Barak Cohen is a partner in Perkins Coie’s White Collar & Investigations practice, and the Litigation Lead in the firm's Washington, D.C. office. As a former prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice, Barak led numerous white collar investigations in jurisdictions throughout the U.S. His background informs his representation of companies and individuals in international and U.S.-based internal investigations and high-stakes government investigations involving the Department of Justice, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Treasury Department, inspectors general, state authorities and regulatory agencies. Barak also represents clients in the parallel civil litigation that often accompanies government investigations. His government background gives him particular experience in providing compliance advice and drafting policies that help companies anticipate and avoid government scrutiny in highly regulated industries, including the healthcare and defense industries, among others.
Barak’s experience has most recently focused on matters involving the False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute; international investigations relating to foreign corruption offenses, such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and UK Bribery Act, and export control violations in diverse locations such as Latin America, Asia, Russia and Europe; bid-rigging; conflicts of interest and corruption involving senior government officials; election crimes; and trade secret theft under the Economic Espionage Act. Barak has particular experience in highly regulated industries, such as pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing and sales, and the defense industry. He has also represented companies in the cannabis/marijuana industry (including CBD and hemp), as well as third parties seeking to do business with those companies and helps them navigate the industry’s complex regulatory landscape. National news media regularly call on Barak to provide commentary and insight regarding current legal issues.
Public and Private Sector Experience
Barak previously served as a prosecutor in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section, where he investigated, prosecuted and tried sensitive white-collar criminal offenses involving public corruption on a national level. In jurisdictions throughout the country, he tried numerous cases to verdict before juries, argued and drafted appeals and complex motions, and managed sensitive grand-jury investigations that necessitated coordinating multiple law-enforcement agencies and government regulators. These matters often concerned high-profile figures, such as presidential appointees, senior defense officials, government contractors, judges, legislators, lobbyists and political aides.
Before serving in the Public Integrity Section, Barak prosecuted cybercrimes. In that role, he was detailed to the FBI’s Cyber Division, instructed prosecutors and law-enforcement agents regarding privacy law and the search-and-seizure of internet and computer evidence, and gained experience examining and cross-examining internet and computer forensic experts at trial. He also gained significant experience presenting evidence and making arguments related to complex technologies to judges and juries.
For his work as a prosecutor, the U.S. Department of Justice recognized Barak with multiple Special Achievement Awards and incentive bonuses.
Distinguished Military Service
Before becoming a lawyer, Barak graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. After being commissioned as a U.S. Army infantry officer and graduating from Ranger School, he led two platoons in the 18th Airborne Corps’ 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized), then the nation’s sole rapidly deployable mechanized unit, through numerous deployments, including operations along the Iraqi border.
Barak later was selected to serve on the regimental staff of The Old Guard, the U.S. Army’s Presidential escort and ceremonial unit, where he rose to the rank of captain. Prior to law school, Barak earned an M.A. in National Security Studies from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, and served as a defense policy consultant in the private sector.
- Listed in Expert Guides (Euromoney Institutional Investor’s Legal Media Group), "Rising Stars," 2015 - 2016
- Listed in Washington D.C. Super Lawyers, White Collar Crimes, 2015 - 2018
- Recognized with three U.S. Department of Justice Special Achievement Awards, 2009 - 2013
- Edward Bennett Williams American Inn of Court, Member
- American Bar Association, Member
- District of Columbia Bar Association, Member
- The Barristers
- West Point Society of the District of Columbia, Member
- Wounded Warrior Mentor Program, Volunteer
- 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