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Senior DOJ and National Security Official John P. Carlin Joins Paul, Weiss in Washington, D.C.

October 11, 2022 Read the press release

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP announced today that John P. Carlin has joined the firm as co-head of the firm’s Cybersecurity & Data Protection practice and as a partner in the Litigation Department. He will be resident in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Carlin enhances the firm’s market-leading internal investigations capabilities and further strengthens the firm’s litigation team, which advises the world’s most prominent companies and investors in their most sensitive and complex matters. He will focus on sensitive cyber incident response and preparedness, crisis management, national security issues, white collar defense and regulatory enforcement, and Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) proceedings. In addition, he will co-lead the Cybersecurity & Data Protection practice with former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh C. Johnson and former federal prosecutor Jeannie Rhee, two of the leading cybersecurity and data privacy experts in the country.

Mr. Carlin’s experience advising on some of the most significant criminal and national security matters for the U.S. government further bolsters the firm’s leadership position within the nation’s capital. Mr. Carlin was the top incoming appointee at the Department of Justice as the acting deputy attorney general from January to April 2021. He subsequently served as principal associate deputy attorney general advising Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco and Attorney General Merrick Garland on the supervision of the department, including oversight of the FBI, an initiative to curb corporate crime, and task forces to address cryptocurrency theft and crack down on those helping Russia evade sanctions. He also played a pivotal role in instituting the Department of Justice’s current approach to cybersecurity, national security and corporate criminal enforcement.

“John is one of the nation’s leading national security experts and the architect of the modern cybersecurity regulatory regime,” said Paul, Weiss Chairman Brad S. Karp. “John has transformed the way our government thinks about and responds to critical national security challenges. Our clients will benefit from John’s deep experience and expertise.”

“John offers the full package: unmatched government experience running investigations on a variety of sensitive, high-stakes cases, and experience in private practice guiding companies safely through crippling cyber incidents, sensitive CFIUS issues and other threats,” said Litigation Department Co-Chair Jessica S. Carey. “John’s addition further enhances our leading internal investigations platform and strengthens our cybersecurity, national security and CFIUS capabilities. We are thrilled to have John as our partner.”

Mr. Carlin has deep experience leading high-profile national security and criminal enforcement matters. He previously served as assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s National Security Division, making him the department’s highest-ranking national security lawyer. In this role, he supervised 400 employees responsible for protecting the nation against terrorism, espionage, cyber and other national security threats. During his tenure, he oversaw the prosecution of the Boston Marathon bomber; the indictment of five Chinese military members on economic espionage charges; and the DOJ’s foreign investment review program, which includes the review of foreign acquisitions through CFIUS, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reviews and other emerging technology matters and related litigation.

“John further cements our position as a legal powerhouse in regulatory enforcement defense and investigations,” said Kannon K. Shanmugam, managing partner of the Washington office. “These capabilities, and others, are core to our firm and D.C. office, where John joins many other Paul, Weiss partners who formerly served in senior government positions.”

“Companies are on the front lines of unprecedented threats and complexity from a range of rogue actors,” said Mr. Carlin. “I can’t imagine a better place to use my experience to assist clients as they navigate cyber threats, national security challenges and a rigorous enforcement environment than Paul, Weiss, the go-to firm for the world’s leading corporations and investors on their most important matters.”

Mr. Carlin also brings significant private practice experience advising companies responding to a variety of urgent global, national security and cyber threats and crises. Prior to his time at the DOJ, Mr. Carlin chaired an Am Law 100 firm’s global risk and crisis management group, where he advised clients across the technology, healthcare, energy, defense, finance, media, pharmaceutical and telecommunications industries on crisis management, company-crippling cyber incidents, regulatory strategy and CFIUS issues.

Prior to his private practice, he served as chief of staff and senior counsel to former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, where he helped lead the Bureau’s evolution to meet growing and changing national security threats, including cyber threats. Earlier, he also held positions as national coordinator of the DOJ’s Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Program and as assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, where he prosecuted cases relating to cyber, fraud and public corruption matters, trying more than 40 cases to verdict.

Mr. Carlin, who joined the DOJ through the Attorney General’s Honors Program, is a five-time recipient of the Department of Justice Award for Special Achievement and has drawn bipartisan praise. One of the country’s most sought-after commentators on cyberwarfare prior to his stint at the DOJ, Mr. Carlin is co-author of Dawn of the Code War, a sobering analysis of American efforts to defend against cyberattacks by foreign powers.

Mr. Carlin earned a B.A., magna cum laude, from Williams College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he received the Samuel J. Heyman Fellowship for Federal Government Service and served as articles editor for the Harvard Journal on Legislation.

Paul, Weiss’s Cybersecurity & Data Protection practice helps boards and top executives respond strategically to potentially crippling data incidents and get back to business. Led by the nation’s leading legal advisors on national security and data-related regulatory matters, we help boards and top executives safely navigate high-impact breaches and related cyber incidents, and offer specialized regulatory advice in the transactional and compliance contexts.

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