Joon Kim Returns to Cleary Gottlieb

April 2, 2018

Joon Kim, former Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, has rejoined the firm’s New York office as a partner in the enforcement and litigation group.

From March 2017 to January 2018, Joon served as the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. As the most senior federal law enforcement officer in the district, he oversaw all criminal and civil litigation conducted on behalf of the United States and supervised the work of approximately 220 Assistant U.S. Attorneys handling a wide range of cases, including securities fraud, cybercrime, domestic and foreign corruption, money laundering, tax litigation, terrorism, racketeering, and Bank Secrecy Act and sanctions violations, as well as civil rights, civil enforcement, and environmental matters. Before becoming Acting U.S. Attorney, he served for four years in various leadership positions in the office, including as the Deputy U.S. Attorney, Chief of the Criminal Division, and Chief Counsel to the U.S. Attorney.

Joon originally joined Cleary in 1997 as an associate before leaving to serve as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 2000 to 2006. He returned to the firm in 2006 and was elected partner in 2009.

“I am very excited to return to private practice at Cleary after five rewarding years of public service at the U.S. Attorney’s Office. What originally attracted me to the firm – and draws me back to it – is its unmatched mix of legal excellence, global reach, and collegial culture,” Joon said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to help our clients navigate their most challenging legal problems and disputes.”

Cleary enforcement and litigation partner Lev Dassin noted, “Joon is highly regarded and sought-after for his leadership, integrity, experience, and litigation acumen. He will be an excellent complement to our strong global enforcement and litigation team, and we are thrilled to have him as our colleague again.”

“Joon is one of the most accomplished and distinguished litigators in New York, and the firm could not be more pleased to welcome him back,” said the firm’s managing partner, Michael Gerstenzang. “Joon’s experience at the highest levels of government will enable him to provide exceptional insights and advice to our clients.”

With Joon’s return to Cleary, the firm now has 11 former federal prosecutors in its global enforcement and litigation practice, including two recent Acting U.S. Attorneys, two Deputy U.S. Attorneys, and three Chiefs of the Criminal Division for the Southern District of New York, as well as several former senior officials at the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, and the Federal Trade Commission.  The firm’s white-collar defense and investigations practice has been recognized as a top tier practice in the United States and globally.

Joon will focus on white-collar criminal defense, internal corporate investigations, regulatory enforcement, and crisis management, as well as complex commercial litigation and arbitration.