David Zinn is Co-Chair of the firm’s Criminal Defense and Investigations practice.  David is regularly recognized as a leader in the white collar bar by Chambers USA, Legal 500, Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading White Collar Lawyers, Washingtonian magazine, Best Lawyers in America, and Super Lawyers.  He is described in Chambers USA as “a superb and creative advocate” and has been ranked by Chambers among the top dozen white collar defense lawyers in Washington. Super Lawyers ranks him on the Top 100 lawyers list, across all practice areas, in Washington.  

David has represented clients in connection with indictments and/or investigations involving allegations of securities, bank, accounting, and tax fraud; criminal antitrust violations; environmental crimes; public corruption; and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations. He has handled matters before the Department of Justice (Criminal Division, Antitrust Division, Tax Division) as well as multiple United States Attorneys’ Offices throughout the country. 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 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 LLP 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 publicly-traded computer software and Internet company in DOJ securities and accounting fraud investigation
  • Representation of global financial services company in DOJ money laundering investigation
  • Representation of Chairman of bank board in cross-border criminal tax investigation
  • Representation of CFO of energy company in DOJ and SEC investigations of FCPA violations
  • 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 Multinational pharmaceutical company in foreign criminal investigation
  • Representation of global food processing company in criminal investigation of workplace accident
  • Representation of President of hedge fund management company in DOJ and SEC investigations of securities fraud
  • Representation of Chairman of pharmaceutical company in DOJ and SEC investigations of FCPA violations
  • Representation of President of insurance company in DOJ insurance fraud investigation
  • Representation of Chief Compliance Officer of multinational financial institution in money laundering investigation
  • Representation of multiple traders in DOJ and CFTC benchmark rates investigations
  • Representation of Chairman of investment firm in DOJ criminal tax investigation



AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®

“Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (DC),” Chambers USA, 2010-2017

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

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

"Washington’s Best Lawyers," Washingtonian magazine, 2011, 2013, and 2015

Recognized as one of The Best Lawyers in America ®, 2010-2018


Government Service

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

Law Clerk, Judge Mariana R. Pfaelzer, United States District Court for the Central District of California, 1990-1991

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