Midsize law firm Wiggin and Dana has added David Laufman, the former U.S. Justice Department official who oversaw investigations in 2016 involving both Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and Russian election interference.
Laufman joined Wiggin and Dana on May 1 as co-chair of its national security practice group. He is also a member of the firm’s white-collar defense, investigations and corporate compliance practice group and its international trade compliance group.
“Wiggin really presents a terrific opportunity to return to a larger-scale practice but in an environment where there is extensive support, not just from an expertise standpoint but culturally,” Laufman said.
Laufman joined Main Justice in December 2014 as chief of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section. His arrival coincided with the federal government’s more aggressive approach to enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. He left the department in February 2018 and returned to solo practice.
Last year, Laufman said he “wrestled for months” with whether to return to a bigger firm. On Monday, he said that he had continued to mull other opportunities as he was working in his solo shop, but was ultimately persuaded that he could accomplish more alongside Wiggin’s “elite cadre of lawyers” than he could on his own. He declined to identify other firms he considered joining.
Laufman said he was attracted by Wiggin’s size, which he said he thought was small enough—around 140 total attorneys—to allow the firm’s lawyers to truly know their partners and associates and to deploy the firm’s resources with precision. He said the firm’s platform to undertake large-scale engagements was important to him, and he noted that the firm had a commitment to grow its ranks in D.C. and across the country.
He said he thought the Washington office of Wiggin was particularly well equipped to handle regulatory enforcement matters, compliance counseling for issues involving the Foreign Agents Registration Act and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, and clients in need of counsel regarding congressional investigations. He said the existing international trade component of Wiggin drew him to the firm, and he praised Wiggin’s “immediate receptivity to creating a new national security law practice at my suggestion.”
“David’s commitment, dedication and success, coupled with his extraordinarily varied background in both the public and private sectors make him a perfect fit for our firm as we continue to expand our white-collar defense and international trade compliance practice groups,” said James Glasser, Wiggin and Dana’s litigation department chair, in a statement.
“Given David’s recent responsibility for overseeing the Justice Department’s enforcement of U.S. export control and sanctions laws, as well as the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), he is ideal to co-chair our national security practice group where he will have the opportunity to serve our clients using his wealth of knowledge and experience,” Glasser continued.
Wiggin is a Connecticut-based firm with lawyers spread across the state and in offices in Florida, New York and Washington, D.C. The firm handles matters across a variety of practice areas, including litigation and regulatory compliance, corporate work, health care, labor and employment, real estate and private client services.
Prior to his entering the Justice Department in 2014, Laufman maintained a solo practice for three years after serving nearly two years as associate general counsel for the inspector general for Iraq reconstruction. He was also previously a white-collar litigation partner at Am Law 200 firm Kelley Drye & Warren from 2007 to 2010, an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia from 2003 to 2007, and chief of staff to the deputy U.S. attorney general from 2001 to 2003.