Professional Biography
Image of Barak Cohen

Barak Cohen Partner



Barak Cohen represents two kinds of clients: companies and individuals facing government enforcement actions and investigations in highly regulated industries, particularly the healthcare and government contracting industries, and companies that need strategic business advice regarding compliance and regulatory matters in the cannabis industry. Barak is a partner in the White Collar & Investigations practice, and co-chair of the firm’s Cannabis Law group. He also works with the firm's Digital Media & Entertainment, Gaming & Sports industry group as the co-lead of the Gaming vertical, providing regulatory review and counseling to clients in the regulated gaming industry, including matters involving gambling and sports betting.

A former prosecutor in the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Barak led numerous white-collar investigations throughout the United States. That inside experience informs Barak’s representation of companies and individuals in diverse matters that touch on alleged foreign and domestic fraud and bribery, financial misconduct, tax crimes, false healthcare and government contracting claims, campaign finance and election crimes, antitrust crimes, and environmental crimes. Barak has particular experience representing companies that do business with the government, such as technology companies, medical labs, medical device companies, and pharmaceutical companies, and in investigations regarding the False Claims Act (FCA), the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS), and the Eliminating Kickbacks in Recovery Act (EKRA), as well as in investigations led by agency inspectors general. He has also represented multinational companies in sensitive international investigations involving international corruptions laws, such as the Foreign Corrupt Bribery Act (FCPA) and the U.K. Bribery Act. Notably, Barak’s work has included representing high-profile public officials, including multiple sitting members of Congress, in investigations regarding alleged campaign offenses and election crimes, as well as in state and federal ethics investigations. Barak is a co-chair of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Public Corruption Sub-Committee.

With respect to his cannabis practice, Barak was quick to identify the growth potential in the cannabis industry. He works with well-established international brands, multistate operators, and startups, advising on a wide breadth of matters (including marijuana, CBD (cannabidiol), CBG (cannabigerol), and hemp products and services) that intersect with other diverse industries, ranging from e-commerce and technology platforms that facilitate cannabis transactions, to product-handling dispensaries and brands. He is a member of the board of directors of the U.S. Cannabis Council, a vice-chair of the ABA’s Cannabis Law Sub-Committee, and a former member of the National Cannabis Industry Association’s Policy Council. A recognized thought leader in cannabis matters, he edited and co-authored the first-of-its kind treatise, Cannabis Law: A Primer on Federal and State Law Regarding Marijuana, Hemp, and CBD, published by the ABA in February 2021.

Before becoming an attorney, Barak served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army. He is the co-founder of Perkins Coie’s Veterans Resource Group. Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business has recognized Barak in two areas: (1) Litigation: White-Collar Crime and Government Investigations and (2) Cannabis Law: Eastern United States. Commentators have noted that “he is very savvy," and that "Barak is a fantastic lawyer, cool under pressure and laser-focused."

Chambers USA 2022

Ranked in Chambers USA

Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations
Cannabis Law: Eastern United States

Professional Recognition

  • Listed in Chambers USA "America's Leading Lawyers" for Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations, 2022; Cannabis Law: Eastern United States, 2021 – 2022
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America: Criminal Defense: White-Collar, 2020  2023
  • Listed in Expert Guides (Euromoney Institutional Investor’s Legal Media Group), "Rising Stars," 2015  2016
  • Listed in Super Lawyers Magazine as a "Washington D.C. Super Lawyers," for White Collar Crimes, 2015  2022
  • Recognized with three U.S. Department of Justice Special Achievement Awards, 2009  2013

Professional Leadership

  • United States Cannabis Council (USCC) Board of Directors, Member
  • ABA Committee on Cannabis Law and Policy, Vice-Chair
  • National Cannabis Industry Association Policy Council,  Former Member
  • Public Corruption Subcommittee of the ABA’s Criminal Justice Committee, Co-Chair
  • Edward Bennett Williams American Inn of Court, Member
  • American Bar Association, Member 
  • District of Columbia Bar Association, Member
  • Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Executive Leadership Program and Advanced Leadership Program

Community Involvement

  • The Barristers
  • West Point Society of the District of Columbia, Member
  • Wounded Warrior Mentor Program, Volunteer

Related Employment

  • U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Washington, D.C., Trial Attorney, 2008  2014
  • Zuckerman Spaeder LLP, 2006  2008
  • Kirkland & Ellis LLP, 2003  2006


  • Hon. Loren Smith, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, 2002 - 2003





Bar and Court Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • California
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims


  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., Dean's List, 2002
  • Georgetown University, M.A., National Security Studies, 1997
  • United States Military Academy, West Point, B.S., Literature / Systems Engineering, 1992


Bio In Other Languages

Simplified Chinese Bio | 中文简体