Katherine A. Trefz

Katherine Trefz Photo

Katie Trefz focuses her practice on criminal defense and government and internal investigations.  She serves as Co-Chair of the firm’s Internal Investigations practice group.  Katie’s work for corporations and senior executives has involved a wide array of substantive allegations, including securities fraud, mail and wire fraud, antitrust crimes, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), money laundering, tax fraud, and the False Claims Act (FCA), among others.  Her matters have spanned several industries, including finance, telecommunications, automobile manufacturing, law, accounting, food, health care, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, and professional sports. 

Katie’s civil work has included representation of companies and individuals in cases alleging violations of antitrust laws, professional liability, securities fraud, and torts, as well as in employment, intellectual property, and commercial disputes.  Katie’s pro bono work has included the representation of criminal defendants and prisoners in federal court. 

A native Californian, Katie received her undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California, where she was the Valedictorian of her graduating class, and her law degree from University of California Berkeley School of Law, from which she graduated Order of the Coif.  She clerked for the Honorable Dean D. Pregerson of the Central District of California before joining the firm in 2009. 

Katie is a member of the firm’s Hiring Committee.  She has been included in the Super Lawyers 2016-2019 Washington, D.C. “Rising Stars” lists.  Katie is a member of the Women’s White Collar Defense Association.

Representative Experience

Though all cases vary and none is predictive, Katie’s criminal defense and investigations experience includes:

  • Served as trial counsel for the former founder and CEO of a biotech company in indicted wire fraud case 
  • Served as trial counsel for a residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) trader in federal criminal jury trial alleging securities fraud; all charges dismissed after appeal
  • Defended a telecommunications executive against wire fraud and money laundering charges; prosecution dismissed all charges at trial
  • Represented a multi-national auto-parts supplier in a criminal antitrust investigation
  • Represented a former senior executive of major bank in connection with a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation; SEC issued declination letter
  • Defended a bank charged with criminal securities fraud; government settled with a civil resolution on eve of trial




“Washington, D.C. Rising Stars,” The National Law Journal, 2022

“40 & Under Hot List”, Benchmark Litigation, 2022

Selected to "Rising Stars" list for White Collar Defense, Law360, 2020

Selected to Washington, D.C. “Rising Stars” list, Super Lawyers, 2016-2019


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