David Zinn is Co-Chair of the firm’s Criminal Defense and Investigations practice. He also heads up the Criminal Tax practice.  David is regularly recognized as a leader in the white collar bar by Chambers USA, The Legal 500, Benchmark Litigation, and Washingtonian magazine. He is described by Chambers as “a superb and creative advocate” and was named 2023 White Collar Crime/Investigations Litigator of the Year by Benchmark Litigation.

David has represented clients in connection with indictments and/or investigations involving allegations of securities, bank, accounting, and tax fraud; criminal antitrust violations; public corruption; money laundering violations; and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations. David’s matters frequently involve investigations by the SEC, the CFTC, and/or state attorneys general, as well as related civil litigation. Many matters also involve investigations by foreign prosecuting and/or regulatory authorities.

David’s clients have included significant multinational companies, U.S. public companies, and individual executives. 

David is the former national Co-Chair of American Bar Association's White Collar Crime Committee. He is former Co-Chair of the ABA's White Collar Crime Subcommittee on Transnational Crimes.  He has also served on the advisory board for the American Bankers' Association/American Bar Association annual money laundering conference.

David is a native of Washington, D.C. He received his B.A. from Brown University in 1986, before going to Harvard Law School.  David clerked for Judge Mariana R. Pfaelzer of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, then worked as an attorney and special assistant to the general counsel of the CIA, specializing in Congressional testimony and investigations, before joining Williams & Connolly in 1993. He lives in the Washington area with his wife, Ellen, and their three children.

Representative Experience

Though all cases vary and none is predictive, David’s experience includes:

  • Representation of global financial services company in DOJ money laundering investigation
  • Representation of multinational investment bank in DOJ and SEC fraud and bid rigging investigations
  • Representation of global auto industry manufacturer in DOJ cartel investigation
  • Representation of publicly-traded computer software and Internet company in DOJ securities and accounting fraud investigation
  • Representation of multinational pharmaceutical company in foreign criminal investigation
  • Representation of global food processing company in criminal investigation of workplace accident
  • Representation of Senior Executive of multinational mining company in DOJ and SEC investigations of FCPA violations.
  • Representation of CFO of energy company in DOJ and SEC investigations of FCPA violations
  • Representation of Chairman of pharmaceutical company in DOJ and SEC investigations of FCPA violations
  • Representation of Chief Compliance Officer of multinational financial institution in money laundering investigation
  • Representation of Senior Executive of major bank in cross-border criminal tax investigation
  • Representation of private equity company executive in DOJ and SEC investigations of securities fraud
  • Representation of Chairman of bank board in cross-border criminal tax investigation
  • Representation of multiple traders in DOJ and CFTC benchmark rates investigations




“Litigation: White Collar Crime & Government Investigations (D.C.),” Chambers USA, 2010-2022

"Litigation Star" in the category of White Collar Crime, Benchmark Litigation, 2022-2023

"Top Lawyer Hall of Fame," Washingtonian magazine, 2022

“Washington’s Top Lawyers,” in the category of Criminal Defense & White Collar, Washingtonian magazine, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017-2020

Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading White Collar Crime Lawyers, 2019


Other Government Service

Attorney and Special Assistant to the General Counsel, Central Intelligence Agency, 1991-1993

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