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Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

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John Buretta

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Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

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John D. Buretta is a partner in Cravath’s Litigation Department and a former senior U.S. Department of Justice official. His practice focuses on advising corporations, board members and senior executives with respect to internal investigations, criminal defense, regulatory compliance and related civil litigation.

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, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. He has represented clients before the U.S. Department of Justice headquarter’s Criminal and Antitrust Divisions in Washington, D.C., numerous United States Attorney’s Offices around the country, the SEC’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. and various SEC regional offices, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security, the State Department and non‑U.S. enforcement agencies. He has handled a variety of sensitive investigative matters concerning the FCPA, antitrust laws, securities fraud and disclosure regulations, money laundering and anti-money laundering controls, trade sanctions, export controls, cyber intrusion and tax compliance.

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 as a “National Star” in the area of white collar crime and investigations by the 2016 through 2018 editions of Benchmark Litigation. He was listed among the leading attorneys in the United States in Euromoney Legal Media Group’s 2016 through 2018 Guide to the World’s Leading White Collar Crime Lawyers. Describing him as “sophisticated, sensible and persuasive,” The Legal 500 United States recommended Mr. Buretta for his work in securities litigation (2015‑2017), white collar criminal defense (2016‑2017), antitrust (2017) and financial services litigation (2017). Chambers USA states Mr. Buretta is “very gifted, very bright and has a great strategic mind” and “is sensible about how the leadership of the Justice Department view cases,” ranking him as a leading lawyer in FCPA and White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations in 2018. Along with his colleagues, he earned the Firm a top‑tier ranking in Criminal Defense: White‑Collar in the U.S. News‑Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” survey in 2018 and recognition in the investigations and criminal defense categories of both Chambers USA (2015-2018)and Legal 500 US (2016-2017) and the FCPA category of Chambers USA (2018). From 2014 through 2018, Mr. Buretta was selected by Lawdragon as one of “500 Leading Lawyers in America” and was named to The Ethisphere Institute’s list of “Attorneys Who Matter,” 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: Dispute resolution

Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense

Within: Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP’s New York-based team is noted for its particular strength in FCPA, accounting fraud and cybercrime matters. David Stuart and Rachel Skaistis successfully represented Telia Company in a three-year, multinational SEC and DOJ investigation in connection with anti-corruption and AML compliance, resulting in a global no-monitor settlement. ‘Deeply experienced’ practice head John Buretta assisted Dutch energy company, SBM Offshore, with reaching a settlement with the DOJ in connection with legacy bribery issues in Brazil, Equatorial Guinea, Angola and elsewhere - including a deferred prosecution agreement. The group also successfully defended various financial institutions in investigations and at trial against allegations of processing monetary transactions for certain Iranian commercial banks that are purportedly used by designated terrorist groups under the Anti-Terrorism Act. Other key figures include David Stuart, John White, Benjamin Gruenstein and Gary Bornstein.

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