeminent white collar lawyers, and we are thrilled to welcome her.” 

Jamie Wine, Global Chair of Latham’s Litigation & Trial Department, added: “I’m particularly pleased to welcome Leslie at this time. As a firm, we have made it a priority to continue to strategically grow and expand our litigation and trial capabilities globally. In just the last few weeks, we have welcomed three talented partners on the East Coast. It’s a perfect complement to add Leslie’s keen insight and substantial experience to our West Coast presence as well.” 

Caldwell, who was a partner at Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP in New York from 2004 to 2014, received a BA in Economics from Pennsylvania State University and a JD from the George Washington University Law School. 

About Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins is a global law firm with more than 2,400 lawyers in its offices located in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States, including: Barcelona, Beijing, Boston, Brussels, Century City, Chicago, Dubai, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Munich, New York, Orange County, Paris, Riyadh, Rome, San Diego, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. For more information on Latham & Watkins, please visit the website at

Notes to Editors

1Latham & Watkins operates as a limited liability partnership worldwide with affiliated limited liability partnerships conducting the practice in the United Kingdom, France and Italy and affiliated partnerships conducting the practice in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. Latham & Watkins operates in Seoul as a Foreign Legal Consultant Office. Latham & Watkins practices in Saudi Arabia in association with the Law Office of Salman M. Al-Sudairi. 


Alice Fisher, Partner and Member, Executive Committee: +1.202.637.2232

Kathryn Ruemmler, Partner and White Collar Defense & Investigations Practice Co-chair: +1.202.637.2179

Kirt Switzer, San Francisco Office Managing Partner: +1.415.395.8885

Jamie Wine, Partner and Global Litigation & Trial Department Chair: +1.212.906.2904


Notice: We appreciate your interest in Latham & Watkins. If your inquiry relates to a legal matter and you are not already a current client of the firm, please do not transmit any confidential information to us. Before taking on a representation, we must determine whether we are in a position to assist you and agree on the terms and conditions of engagement with you. Until we have completed such steps, we will not be deemed to have a lawyer-client relationship with you, and will have no duty to keep confidential the information we receive from you. Thank you for your understanding.