Kathryn Ruemmler is the Global Chair of the White Collar Defense & Investigations Practice and a partner in the Litigation & Trial Department.
Ms. Ruemmler has broad experience advising individual executives and boards of directors in a wide range of matters, with a particular emphasis on government enforcement and regulatory matters and corporate governance. She has built a reputation as a formidable litigator with an unusual breadth of experience in crisis management, policy development, and regulatory and enforcement matters. She focuses on white collar criminal defense, SEC and other agency enforcement matters, and congressional and internal investigations. She is also an experienced first-chair trial lawyer. Known for her skilled representation of clients in both criminal and civil jury trials, clients in Chambers USA 2018 say Ms. Ruemmler is “a great strategic thinker” and “a real rare talent” and praise her as “a terrific advocate,” adding that “she has the judgment, legal skills and client management skills to represent her clients effectively.” Ms. Ruemmler rejoined the firm in 2014 after serving for almost six years in the Obama Administration, first in the Department of Justice (DOJ) and later as Counsel to the President. As President Obama’s chief lawyer, she was one of his most senior advisors, providing advice on all legal matters implicating domestic and foreign policy and national security. She advised on all significant litigation matters, including the most consequential cases heard by the United States Supreme Court. Ms. Ruemmler also managed the Administration’s response to congressional and other investigations and was responsible for the selection and nomination process of federal judges. President Obama has described her as having “an uncanny ability to see around the corners that no one else anticipates.”
Prior to her White House service, Ms. Ruemmler served as the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General at the DOJ, joining on the first day of the Obama Administration as its highest-ranking political appointee. In that role, she was the Deputy Attorney General’s primary advisor on a range of criminal policy, law enforcement, national security, and civil litigation matters. She worked closely with the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General in the overall management and supervision of the DOJ’s components, including the United States Attorney’s Offices.
Ms. Ruemmler has significant jury trial experience and has tried more than 20 cases to verdict both inside the government and in private practice. She worked for six years as a federal prosecutor, first as an Assistant United States Attorney in Washington, D.C. and later as the Deputy Director of the Enron Task Force. Ms. Ruemmler was one of the lead prosecutors in the successful securities fraud prosecution of former Enron CEO’s Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling. She delivered the closing argument in that case and received the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, the DOJ’s highest award, for her performance.
Earlier in her career, Ms. Ruemmler served as Associate Counsel to President Bill Clinton where she defended the White House and the Office of the President in independent counsel and congressional investigations. She began her career as a law clerk to Judge Timothy K. Lewis of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.