John F. Wood is a partner in the litigation department who focuses on corporate internal investigations and compliance. In particular, he has extensive experience regarding the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, international trade controls, securities and accounting investigations, and government contracts. He is also Chairman of the firm’s Defense Industry Practice Group.
Mr. Wood has conducted numerous corporate internal investigations and represented clients before multiple 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.
Prior to joining Hughes Hubbard, Mr. Wood served in numerous high-level government positions, including U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri. As U.S. Attorney, Mr. Wood was the chief federal law enforcement official for the Western District of Missouri. He supervised a staff of 128 employees, including 68 attorneys and 60 non-attorney support personnel, and oversaw a broad range of federal criminal prosecutions and civil litigation. He personally 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 for accounting fraud. He has 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, an international tax fraud ring, steroid trafficking, the hiring of illegal aliens by several companies, and violations of the False Claims Act by a large health care provider. While serving as U.S. Attorney, Mr. Wood argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals and tried cases before juries.
Mr. Wood previously served as Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the third largest department of the federal government with approximately 180,000 employees and an annual budget of over $40 billion. As Chief of Staff, he assisted and advised the Secretary of Homeland Security on a broad range of matters, including terrorism, intelligence, preparedness, border security, immigration, law enforcement, and management issues.
Mr. Wood previously held several high-level positions at the Department of Justice, including Deputy Associate Attorney General and Counselor to Attorney General John D. Ashcroft. In those positions, he advised the Attorney General, worked on the Department’s most important civil litigation, and helped oversee the Department’s Civil, Civil Rights, Antitrust, Tax, and Environment & Natural Resources Divisions.
Mr. Wood also worked at the White House as Deputy General Counsel for the Office of Management & Budget, where he participated in the development of the federal government’s major legislative, regulatory, management, and appropriations initiatives. As Deputy General Counsel, he supervised attorneys and provided legal advice to senior White House officials.
Mr. Wood practiced commercial and appellate litigation from 1998 to 2001 at the Washington, D.C. office of a national law firm. He also clerked 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. Prior to law school, he worked on the staff of U.S. Senator John C. Danforth of Missouri.