Contact Info vCARD

T: +1 202.887.3786
F: +1 202.530.9637

Washington, D.C. Office
1050 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036-5306, USA


​David P. Burns is a litigation partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. His practice focuses on white-collar criminal defense, internal investigations, and regulatory enforcement matters. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Burns served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York. 

​Mr. Burns represents corporations and executives in federal, state, and regulatory investigations involving securities and commodities fraud, accounting fraud, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, international and domestic cartel enforcement, health care fraud, government contracting fraud, and the False Claims Act.  He has substantial experience in cross-border investigations and enforcement actions for financial institutions, life sciences companies, and other entities.  

Chambers USA – America's Leading Business Lawyers 2016 ranks Mr. Burns as a leading White Collar attorney in the District of Columbia. Who's Who Legal and Global Investigations Review (GIR) recognized him as a 2016 leading investigations lawyer, deemed "excellent" for his work across "federal, state, and regulatory investigations". In 2015, Who’s Who Legal also recognized Mr. Burns as a leading lawyer in the area of Business Crime Defense.  Mr. Burns has also been selected by Super Lawyers magazine for five consecutive years.

Government Experience 

As a Department of Justice prosecutor, from 2000 to 2005, Mr. Burns tried more than a dozen federal criminal jury trials and argued numerous appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  He investigated and prosecuted cases involving a wide range of offenses, including money laundering, bribery, embezzlement, material support of terrorism, large-scale visa and immigration fraud, violations of the Armed Export Control Act, obstruction of justice, witness tampering, RICO, and murder.  In 2004, he received the Director's Award for superior performance as an Assistant United States Attorney.  

Recent Significant Engagements

  • Represented a large financial institution in investigations of manipulation of interest rate benchmarks, including LIBOR, conducted by the Criminal and Antitrust Divisions of the DOJ, the CFTC, the SEC, the UK Financial Services Authority, and numerous other international criminal, competition, and regulatory authorities.  
  • Defended the former general counsel of a major regional brokerage firm in a three-week securities enforcement trial before the SEC’s chief administrative law judge and obtained dismissal of all claims.
  • Represented a special committee of the board of directors of a Canadian pharmaceutical company relating to allegations of accounting fraud.  
  • Defended a government contractor in a multi-year False Claims Act investigation conducted by the DOJ and Department of Defense.
  • Defended a marine company executive in a criminal price fixing case prosecuted by the Antitrust Division of the DOJ.
  • Represented a large engineering and infrastructure company in an investigation conducted by the Public Integrity Section of the DOJ.
  • Represented a United States Congressman in a public corruption investigation conducted by a United States Attorney’s Office.
  • Represented a software company executive in a DOJ False Claims Act investigation.
  • Represented an investment bank in an investigation conducted by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority involving initial public offering allocations. 
  • Represented the controller of a large public company in an FCPA investigation conducted by the DOJ and the SEC.
  • Represented the president of a Brazilian tobacco company in an FCPA investigation conducted by the DOJ and the SEC.
  • Represented a senior officer of an investment bank in an insider trading investigation conducted by the New York Attorney General’s Office and the SEC.
  • Represented the former chief financial officer of a large commercial bank in an accounting fraud investigation conducted by the DOJ and the SEC.
  • Defended the president of a Canadian manufacturing company in a criminal antitrust prosecution brought by the Antitrust Division of the DOJ. 
Mr. Burns graduated in 1995 from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and an Articles Editor of the Columbia Business Law Review. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Boston College in 1991.   


  • Columbia University - 1995 - Juris Doctor
  • Boston College - 1991 - Bachelor of Arts


  • District of Columbia Bar