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Covington & Burling LLP

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Nancy Kestenbaum

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Covington & Burling LLP

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Nancy Kestenbaum is the co-chair of Covington’s White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice Group. She represents companies and individuals in a variety of white collar criminal and regulatory enforcement matters and complex civil litigation. Ms. Kestenbaum has conducted corporate internal investigations and defended institutions and dozens of officers, directors, executives, accountants and attorneys in grand jury, SEC, antitrust, and other regulatory investigations. Ms. Kestenbaum has extensive experience representing clients in the financial services, life sciences and technology industries and also represents clients in complex civil litigation.


Ms. Kestenbaum served for nine years as a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where she investigated and prosecuted numerous cases including securities fraud, tax offenses, bank fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice, civil rights violations, bribery and perjury, and served as Chief of the General Crimes Unit and Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, where she supervised and trained dozens of other prosecutors.


Yale Law School, J.D., 1990; University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 1985 (magna cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa)

United States: Dispute resolution

Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense

Within: Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense

Covington & Burling LLP is a ‘strong’ firm with an excellent reputation for FCPA work and an impressive track record in representing pharmaceutical sector clients. Nancy Kestenbaum in New York and Ethan Posner in Washington DC chair the practice and key partners in the latter office include Lanny Breuer, Mythili Raman and former US Attorney General Eric Holder. Clients have included oil exploration company Hyperdynamics, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Gilead Sciences and the former chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

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Securities litigation: defense

Within: Securities litigation: defense

Covington & Burling LLP has ‘an excellent litigation department with very knowledgeable lawyers who are highly experienced but also quick learners’. The firm has ‘great instincts for how judges and opposing counsel will react’. In New York, Mark Gimbel (who is ‘a great listener and his thoughtful approach is of great value’) and William Phillips chair the practice. They are handling a motion to dismiss a class action against SandRidge Energy CEO James Bennett that alleges misrepresentation of the value of oil and gas assets. David Kornblau, Nancy Kestenbaum, Washington DC-based Bruce Baird and San Francisco’s Tammy Albarrán are noted for government investigations and litigation. Gimbel and Robert Wick are advising JPMorgan Securities in an MDL alleging collusion to manipulate the market for US Treasury securities.

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