Mr John Adams > McGuireWoods LLP > Richmond, United States > Lawyer Profile

McGuireWoods LLP
United States
John Adams photo

Work Department

Government Investigations and White Collar Litigation




John is the Chair of the firm’s Government Investigations and White Collar Litigation Department, which was recently recognized by Law360 as a “Practice Group of the Year.” Drawing on his deep experience in both private practice and government service, John represents corporations, boards, and executives facing significant legal, regulatory, and reputational risk in criminal, civil, and congressional proceedings. He has resolved complex investigations through innovative settlements and successfully tried cases as both a federal prosecutor and defense counsel. He recently secured a full acquittal for a bank executive following a 10-week jury trial in a case brought by the Department of Justice. In addition to his Government Investigations practice, John is frequently called upon by firm clients to brief and argue appeals in courts across the country. He routinely advises clients with matters pending before the United States Supreme Court and has briefed matters before the Court, and he has also represented clients in dealings with the Solicitor General’s Office. He is a Co-Chair of the firm’s Appeals and Strategic Issues Team. Prior to joining McGuireWoods, John served in positions of significant responsibility throughout the government. As Associate Counsel to the President of the United States, he represented the Office of the President in congressional investigations and other sensitive matters. His primary responsibility included handling issues arising out of the Department of Defense and State Department. In addition, he coordinated with the Department of Justice on litigation implicating the Office of the President. And as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, he tried cases ranging from fraud to violent crime and managed complex grand jury investigations involving fraud, public corruption, and other matters. John served as law clerk to Associate Justice Clarence Thomas on the U.S. Supreme Court from 2006 to 2007 and to Circuit Judge David B. Sentelle on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit from 2003 to 2004. Prior to becoming an attorney, he served as a United States Naval Officer from 1996 to 2000. John is the firm-wide Hiring Partner and Co-Chairs McGuireWoods’ Recruiting Committee. He is involved in the community and has previously served as an adjunct professor of Appellate and Trial Advocacy at the University of Richmond T.C. Williams School of Law. He serves as a trustee of the VMI Foundation.

Lawyer Rankings

United States > Dispute resolution > Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense

Clients praise the ‘experienced‘ team at McGuireWoods LLP for its ‘trustworthiness‘ and the ‘exceptional‘ quality of its leadership, service and advice. In a significant individual representation, Washington DC’s George Terwilliger and Benjamin Hatch represented former US Representative Aaron Schock following a 24-count DOJ indictment on fraud and false statement charges arising from his official expense reimbursements and subsequent reports to the Federal Election Committee; following motions to dismiss, two counts were removed from the indictment, while the team continues to represent the client in a preliminary criminal investigation launched by the DOJ. In Richmond, Richard Cullen and Patrick Rowan are also handling a number of representations on behalf of public figures in high-stakes investigations. The group also represents several multinationals, including corporations and financial institutions, in state, federal and cross-border investigations. Charlotte’s Kenneth Bell, Richmond’s John Adams and practice chair Todd Steggerda in Washington DC are also names to note. In a major hire, Emily Gordy joined the Washington DC office from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, where she managed enforcement operations.