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Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

Work +1 212 474 1000
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London, New York

John Buretta

Work (212) 474 1260
Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

Work Department



John D. Buretta is a partner in Cravath’s Litigation Department.  His practice focuses on advising corporations, board members and senior executives with respect to internal investigations, criminal defense, regulatory compliance and related civil litigation, including matters concerning the FCPA, antitrust, fraud, insider trading, tax compliance, cyber intrusion, money laundering and anti‑money laundering controls, trade sanctions, export controls, criminal environmental and national security-related matters.

His clients have included global companies, company owners, boards of directors, audit committees, individual board members, members of senior management, lawyers and former government officials.  Mr. Buretta has worked across many industries, including the banking, private investment, energy, aircraft, publishing, information, communications, technology, food, consumer, mining, transportation, health care and pharmaceutical sectors, and has represented clients before numerous governmental agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Justice, the SEC, numerous United States Attorney’s Offices, the U.S. Department of Treasury, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the State Department and various non‑U.S. enforcement agencies. 

Mr. Buretta has served as an expert witness in foreign proceedings, on the subject of U.S. law, policies and practices in enforcement of the FCPA and as to U.S. anti-money laundering laws.

Mr. Buretta has also served as a monitor in separate appointments by the U.S. Department of Justice and by the U.S. Department of Transportation.  In December 2015, Mr. Buretta was selected by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) to serve as the compliance monitor for TK Holdings, Inc. (“Takata”) and numerous affected auto manufacturers as part of a settlement agreement and consolidated remedy order concerning the recall of certain of Takata’s ammonium nitrate airbag inflators.  NHTSA has described the recall as the largest and most complex in U.S. history.  In April 2017, Mr. Buretta was appointed by the U.S. Department of Justice to serve as compliance monitor regarding the worldwide operations of Takata Corporation, headquartered in Japan.


Mr. Buretta first joined Cravath in 1996 where he was trained as a litigation associate working on private disputes involving securities fraud and complex commercial litigation.  Following a one-year clerkship with Hon. Peter K. Leisure of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Mr. Buretta returned to the Firm in 1999.  He left the Firm in 2002 and served for over ten years in the Department of Justice.

Mr. Buretta completed his time at the DOJ as the number-two ranking official in the Criminal Division as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Chief of Staff.  In this role, he oversaw nearly 600 prosecutors on complex matters involving corporate fraud, FCPA, insider trading, health care fraud, money laundering, Bank Secrecy Act, trade sanctions, asset forfeiture, cybercrime, intellectual property theft, public corruption and other criminal investigations, and interacted with the Department’s Antitrust, Civil, Environmental, National Security and Tax Divisions on matters of mutual interest.

From 2011 to February 2013, Mr. Buretta served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General (DAAG), the third-highest ranking position in the Criminal Division.  In this position, he oversaw the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, among others, including the Fraud Section’s FCPA Unit, and supervised the preparation of the DOJ and SEC’s Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, issued in November 2012.  Mr. Buretta also represented the Department before Congress and the Sentencing Commission with regard to the Department’s white collar crime enforcement efforts.  In 2011, Mr. Buretta was appointed Director of the Deepwater Horizon Task Force, a leadership position he continued to fill while serving as DAAG.

Prior to joining the Criminal Division, Mr. Buretta served for eight years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, and was Chief of the Office’s Organized Crime and Racketeering Section from 2008 to 2011.  Mr. Buretta also served in the Office’s National Security Section, where he handled investigations under the Anti-Terrorism Act and Espionage Act, among others.  He served as the prosecutor in ten trials during this time.

During his tenure at the DOJ, Mr. Buretta earned the Department’s highest commendations, including the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service and the FBI Director’s Award for Excellence.

He rejoined Cravath in November 2013.

Mr. Buretta was recognized by the 2016 and 2017 editions of Benchmark Litigation as a national Litigation Star in the area of white collar crime and investigations.  Mr. Buretta was listed among the leading white collar attorneys in the United States in Euromoney Legal Media Group’s 2016 Guide to the World’s Leading White Collar Crime Lawyers.  He was selected by Lawdragon as one of “500 Leading Lawyers in America” from 2014 through 2017.  The Legal 500 United States recognized Mr. Buretta for his investigations and litigation work in the securities area in 2015 and 2016 and in white collar criminal defense in 2016.  Along with his colleagues, he earned the Firm recognition in 2015 and 2016 in the Corporate Crime & Investigations category of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.  Chambers USA describes Mr. Buretta as “a leading practitioner at the firm with extensive experience in internal and government investigations.”  The Ethisphere Institute named Mr. Buretta to its list of “Attorneys Who Matter” from 2014 through 2016, including as a “Top Gun.”


Mr. Buretta is a member of the Board of Trustees for Citizens Budget Commission.


Mr. Buretta received his B.A. in 1993 from the University of California at Berkeley. In 1996 he received his J.D. cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center, where he earned the Edward Allen Tamm Award and was Editor‑in‑Chief of the Georgetown Law Journal’s Annual Review of Criminal Procedure.

United States: Antitrust

Civil litigation/class actions

Within: Civil litigation/class actions

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP’s practice is led by Christine Varney, a former US Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust and FTC Commissioner. The firm has a particularly strong following of clients from the financial services sector; John Buretta is representing Nomura International in nine consolidated class actions involving allegations of collusion and price-fixing over SSA bonds. In another highlight, Daniel Slifkin and Michael Paskin are acting for Morgan Stanley in Re Interest Rate Swaps Antitrust Litigation. Kevin Orsini has experience representing American Express in high-profile antitrust disputes. Elsewhere, Rowan Wilson is representing Mylan Laboratories in a consolidated set of class actions centered on alleged reverse payment settlement agreements between Cephalon and various generic drugs manufacturers (including Mylan). Evan Chesler and Peter Barbur are other notable individuals.

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United States: Dispute resolution

Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense

Within: Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP’s lawyers are ‘succinct, refined, user-friendly, and very well versed in the ways of the regulators’. The firm’s work for Credit Suisse includes litigation concerning its sale of RMBS and alleged violations of the Anti-Terrorism Act, and it is defending Novartis against allegations of FCA and Anti-Kickback Statute violations. Other clients include Dreamworks Animation, which the firm is advising on an SEC investigation into its accounting. Key figures in the team, which is based in New York, include the ‘sophisticated, sensible and persuasiveJohn Buretta, Benjamin Gruenstein, David Stuart, Evan Chesler and Rachel Skaistis.

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Financial services: litigation

Within: Financial services: litigation

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP provides ‘thoughtful and thorough advice’ to a broad range of financial institutions on their most strategically important disputes. Noted for his ‘credibility and creativity’, Richard Clary has led Credit Suisse to numerous important victories in RMBS cases and recently represented it in an appellate hearing seeking to overturn the decision to deny the bank’s motion to dismiss - on the grounds of an expired limitation period - the $11bn damages case brought against it by the New York Attorney General. Alongside John Buretta and Michael Reynolds, Clary is also defending Credit Suisse in a sanctions case brought by US soldiers wounded in Iraq, alleging that it, along with other European banks, helped process monetary transactions for certain Iranian banks, which in turn were accused of funding Iran-backed terrorist groups. Buretta is also defending Nomura as one of the defendants accused of colluding to rig the agency bond market. Michael Paskin recently received plaudits for his innovative representation of the Argentinian government in its long-running creditor dispute, which enabled it to return to the global capital markets and thereby pay back its creditors. Daniel Slifkin was also involved in that case and is a key partner in the team that includes the ‘hardworking and astuteRobert Baron and Lauren Moskowitz.

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Securities litigation: defense

Within: Securities litigation: defense

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York ‘certainly belongs in the top echelon of securities litigation firms’. Its continues to play a major role in high-profile cases such as In re Akorn, Inc Securities Litigation, in which head of litigation Daniel Slifkin, Antony Ryan and David Stuart are representing Akorn in a case alleging misrepresentation by the company and its board. The firm’s respected regulatory enforcement team is handling an SEC investigation into Akorn’s accounting restatements. Michael Paskin and Timothy Cameron’s recent highlights include Willis v Big Lots, Inc, et al, in which plaintiffs allege Big Lots made false statements about its financial performance and that executives earned $37m from insider trading. Richard Clary’s strong track record in RMBS matters continues with cases for Credit Suisse such as People of the State of New York v Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, et al.Robert Baron is acting for Deutsche Bank Securities and Credit Suisse Securities; Evan Chesler and Karin DeMasi are handling the appeal of a class action against DreamWorks Animation; and Sandra Goldstein won dismissal of a case against ADT Corporation’s former CFO. The regulatory enforcement team has standout practitioners in Rachel Skaistis, John Buretta and Benjamin Gruenstein.

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