Former Acting Assistant Attorney General David Burns Returns to Gibson Dunn

April 5, 2021

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is pleased to announce that David Burns has rejoined the firm’s Washington, D.C. office as a partner.  Burns is returning to the firm after serving in senior positions in both the Criminal Division and National Security Division at the U.S. Department of Justice.  He most recently served as the Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division.  At Gibson Dunn, his practice will focus on national security issues, regulatory enforcement, and white collar defense and investigations.  He will co-chair the firm’s National Security Practice Group and will be a member of the White Collar Defense and Investigations and Crisis Management Practice Groups.

“We are delighted that David has returned to the firm,” said Ken Doran, Chairman and Managing Partner of Gibson Dunn.  “David has a strong track record of success at the firm.  His impressive skillset combined with the leadership experience he gained at the DOJ makes him a valuable addition to our preeminent white collar defense and investigations practice in the U.S. and globally.”

“We are excited to have David back,” said F. Joseph Warin, Co-Chair of the firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice Group.  “Once again, David will be a significant addition to our deep bench of 50 former Justice Department lawyers.  His diverse and extensive front-office DOJ experience and his strong front line experiences as an AUSA make him a formidable white collar defense lawyer who will complement the firm’s robust capabilities in handling highly complex, multi-disciplinary and multi-jurisdiction investigations and enforcement matters.”

“I am thrilled to be returning home to Gibson Dunn,” said Burns.  “The firm has a best-in-class white collar defense and investigations practice, and I look forward to collaborating again with the firm’s exceptional talent.”

About David Burns

Before rejoining Gibson Dunn, Burns served as Acting Assistant Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, where he supervised the Division’s more than 600 federal prosecutors who conducted investigations and prosecutions involving securities fraud, healthcare fraud, FCPA violations, public corruption, cybercrime, intellectual property theft, money laundering, Bank Secrecy Act violations, child exploitation, international narcotics trafficking, human rights violations, organized and transnational crime, gang violence, and other crimes, as well as matters involving international affairs and sensitive law enforcement techniques.

He previously served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ’s National Security Division from 2018 to 2020.  In this role, as second-in-command of the nearly 400-lawyer Division, he oversaw NSD’s investigations and prosecutions, including counterterrorism, counterintelligence, economic espionage, cyber hacking, FARA, disclosure of classified information, and sanctions and export controls matters.  He provided counsel and leadership to all units and components of the Division, including the Counterterrorism Section, the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, the Office of Intelligence, the Office of Law and Policy, the Foreign Investment Review Staff, and the Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism.  He advised and collaborated with DOJ leadership, U.S. Attorney’s Offices, the FBI and other law enforcement partners, and the Intelligence Community on national security cases, policy, and legislative initiatives and was actively involved in the DOJ’s rule on CFIUS and Team Telecom.

Previously, Burns was a partner at Gibson Dunn, where he practiced from 2005 to 2018.  Before that, he served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 2000 to 2005.

Burns received his J.D. in 1995 from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and served as an articles editor of the Columbia Business Law Review.