Press Release

Prominent Federal Prosecutor and SDNY Leader Joins Cooley

Firm continues expansion of its elite litigation department and white collar growth with addition from US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York
July 13, 2021

New York – July 13, 2021 – Cooley continues to bolster its acclaimed global litigation department with the addition of Russell Capone, a top litigator and former federal prosecutor, who joins the firm as a partner in New York. Capone arrives after more than a decade serving at the highest levels at the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, most recently as chief counsel to the US attorney and previously as chief of the Public Corruption Unit. He adds to the wave of recent lateral additions who have joined the firm from senior government positions, peer law firms and leading technology companies to enhance Cooley’s diverse, next-generation litigation practice. Capone will focus his practice on white collar defense and internal investigations, complex litigation and trial work.

“Russell is an immensely talented trial lawyer who has investigated and prosecuted the most high-profile and complex cases in the Southern District of New York,” said Andrew Goldstein, head of Cooley’s white collar defense & investigations practice group. “In addition to his track record of success, he is known for his integrity, character and exceptional judgment. I could not be more thrilled to be working alongside him again.”

Michael Attanasio, chair of Cooley’s global litigation department, added, “Russell’s extensive experience successfully handling sensitive and high-stakes matters further enhances our growing white collar defense & investigations practice, and adds to our impressive roster of first-chair trial lawyers. We’re excited to welcome him to our growing bench of seasoned advocates and sophisticated strategists.”

As chief counsel to the US attorney, a position on SDNY’s senior executive staff, Capone assisted and advised the US attorney in overseeing all aspects of the district’s most significant criminal and civil matters, including those involving white collar and cybercrime, securities fraud, public corruption, terrorism, civil rights violations, violent crime and sex trafficking. In addition, he helped coordinate efforts between SDNY and senior officials at the Department of Justice, as well as with numerous other federal agencies. As chief of the Public Corruption Unit for three years – a role in which he succeeded Goldstein – Capone oversaw 17 assistant US attorneys and led numerous high-stakes prosecutions, including those of Michael Cohen, Jeffrey Epstein and Michael Avenatti, as well as Rudy Giuliani associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. He also successfully prosecuted top corporate executives and NCAA basketball coaches in a pay-to-play bribery scandal, as well as the founder of a billion-dollar hedge fund and the president of the country’s largest municipal jail union.

“I’ve enjoyed working across the table from Cooley’s highly regarded white collar lawyers during my tenure at the US Attorney’s Office, and have long been impressed by the breadth and depth of the expertise at the firm, along with its collaborative and energetic culture,” said Capone. “This is the perfect opportunity to reenter private practice, and I’m excited to leverage my trial skills as part of a diverse team that guides our clients through their most significant legal challenges.”

Capone earned his JD from Harvard Law School. Prior to his career in public service, he clerked for US District Judge Sidney Stein of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York and worked as a litigation associate at Davis Polk.

In and out of the courtroom, Cooley’s white collar defense & investigations team is well known for counseling clients in high-stakes, bet-the-company matters, and remains the go-to firm for the world’s most dynamic companies as they navigate the ever-increasing complexities of the legal and regulatory landscape. The team is uniquely positioned to handle sensitive investigations, with a proven track record of aggressively advocating for its industry-leading clients before government agencies and at trial. Cooley’s global litigation department continues to add elite and next-generation talent across key markets, including numerous former government lawyers, such as a former acting associate attorney general of the US, a leading lawyer from Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation, and numerous senior prosecutors and supervisors from the Department of Justice and US attorney’s offices around the country.

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Press coverage

"SDNY Veteran Jumps to Cooley, Further Boosting Its White-Collar Practice" – New York Law Journal

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