WilmerHale is pleased to announce that Preet Bharara, the former United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, is joining the firm as a partner.
Bharara is widely viewed as one of the most effective and transformative US Attorneys to ever lead the Southern District of New York, the nation’s oldest US Attorney’s Office. Since leaving that role in 2017, he has become the popular host of the award-winning podcast Stay Tuned with Preet, co-founder of the podcast company Cafe Studios, author of a New York Times best-seller, and distinguished scholar in residence at New York University School of Law.
Bharara, who will practice from the firm’s New York office, has in his post-government years become one of the nation’s highest-profile lawyers not currently in public service. He is a leading voice for justice and the rule of law, and with his reputation for integrity and independence he is a frequent speaker to corporations, legal associations and trade groups on ethics and compliance, culture and diversity issues.
Building on those and other areas of interest, he plans a wide-ranging practice, guiding clients through internal investigations, government-facing matters, congressional investigations, compliance and risk assessments, culture reviews, crisis management and significant pro bono cases.
Bharara’s new role will be informed not only by the extraordinary experience he gained during his more than seven years as US Attorney after President Obama nominated him in 2009 and the Senate unanimously confirmed him, but also by the nearly five years he previously served as Chief Counsel to Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), the current Senate Majority Leader.
Meanwhile, Bharara will maintain his current role at Vox Media as Creative Director of Cafe and host of Stay Tuned with Preet and The Cafe Insider Podcast. He will continue to provide a much-valued voice in the national dialogue, helping break down legal topics in the news.
“WilmerHale resonated for me not just for its reputation for legal excellence and integrity, track record of success, and dedication to diversity, but equally for its respect for public service, support for meaningful pro bono work, and commitment to the democratic values and principles I have spent my career fighting for,” Bharara said. “I believe bringing my combination of experiences, skills and knowledge to WilmerHale will give clients facing the most difficult challenges the greatest chance for success. I look forward to collaborating with my new WilmerHale colleagues, among the best in our profession, including some I know well from our days together at the SDNY.”
“Preet’s values are our values,” said Robert Novick, WilmerHale’s Co-Managing Partner. “He is one of the most public-spirited and dynamic lawyers of his generation, with an enviable record of success in and out of government.”
“As the SDNY’s US Attorney, he oversaw headline-grabbing convictions in cases of public corruption, financial misconduct, narcotics and arms trafficking and violent crime, and terrorism.” Novick said. “As a private citizen, his entrepreneurial energy led him to launch a successful media career and company that has burnished his powerful personal brand. We’re thrilled to have Preet on our team.”
Bharara left an indelible impact as SDNY US Attorney, for which he has been recognized as one of the most credible voices in law enforcement. As one of the longest-serving US Attorneys in the history of that office, he oversaw scores of landmark cases in the areas of financial fraud, insider trading, cybercrime, public corruption, terrorism, violent crime, and civil rights enforcement.
During his time as Sen. Schumer’s Chief Counsel, Bharara also served as Staff Director of the US Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts. In that role, he helped lead the Senate Judiciary Committee’s investigation of the controversial firing of US Attorneys which led to the resignation of the sitting Attorney General.
From 2000 to 2005, Bharara was an SDNY Assistant US Attorney. He previously worked as a litigation associate in New York at two law firms representing a variety of corporate and individual clients.
Bharara earned his bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard College in 1990, and his JD from Columbia Law School in 1993, where he was a member of the Columbia Law Review.