Ronald Machen

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

$ $$$

Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest 1875
Washington 20006 DC US

Ronald C. Machen, a member of the firm’s global Management Committee and co-chair of the White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice, is one of the nation’s leading trial and white-collar defense lawyers. His practice focuses on government enforcement actions, corporate and congressional investigations, and litigating civil business disputes.

An experienced litigator who has tried more than 35 cases to verdict, Mr. Machen specializes in litigating complex criminal and civil actions. He also routinely helps clients navigate high-stakes, crisis situations that garner the attention of multiple regulators, enforcement authorities, Congress and private litigants. Prior to rejoining the firm in 2015, Mr. Machen served for over five years as the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia.

As the US Attorney for the District of Columbia from 2010 to 2015, Mr. Machen led the nation’s largest US Attorney’s Office with more than 600 attorneys and support staff. He oversaw the investigation and litigation of major criminal and civil matters concerning government procurement, healthcare fraud, securities fraud, national security, international corruption, economic sanctions, money laundering and structuring, and cybersecurity.

Due to the office’s location in the nation’s capital, Mr. Machen was frequently responsible for representing the United States in matters of great significance to the entire country, including the successful prosecution of the largest domestic bribery and bid-rigging scheme in the history of federal contracting, and a number of landmark settlements in False Claims Act cases against government contractors, healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies.

He secured numerous convictions in terrorism cases and more than 160 convictions in public corruption matters. He also defended the United States in a wide range of civil matters involving alleged age, race and sex discrimination, torts, and medical malpractice.

As US Attorney, Mr. Machen established an Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section within his office and prioritized affirmative civil enforcement actions. As a result, during his tenure, Mr. Machen’s office obtained financial recoveries of nearly $2.5 billion for US taxpayers from domestic and foreign corporations and financial institutions.

In particular, he obtained resolutions with four global banks that moved money illegally through the US financial system on behalf of sanctioned countries and entities. Mr. Machen also established the first Cyber Unit within the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

He oversaw investigations and prosecutions involving significant cyber breaches of personal and financial data, sales of the use of “botnets,” cyber frauds committed against multinational corporations, and insider trading schemes that obtained confidential information through cyber breaches.

While serving as US Attorney, Mr. Machen was also appointed by Attorney General Eric Holder as a member of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, a small group of US Attorneys from across the country who provide advice and counsel to the Attorney General on policy, management and operational issues.

Prior to his appointment as US Attorney, Mr. Machen was a partner in WilmerHale’s White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice, where he represented individual and corporate clients in the areas of white-collar criminal defense, regulatory enforcement, corporate compliance and complex civil litigation.

Mr. Machen also served as an Assistant US Attorney in the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia from 1997 to 2001, where he prosecuted matters involving bribery, mail fraud, government contract fraud, federal conspiracy, homicide, embezzlement and theft.


  • JD, Harvard Law School, 1994
  • AB, Stanford University, 1991


  • District of Columbia
  • Illinois
  • United States Supreme Court

CLERKSHIPS : The Hon. Damon J. Keith, US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 1995 – 1997

GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE : Department of Justice, United States Attorneys’ Offices.


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Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest 1875
Washington 20006 DC US
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New York 10006 NY US