Press Releases

Former DOJ Trial Attorney Barak Cohen Joins Firm’s Expanding White Collar Group

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 13, 2014) - Perkins Coie is pleased to announce that Barak Cohen has joined the firm’s Washington, D.C. office as senior counsel in the firm’s White Collar & Investigations practice.  Cohen was most recently a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Criminal Division, in Washington, D.C.  As a federal prosecutor, he investigated financial crimes involving mail, wire, and honest services fraud; tax offenses; money laundering; Internet crime; the Federal Election Campaign Act; illegal campaign contributions; conflicts-of-interest, tax evasion, and bribery.

“We are delighted to welcome Barak to the firm and to the Washington, D.C. office,” said William Malley, Office Managing Partner of Perkins Coie’s Washington, D.C. office.  “Some of the most significant fraud cases related to large companies and financial institutions are brought by law enforcement authorities and regulators based here in D.C., so having Barak here on the ground will allow us to better serve any clients that might be involved in these kinds of actions.”

In jurisdictions throughout the country, Cohen tried numerous federal cases to verdict before juries, argued and drafted appeals and complex motions involving issues of first impression, managed sensitive grand-jury investigations that necessitated coordinating the efforts of multiple law-enforcement agencies, and conducted parallel investigations with other government regulators.  These investigations often concerned high-profile figures, such as senior defense officials, government contractors, judges, legislators, lobbyists, and political aides.  He has prosecuted white-collar offenses involving public corruption and election law, as well as cybercrime.  In the latter area, he trained law-enforcement officers and prosecutors regarding the search and seizure of digital evidence, and online privacy issues raised by the Electronic Communication Privacy Act (ECPA).  He also coordinated a national online undercover operation in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney General’s Advisory Committee and the FBI’s Cyber Division, and undertook the unprecedented prosecution of a nationwide online criminal enterprise involving dozens of linked viewers committing child sex offenses on a social networking website.  For his work, Cohen received three DOJ Special Achievement Awards during his five years as a federal prosecutor.

Prior to his DOJ service, Cohen was in private practice, defending high-profile clients against such allegations as violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), environmental crimes, and financial fraud.  Immediately following law school, he served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Loren A. Smith of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

Pravin Rao, chair of the firm’s White Collar & Investigations practice said, “Having Barak join us enhances the firm’s white collar practice both in D.C. and on a national level.  His deep experience as a trial attorney in the criminal division of the DOJ gives him great insight into the workings of high-profile investigations and will be extremely beneficial as he represents and defends clients in connection with a variety of allegations.”

Cohen received his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center, his M.A. in National Security Studies from Georgetown University, and his undergraduate degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point.  After graduating from West Point, Cohen rose to the rank of captain and led two platoons in the 18th Airborne Corps’ 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized), the U.S. Army’s sole rapidly deployable mechanized unit, through numerous deployments, including operations along the Iraqi border.  He is a graduate of the U.S. Army's Ranger School and was hand-picked to serve on the regimental staff of the Old Guard, the U.S. Army’s Presidential escort and ceremonial unit.

Outside of the courtroom, Barak instructed law-enforcement officers and prosecutors in the laws regarding the search and seizure of electronic evidence.  He also guest lectures on criminal justice at Harvard College and volunteers in the Wounded Warrior Mentor Program.

Perkins Coie's White Collar & Investigations practice successfully represents companies and individuals in a wide range of complex matters at the federal, state and local levels, and advises clients on all aspects of corporate compliance programs. The firm’s team includes high-profile attorneys with years of experience conducting and evaluating complex investigations and representing clients in high-stakes litigation.  Their ranks include former U.S. Attorneys and Assistant U.S. Attorneys, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Division of Enforcement counsel, a U.S. State Department attorney, state prosecutors, and other former government regulators.  The National Law Journal recently named Perkins Coie’s Chicago practice as its White Collar Department of the Year.

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