David Pressman ()
Boies, Schiller & Flexner said Thursday that it has hired David Pressman, a senior U.S. envoy to the United Nations who has close ties to actor George Clooney and his wife, international human rights lawyer Amal Clooney.
Pressman, 39, is expected to join Boies Schiller’s New York office as a partner on Monday. He is leaving his government post after more than two years as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. for Special Political Affairs, where he was close deputy to U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power and played a key role in U.N. Security Council negotiations.
Boies Schiller touted Pressman’s experience as a boon for sovereign clients and others facing international litigation or cross-border investigations.
“Ambassador Pressman is an extraordinary lawyer and a formidable advocate,” chairman David Boies said in a statement. ”His counsel has been sought out by some of the most influential people in the world.”
In addition to working at Boies Schiller, Pressman will serve as executive director of the Clooney Foundation for Justice, an organization recently established by George and Amal Clooney. Pressman had previously partnered with the actor and others in Hollywood—Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle and producer Jerry Weintraub—to create a human rights advocacy group called Not On Our Watch.
Pressman said Thursday that he decided to join Boies Schiller because of its reputation as a home to top-flight litigators.
“I really missed representing clients in tough disputes, important disputes, as a litigator,” Pressman said. Of Boies Schiller, he said, “These guys are the real deal. They’re committed; they’re serious.”
Pressman also said he expects to maintain a focus on public service and human rights work while at the firm, in part through the Clooney Foundation.
“It is a benefit to any organization, including a law firm, to have senior leadership and partners that are engaged in tying to address the problems of the world, in addition to being engaged in trying to solve their clients’ problems,” he said.
Pressman served as an aide to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright during the Clinton administration. He later challenged criminal convictions as a staff counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union in Chicago and spent several years at the firm of prominent New York criminal defense and civil rights lawyer Ronald Kuby.
Before his posting to the U.N., Pressman served as an assistant secretary in the Department of Homeland Security and as a member of President Barack Obama’s atrocities prevention board. Prior to that, he worked with the White House’s National Security Council, focusing on war crimes and atrocities.