Jonathan G. Cedarbaum


Cedarbaum, Jonathan G.

Jonathan Cedarbaum rejoined the firm in 2011 after spending two years in the leadership of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, where he ultimately served as Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Office, which provides authoritative legal advice to the White House, the Attorney General, and all executive branch departments and agencies. Mr. Cedarbaum has a diverse litigation practice, focusing especially on False Claims Act, Administrative Procedure Act and international cases. He also counsels clients on regulatory matters and represents them before administrative agencies and congressional committees—particularly in the areas of data security and privacy, healthcare and financial services.


During his time at OLC, Mr. Cedarbaum was deeply involved in the development and early implementation of the Dodd-Frank and Affordable Care Acts. As a member of the Justice Department’s senior leadership and as a legal counselor to senior officials across the government, he was also involved in numerous other statutory and regulatory initiatives, including in the areas of cybersecurity and data privacy, economic sanctions, procurement reform and energy development.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Cedarbaum did two additional stints at the Justice Department: two-and-a-half years as an Attorney-Advisor in the Office of Legal Counsel (1999-2002) and a year as a Bristow Fellow in the Office of the Solicitor General (1997-1998). Mr. Cedarbaum has also served as Deputy Chief of Staff to the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (2002-2003) and as a legislative assistant for a Member of Congress (1985-1986).

Honors & Awards

  • Selected as one of Lawdragon Magazine's "500 Leading Lawyers in America" in 2012 and 2013

Publications & News


February 5, 2015

SEC and FINRA Release Cybersecurity Sweep Reports, Promise Increased Scrutiny of Regulated Firms

Continuing their heightened focus on the information security practices of regulated firms, both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) released reports Tuesday summarizing the results of their cybersecurity sweeps.

January 29, 2015

False Claims Act: 2014 Year-in-Review

The federal government collected a record-breaking $5.7 billion in False Claims Act (FCA) recoveries in fiscal year (FY) 2014, up from $3.8 billion in FY 2013.

September 30, 2014

Cyber Crime And Trade Secret Protection: Strengthening Defenses

An article written by Jonathan Cedarbaum and Jane Love published in the New York Law Journal’s White-Collar Crime Special Section on September 29, 2014.

July 25, 2014

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a Privacy & Data Security Regulator

An article by Jonathan Cedarbaum and Elijah Alper, published in the May/June 2014 edition of the Fintech Law Report.

July 2, 2014

US Supreme Court Agrees To Address Two Important False Claims Act Issues

Yesterday, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Kellogg Brown & Root v. United States ex rel. Carter, No. 12-1497, a case presenting two important issues under the False Claims Act (FCA).

May 1, 2014

White House “Big Data” Report Calls for New Privacy, Data Breach Legislation, Renewed Attention to Discrimination

The White House this afternoon released a much anticipated report on “big data,” which represents the results of a 90-day review the President asked Counselor to the President John Podesta to conduct on his behalf.

May 1, 2014

Reforming the False Claims Act for the 21st Century

An article by Partners David Ogden and Jonathan Cedarbaum, published in the May 2014 edition of Contract Management, pp. 28-37.

May 1, 2014

Growing Practice Areas 

Jonathan Cedarbaum provides insight about expanding regulatory practice areas in an article published by the American Bar Association in the Student Lawyer, Volume 42, Number 9, May 2014.

April 22, 2014

SEC To Examine Cybersecurity Preparedness at More Than 50 Registered Broker-dealers and Investment Advisers

On April 15, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations issued a "Risk Alert" announcing steps being taken to assess cybersecurity preparedness in the securities sector.

March 11, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Holds that Arbitrators, Not Courts, are Entitled to Interpret Local Litigation Requirements in Bilateral Investment Treaties

Speaking Engagements

March 4, 2015

Regulation of Social Media in the Workplace and in the Marketplace


November 19, 2014

Payments System Risk Symposium

New York, New York

November 5, 2014

Surveillance Laws and Workplace Privacy

Charlotte, North Carolina

October 23-24, 2014

2014 Treasury and Capital Markets Legal and Legislative Issues Conference

Washington, DC

June 23, 2014

The False Claims Act: Developments and Risk Management Strategies

Minnetonka, Minnesota

May 30, 2014


Cambridge, Massachusetts

February 21, 2014

Rethinking DC Representation in Congress

Washington, DC

October 23, 2013

WilmerHale FinTech Webinar Series: Cybersecurity & Data Privacy


September 30, 2013

SIFMA Compliance & Legal Society Charlotte Regional Seminar

Charlotte, North Carolina

June 28, 2013

New England Council Cybersecurity Forum

Boston, Massachusetts

Recent Highlights


  • Representing a major financial institution in a series of False Claims Act cases in federal and state courts
  • Filing two amicus briefs in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum et al., the Supreme Court case concerning applicability of the Alien Tort Statute to corporations and to conduct outside the United States, on behalf of the National Foreign Trade Council, the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Petroleum Institute, and a dozen other major US and European business associations
  • Playing a leading role in a False Claims Act case concerning bid-rigging on USAID construction contracts, which involved a seven-week jury trial that resulted in a complete victory for the firm’s client
  • Briefing and arguing an appeal in the Federal Circuit raising the question whether Congress can constitutionally strip the federal courts of jurisdiction over pending takings claims
  • Defending Philips Electronics, the Dutch technology company, in a series of patent and antitrust challenges to the pool licensing of patents for basic CD, DVD and MP3 technologies in the International Trade Commission, the District Courts, and the Courts of Appeals
  • Filing an amicus brief for the International Franchise Association in FTC v. Wyndham Worldwide Corp. et al. (D. Ariz.), the leading case testing the FTC’s authority under Section 5 of the FTC Act to regulate data-security practices

Regulatory Counseling, Investigations and Administrative Proceedings
Data Security/Privacy

  • Counseling a major financial institution on legal issues raised by monitoring network traffic and taking countermeasures to cyber attacks
  • Advising a major high-tech company on application of Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act to data centers abroad
  • Counseling a major cloud computing company on government contracting issues, including FedRAMP and FISMA
  • Assisting financial, industrial, and high-tech companies in responding to congressional inquiries about data security practices
  • Advising major high-tech companies on the development of federal cybersecurity legislation and the recent critical infrastructure cybersecurity executive order
  • Assisting a university-business consortium in identifying and applying for federal funding for cybersecurity R&D


  • Advising a university medical center about its EMTALA obligations
  • Analyzing for a major pharmaceutical company the likely effect of federal budget sequestration on Medicare reimbursement policies
  • Filing a comment with CMS on behalf of a major medical center opposing an application for a waiver from the rules governing allocation of organs for transplants
  • Advising a major pharmaceutical company about a possible constitutional challenge to retrospective application of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act
  • Counseling a hospital system on the prospects for and likely effects of Medicaid expansion in its state

Financial Services

  • Advising a financial trade association about a possible legal challenge to a Dodd-Frank rulemaking
  • Assessing a possible preemption challenge to a state law regulating mortgage servicing for a major national bank
  • Advising a variety of financial clients on the limits of the CFPB’s authorities and the constitutional challenges to the CFPB Director’s appointment
  • Advising a group of hedge funds concerning the restructuring of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Professional Activities

District of Columbia Bar Association

  • Administrative Law Section: Co-Chair, 2011-2012; Steering Committee Member, 2007-present.
  • Litigation Section: Steering Committee Member, 2010-present.
  • International Law Section: Chair, 2007-2008; Steering Committee Member, 2005-2011; Vice Chair, Intellectual Property Committee, 2011-present.
  • Board on Professional Responsibility: Alternate Hearing Committee Member, 2007-present.

American Bar Association

  • Administrative Law Section: Chair, Committee on Regulatory Policy
  • International Law Section


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JD, Yale Law School, 1996, Editor in Chief, Yale Law Journal

MPhil, Yale University, 1990

AB, magna cum laude, Harvard University, 1983, Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia





The Hon. David S. Tatel, US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, 1996 - 1997

The Hon. David H. Souter, US Supreme Court, 1998 - 1999