Former Special Counsel Prosecutor Zainab Ahmad to Join Gibson Dunn as Partner in New York

July 10, 2019

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP today announced that leading prosecutor Zainab Ahmad will join the firm as a partner in the New York office.  Ahmad will join the firm after serving as a Senior Assistant Special Counsel in Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller’s Office and following a successful career as a prosecutor and trial lawyer at the Department of Justice in both Washington, D.C. and the Eastern District of New York.

“We are thrilled to welcome Zainab to the firm,” said Ken Doran, Chairman and Managing Partner of Gibson Dunn.  “Zainab will be a great addition to our premiere White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice.  She is universally respected for her work ethic, drive, judgment and ability to build trust and confidence with everyone who works with her.  Her educational background, clerkships and prior work in key areas, such as cybercrime, anti-corruption, and anti-money laundering matters will complement the firm’s global practice.”

“Zainab will be a terrific addition to the firm,” said Joel Cohen, a New York partner and Co-Chair of the White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice. “She has unique and impressive experience navigating investigations across borders – and in places where there essentially are no borders.  Her stints at Main Justice placed her at the center of the most significant matters affecting the Department of Justice and covered areas most likely to affect our clients.  Her background working complex, cross-border investigations and her history of collaboration with foreign law enforcement will be a valuable asset for our clients.”

“I couldn’t be more excited to begin the next chapter of my legal career at Gibson Dunn,” Ahmad said.  “Increasingly, clients are facing challenges that span jurisdictions and borders, which makes Gibson Dunn’s global platform very attractive.  The firm’s talent pool is impressively deep, and I look forward to collaborating with my new colleagues across offices.”

Ahmad augments the firm’s already deep bench of more than 50 former U.S. Department of Justice leaders and Assistant U.S. Attorneys.

About Zainab Ahmad

Ahmad’s practice will focus on white collar defense and investigations.  She will also advise on regulatory and civil litigation challenges, such as matters involving cybercrime, corruption, anti-money laundering, sanctions and FCPA issues.

Before joining Gibson Dunn, Ahmad served with the U.S. Department of Justice for 11 years.  She recently served as a Senior Assistant Special Counsel in Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller’s Office from 2017 to 2019.  Prior, she served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York, where her roles included Deputy Chief of the National Security and Cybercrime section.  During her tenure, she prosecuted and supervised some of the most complex international terrorism investigations in the United States, focusing on al-Qaeda, ISIS and attacks against U.S. military personnel and U.S. diplomats.  In pursuit of these extraterritorial national security investigations, she worked closely with the FBI, U.S. intelligence community, the Department of State and the Department of Defense, and she traveled to Europe, the Middle East and West Africa seeking evidence, testimony and extradition assurances.  Her work was chronicled in a The New Yorker feature article, “Taking Down Terrorists in Court.”

During her career, she was seconded twice to Washington, D.C., serving in 2016 as Counselor for Transnational Organized Crime and International Affairs and in 2017 as Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General in Washington, D.C., where she was responsible for supervising about 70 prosecutors in three sections: Organized Crime & Gangs, Human Rights and Special Prosecutions and Capital Cases, including the filter team handling the “Panama Papers”-related investigations.

Ahmad received her law degree in 2005 from the Columbia University School of Law, where she received the Hamilton Fellowship (full scholarship for academic excellence), was a James Kent Scholar and a Harlan Fisk Stone Scholar, and served as the Senior Editor of the Columbia Law Review.  She served as a law clerk for Judge Jack B. Weinstein of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York from 2006 to 2007 and for Judge Reena Raggi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 2007 to 2008.