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John F. Wood represents clients in their most sensitive matters involving the government. His practice focuses on corporate compliance, internal investigations, advocacy before government agencies, and litigation. He has extensive experience representing clients in matters involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the False Claims Act, international trade controls, securities and accounting matters, and government contracts. He is also Chairman of the firm’s Defense Industry Practice Group.

Mr. Wood’s practice spans the full spectrum of compliance and dispute resolution, including helping corporations develop effective compliance programs, investigating allegations and evidence of misconduct, advocating before government agencies, litigating in court, and post-resolution compliance monitoring. He has conducted numerous corporate internal investigations and represented clients before regulatory and law enforcement agencies. He has also assisted many companies in developing or enhancing their compliance programs and has worked on independent monitorships in matters involving the U.S. Department of Justice, the Securities & Exchange Commission, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, the U.K. Serious Fraud Office, and the United Nations. He has tried cases before juries, argued in U.S. Courts of Appeals, and represented clients in international arbitration proceedings.

Mr. Wood’s work on behalf of clients is informed by his experience from a distinguished career in all three branches of the federal government.  Mr. Wood served in numerous high-level executive branch positions, including U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Deputy Associate Attorney General, Counselor to the U.S. Attorney General, and Deputy General Counsel for the White House Office of Management & Budget. In these positions, he worked with nearly every federal government agency. As U.S. Attorney, Mr. Wood was the chief federal law enforcement official for the Western District of Missouri, supervised a staff of 128 employees, oversaw a broad range of federal criminal prosecutions and civil litigation, and represented the United States at trial and before the U.S. Court of Appeals. He led the largest corporate fraud and securities investigation in the history of the district, resulting in guilty pleas by the former CEO and CFO of a publicly traded company and a multi-million dollar corporate fine. He also supervised numerous other high-profile cases, including cases involving allegations of importation of tainted pet food ingredients from China, funding to benefit a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in Pakistan, money laundering by a former U.S. congressman, international identity theft and tax fraud, steroid trafficking, the hiring of illegal aliens by several companies, and violations of the False Claims Act by a large health care provider.

Mr. Wood also worked in the judicial branch as a law clerk at the Supreme Court of the United States for Justice Clarence Thomas and at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for Judge J. Michael Luttig. He worked in the legislative branch as an aide to U.S. Senator John C. Danforth of Missouri. 

Previous Experience

  • U.S. Attorney, Western District of Missouri, 2007–2009
  • Chief of Staff, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2005–2006
  • Counselor to the Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, 2003–2005
  • Deputy General Counsel in the Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office to the President, 2002–2003
  • Deputy Associate Attorney General & Counsel to the Associate Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, 2001–2002
  • Associate, Kirkland & Ellis, 1998–2001
  • Law Clerk, The Honorable Clarence Thomas, Supreme Court of the United States, 1997–1998
  • Law Clerk, The Honorable J. Michael Luttig, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 1996–1997
  • Legislative Correspondent, Senator John C. Danforth, 1992–1993


  • ​2014 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll, sponsored by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia

Court Admissions

  • United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of International Trade
  • United States District Court for the District of Columbia
  • District of Columbia Court of Appeals
  • Supreme Court of Missouri

Practice Groups and Other Information

Education Information

  • Harvard Law School, J.D., 1996
    magna cum laude
    Articles Chair, Harvard Law Review
  • University of Virginia, B.A., Government & Foreign Affairs, 1992
    with Honors

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia, 1999
  • Missouri, 1998 

Highlighted Matters

Compliance & Investigations

  • Representation of government contractors in numerous False Claims Act internal investigations and before multiple federal agencies
  • Representation of numerous individual executives and directors in SEC investigations
  • Conducted an internal investigation of alleged accounting improprieties on behalf of an energy sector company
  • Conducted an internal investigation regarding revenue recognition issues from a multinational corporation’s Asian operations
  • Conducted a comprehensive compliance review for a leading government contractor
  • Counseled the Boards of Trustees of leading non-profit organizations on governance issues
  • Reviewed and monitored anti-corruption compliance, internal controls, and financial reporting policies and procedures of Innospec Inc. on behalf of the Monitor appointed by the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, and the U.K. Serious Fraud Office
  • Serving as an independent professional ethics and internal compliance expert for a company seeking reinstatement as a United Nations registered vendor
  • Representation of a medical center in a government investigation regarding criminal activity by a former contract employee
  • Conducted an investigation on behalf of a media company regarding the alleged use of fraudulent vendors
  • Representation of a major pharmaceutical company in a worldwide review of its use of distributors
  • Investigation of alleged bribery by a manufacturing and distribution company in China
  • Assisted an international financial services company in annual reviews of its anti-corruption compliance program
  • Representation of a Fortune 500 company in an internal investigation regarding sanctions compliance
  • Representation of a client in parallel criminal and civil export controls investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry & Security
  • Representation of an international oil field services company in a world-wide review for compliance with anti-corruption laws
  • Representation of a Fortune 500 company in its response to a grand jury subpoena related to overseas activity
  • Counseling of a non-profit charitable organization related to anti-corruption laws and overseas activities

Litigation & Arbitration

  • Representation of a U.S. defense contractor in international arbitration proceeding against the Government of Venezuela
  • Representation of a European-based company in multiple anti-dumping cases against the U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Representation of the Government of Canada in an international arbitration proceeding against the United States under the Softwood Lumber Agreement
  • Representation of the Trustee for the liquidation of Lehman Brothers Inc. in a multi-billion dollar dispute with a major financial institution
  • Representation of U.S.-based companies in response to inquiries from FINRA
  • Representation of a Fortune 500 company in an antitrust and contract-based challenge to a proposed merger between competitors
  • Representation of an industry group in U.S. v. Microsoft
  • Representation of a Fortune 500 company in litigation against the U.S. government related to the cost of environmental cleanup of a World War II era industrial site
  • Pro bono representation of a religious organization related to the constitutionality of a local zoning ordinance

Published Treatises

  • Anti-Corruption Law and Compliance: Guide to the FCPA and Beyond (Bloomberg BNA, 2014).

Highlighted Publications

  • Co-author, “NY Financial Compliance Landscape May Get Treacherous,” (Law360, April 22, 2015).
  • Co-author, Update to Corporate Governance: Avoiding and Responding to Misconduct (Law Journal-Seminars Press, 2010).
  • Co-author, “The International Perspective: Lessons from US Authorities’ Enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,” Lissack and Horlick on Bribery (LexisNexis 2011).
  • “The FCPA & the Globalization of Law Enforcement,” Tendencias (August 2009).
  • “Case Comment: Missouri v. Jenkins,” 109 Harvard Law Review 239 (1995).
  • “Book Note: The Role of Natural Law in the American Revolution,” 108 Harvard Law Review 1202 (1995).

Highlighted Lectures

  • “Corporate Compliance with DHS Rules and Regulations” (10th Annual Homeland Security Law Institute, Washington, D.C., August 27-28, 2015).
  • “Global Anti-Corruption Compliance Program Benchmarking” (ACI's 17th Annual New York Conference on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, New York, NY, May 19-20, 2015).
  • “The Complex Puzzle of MDB Bribery Investigations: What Recent Cases Reveal about Bank Priorities and Coordination of Efforts” (American Conference Institute’s Inaugural Global Anti-Corruption Regulatory and Enforcement Update, Washington, D.C., July 14, 2014).
  • “Attorney-Client Privilege in Government Contractor Investigations TeleBriefing” (Law Seminars International, July 7, 2014).
  • “Second Annual FCPA/Corruption Update” (Panel, Sandpiper Partners LLC, Washington, D.C., October 4, 2011).
  • “Criminal Prosecution of Corporations in the United States” (University of Milan, Milan, Italy, April 7, 2011).
  • “Anti-Corruption and the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act” (Panel, Profiting from the Global Recovery in Latin America, Miami, FL, March 17, 2011 (Moderator)).
  • “FCPA and UK Bribery Act Risk Assessments: Strategies to Identify and Mitigate Corruption Risk and Ensure Compliance” (Strafford Publications CLE, January 6, 2011).
  • “Establishing a Culture of Compliance: Promoting Awareness & Developing Training” (Federated Press 3rd Bribery & Foreign Corruption Course, Toronto, December 13, 2010).
  • “FCPA: Internal Investigations of Suspected Violations; Evaluating Whether to Investigate and Best Practices for a Self-Assessment” (Strafford Publications CLE, November 17, 2010).
  • “Multinationals and Patronage Systems” (Atlantic Council Conference on Bribes and Profits: The Impact of U.S. and European Anti-Corruption and Transparency Initiatives on Business and State Governance in Africa, Washington, D.C., November 2, 2010).
  • “Anti-Corruption and the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act” (Panel, Joining the Global Recovery in Latin America Seminar, Houston, TX, September 30, 2010).
  • “Conducting Internal Investigations for FCPA Cases” (State Bar of Georgia Conference on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Atlanta, GA, September 2, 2010).
  • “Foreign Corrupt Practices Act” (Weathering the Global Recession in Latin America Conference, Miami, FL, March 25, 2010).
  • “The U.S. FCPA & the Globalization of Criminal Law Enforcement” (FCPA from A to Z Conference, Miami, FL, July 7, 2009).
  • “Issues in Conducting Anti-Corruption Investigations Overseas” (BNA Legal Edge Briefing Series, Arlington, VA, April 21, 2009 (Moderator)).
  • “The World of Crime is Flat: The Globalization of Crime in the 21st Century” (speech to multiple audiences).
  • “How Homeland Security Impacts Kansas City Businesses” (Kansas City Federal Reserve, Kansas City, MO, September 19, 2008).
  • “Beyond the Mortgage Meltdown: The Future of Financial Crimes & Corporate Prosecution” (White-Collar Crime Committee of the Kansas City ABA, Kansas City, MO, November 12, 2008).

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