King & Spalding today announced that Zack Harmon has returned as a partner in the firm’s Special Matters and Government Investigations team, following his most recent role as Chief of Staff of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Harmon will be based in the firm’s office in Washington, D.C.
Harmon will resume his extensive government investigations practice at the firm which will include a national security focus as he provides cutting-edge strategic guidance to clients – both within the U.S. and abroad – about U.S. national security priorities, risks and potential areas of exposure. Harmon will counsel clients as they navigate new and emerging risks associated with a wide array of acquisition, investment, contracting, procurement/supply chain, and compliance issues. He will also help clients address their national security issues with senior leadership throughout the U.S. government.
“Zack’s service at the FBI comes at a critical time in our country’s efforts to combat geo-political, cyber, and other national security threats against our most important industries and business interests,” said Wick Sollers, head of the Government Matters Practice. “Zack is the right person at the right time to lead and grow our National Security practice, which our clients have identified as an area of significant need.”
Harmon’s practice also will complement the firm’s International Trade Team, which advises clients in expanding areas such as transactions reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). In addition, he will resume his extensive Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) practice, which focuses on advising clients ranging from individuals to Fortune 100 companies on all aspects of the FCPA. He has defended multi-national clients in dozens of high-profile investigations and enforcement proceedings by U.S. and foreign regulators, including DOJ, the SEC and the UK’s Serious Fraud Office. He also has conducted extensive internal corporate investigations in over 30 countries.
Harmon’s focus on national security began with his appointment in 2000 to the presidential commission that investigated the FBI’s national security and counterintelligence programs in the wake of FBI Special Agent Robert Hanssen’s espionage and with Harmon’s leadership role regarding DOJ’s extensive mission shift following 9/11 as counsel to then Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson.
Harmon first joined King & Spalding in the mid-1990s before stepping away from the firm to serve in his first government position as a prosecutor at the Justice Department. Among other roles while at DOJ, he served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia and Trial Attorney on the Enron Task Force. He returned to King & Spalding in 2003, becoming partner and subsequently deputy leader of the firm’s Special Matters and Government Investigations group. Harmon joined the FBI as Chief of Staff in January 2018.
While at the FBI, he played a senior leadership role in connection with cases across the full spectrum of government investigations. He worked closely with senior officials at DOJ, the SEC, CIA, NSA, DNI, DHS, Treasury, DOD, Congress and other components of the U.S. and foreign governments in connection with hundreds of investigations and other key matters.
Harmon is a graduate of Princeton University, cum laude, and received his J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.
“Zack was a star at the firm before he left, and given his elite FCPA practice that will be supplemented by his unique national security insights, we are excited for his return,” added Mark Jensen, Office Managing Partner in Washington, D.C. “We actively support our lawyers who serve in public service roles, with FBI Director Chris Wray and now Paul Murphy, who succeeded Zack as FBI Chief of Staff, both joining the agency from King & Spalding. It is an honored tradition that we look forward to continuing.”
“Working at the FBI was a deeply-fulfilling privilege, and I am pleased to return to King & Spalding to help our clients face an entirely new set of legal and national security challenges,” Harmon commented. “The firm has seen many exciting developments in just the couple of years I have been away, but one constant remains — the quality of the lawyering and the teamwork they display every day to achieve the best results for their clients.”