Prominent Federal Prosecutor Joins Cooley’s Global Litigation Department in Boston

Boston – October 8, 2021 – Cooley’s litigation department continues to expand its East Coast presence with the addition of former federal prosecutor and US Department of Justice leader Zachary Hafer, who joins the firm as a partner in Boston. He arrives from the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, where he served as chief of the criminal division. Hafer’s significant trial experience complements several recent additions who have joined the firm’s elite, next-generation litigation practice. He will focus his practice on complex litigation, white collar defense and investigations, and trial work.

“Zach has served at the highest levels of government service in one of the most respected US Attorney’s Offices in the country. He has led the investigation and prosecution of some of the highest-profile and complex cases in New England and the US,” said Mike Attanasio, chair of Cooley’s global litigation department. “His reputation as a talented trial lawyer, in addition to being an excellent mentor and colleague, will further support Cooley’s strategic growth in Boston and on the East Coast more broadly. We are thrilled to have him.”

During his 14-year tenure as a federal prosecutor, Hafer tried numerous high-profile criminal matters, including the well-known case against James “Whitey” Bulger, and supervised the investigation and prosecution of many others, including the Varsity Blues college admissions scandal and the landmark healthcare fraud case against several Insys Therapeutics executives. As chief of the criminal division of the US Attorney’s Office, he supervised approximately 100 assistant US attorneys and oversaw all criminal investigations and charging decisions, including nationally recognized prosecutions involving healthcare fraud, public corruption, securities, financial and cyber fraud, and national security.

Hafer earned his JD from the University of Virginia School of Law. He served as a law clerk for the late Judge Shirley W. Kram of the Southern District of New York before joining Debevoise & Plimpton as a litigation associate, a position he held until he joined the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts. Hafer is a two‐time recipient of the prestigious Attorney General’s Award and several other commendations.

“I’ve been impressed by Cooley’s dedication to building out its litigation and white-collar capabilities on the East Coast and nationally,” said Hafer. “I’m excited to join a growing team of top-tier practitioners, many of whom are fellow former federal prosecutors and high-ranking government officials, as Cooley continues to build on its reputation as the destination firm for the most complex litigation.”

In and out of the courtroom, Cooley’s litigation team is uniquely positioned to handle sensitive and high-stakes matters, with a proven track record of aggressively advocating for its industry-leading clients at trial. The firm is well known for counseling clients in white collar matters and investigations, 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. Cooley’s litigation team is quickly expanding with the additions of several elite hires across key markets, including partner Russell Capone – a prominent federal prosecutor who recently joined Cooley’s global litigation practice as a partner in New York – and a trio of talented litigators in Chicago.

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Related Contacts
Zachary R. Hafer Partner Boston