Former FBI director Robert Mueller.
Former FBI director Robert Mueller. (Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/NLJ.)

Former Federal Bureau of Investigations Director Robert Mueller III has joined Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr as an equity partner, the firm said Monday

Mueller left the FBI in September 2013 after serving as director since September 2001. He started a week before the attacks of Sept. 11, and led the bureau as it shifted focus from domestic crime investigations to counterterrorism.

Earlier, Mueller worked as a U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California, an assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice and in private practice, including at Hale and Dorr, which later combined with Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering.

Mueller’s litigation background will dovetail with the firm’s strength in white-collar law, according to firm comanaging partner Robert Novick. His skill in leading an agency will help him work with clients and the government during internal investigations and in crisis management, Novick added. Mueller will also bring expertise in cybersecurity and data privacy, he said.

“We fully expect companies that are not current clients at the firm will reach out to him for advice, and that companies who are already clients at the firm will reach out to him for his expertise,” Novick said in an interview.

Mueller wasn’t available for comment Monday, his first day at Wilmer. He will work in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office and spend some time in its West Coast offices, including Palo Alto, the firm said.

That could enable him to work with Wilmer’s technology clients in the San Francisco Bay Area, including Oracle Corp.

Mueller will continue as a consulting professor at Stanford Law School and executive-in-residence at Georgetown University. Mueller earned his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1973.

Mueller follows another top-level Obama administration official to Wilmer. Former U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar joined as a partner in June.

Contact Katelyn Polantz at kpolantz@alm.com.