Publications & News

WilmerHale Adds Top DOJ and Congressional Investigation Lawyers To Public Policy and Strategy Team

March 17, 2008

WilmerHale is pleased to announce that Rachel L. Brand and Mark D. Nelson will join the firm’s Washington, DC public policy and strategy practice focusing on congressional investigations, regulatory affairs and crisis management. Ms. Brand will also be active in the firm’s government litigation and defense and national security practices. Ms. Brand was most recently Assistant Attorney General for Legal Policy, where she served as chief policy and regulatory advisor to the Attorney General and managed the confirmation process for Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito. Mr. Nelson most recently served as Deputy Chief Counsel to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, where he led a wide range of inquiries, including investigations focused on: domestic and offshore tax shelters; international money laundering; derivatives and futures trading; stock option backdating; and the tax treatment of nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements.

“Rachel and Mark are rising stars in the legal profession,” said Jamie Gorelick, Senior Partner and Chair of the public policy and strategy practice in WilmerHale’s Washington, DC office. “Each has the skills, judgment and experience needed to provide effective counsel in today’s complicated policy and regulatory environment.”

As Assistant Attorney General, Ms. Brand had primary responsibility for counter-terrorism related policy issues and is a leading authority on the USA PATRIOT Act, the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act, other law enforcement and national security investigative authorities, and immigration reform. She also served on the Attorney General’s Intellectual Property Task Force and was responsible for developing policy on a wide range of federal regulatory issues. In addition, Ms. Brand managed the Justice Department’s role in the selection and confirmation of many federal judges. Last year, Ms. Brand was named one of Washington’s “Top 40 Lawyers under 40,” by the Washingtonian Magazine. Prior to being confirmed by the Senate as Assistant Attorney General, Ms. Brand served as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy and as Associate Counsel to the President at the White House, and practiced law with Cooper, Carvin & Rosenthal PLLC. Ms. Brand was law clerk to US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Justice Charles Fried. She holds a JD cum laude from Harvard Law School and an undergraduate degree with high distinction and honors from the University of Minnesota.

“Rachel has a deep understanding of regulatory regimes and governmental decision making,” said William Perlstein, Co-managing Partner of WilmerHale. “She also knows how to translate complex issues and objectives into language and proposals that will be well-received by policymakers.”

Mark Nelson has served as both Counsel and Deputy Chief Counsel for the United States Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (“PSI”). Prior to joining the PSI staff Mr. Nelson was a litigator for five years at McKee Nelson and Swidler Berlin, where he represented clients in civil, white collar and tax related matters. Mr. Nelson holds a JD from Stanford Law School, where he served as the Executive Editor of the Stanford Environmental Law Journal. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and received his BA summa cum laude from the University of Alabama.

“Mark has led investigations for one of the most formidable committees in Washington,” said Reginald Brown, Vice Chair of WilmerHale’s public policy and strategy practice. “As the number of congressional inquiries continues to rise, we expect Mark’s counsel to be in great demand.”

More than 130 of WilmerHale’s lawyers have served in senior government positions in the United States, in Europe and in multilateral organizations. These include the White House, independent agencies and Departments of the Federal Government, the United States Congress, the European Commission, the German Federal Government and the World Trade Organization.