Christopher A Wray (Chris)


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Christopher Wray

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Christopher Wray is a litigation partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C., and Atlanta offices. Mr. Wray chairs the King & Spalding Special Matters and Government Investigations Practice Group, which represents companies, audit and special committees, and individuals in a variety of white-collar criminal and regulatory enforcement matters, parallel civil litigation, and internal corporate investigations.  The group has been twice recognized by Law360 as “White-Collar Group of the Year” and described as “the premier firm in this practice area” by the U.S. News & World Report/Best Lawyers’ “Best Law Firms” survey.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Wray served from 2003 to 2005 as the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Criminal Division, having been nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate’s unanimous consent for that position. Mr. Wray helped lead the Department’s efforts to address the wave of corporate fraud scandals and restore integrity to U.S. financial markets. He served on the President’s Corporate Fraud Task Force and oversaw the Enron Task Force and other major fraud investigations, both around the country and internationally.

As the Criminal Division’s head, Mr. Wray led investigations, prosecutions, and policy development in nearly all areas of federal criminal law, including securities fraud, healthcare fraud, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and trade sanctions violations, bank secrecy and money laundering offenses, public corruption, intellectual property piracy and cybercrime, and RICO. Mr. Wray was also integral to the DOJ’s response to the 9/11 attacks and played a key role in the oversight of legal and operational actions in the continuing war on terrorism. At the conclusion of his tenure in 2005, Mr. Wray received the Edmund J. Randolph Award, the Department’s highest award for public service and leadership.

Mr. Wray first joined the DOJ’s leadership as Associate Deputy Attorney General in May 2001 and was soon appointed the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General in September of the same year, with oversight responsibilities spanning the full Department. From 1997 to 2001, Mr. Wray served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. As a prosecutor in Atlanta, he handled a wide variety of federal jury trials, grand jury investigations and appeals as lead counsel.

Since returning to the firm in late 2005, Mr. Wray has led investigation matters involving U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in over twenty different districts around the country and nearly every litigating division of the Justice Department, typically also involving parallel proceedings by regulatory agencies and parallel class action or qui tam whistleblower litigation. Some of Mr. Wray’s recent representations since rejoining the firm include:

  • Two different Fortune 100 financial institutions in a number of parallel investigations by the Department of Justice and other agencies, such as the SEC, IRS and OCC, as well as parallel class action litigation.

  • Several of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies in investigations into off-label promotion issues by the Department of Justice and multiple U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, the FDA, HHS-OIG, Congress, and various state Attorneys General, as well as parallel False Claims Act qui tam litigation.

  • A Fortune 100 healthcare company in multiple federal and state regulatory investigations around the country.

  • A special committee of the board of directors of a leading technology company in conducting an independent investigation of stock options issues.

  • A Fortune 100 pharmacy benefits company in parallel investigations by the Department of Justice and SEC into stock options issues.

  • A leading telecommunications company in parallel Department of Justice, SEC, IRS, and Department of Labor investigations into stock options practices.

  • A leading global financial institution in parallel investigations by the Department of Justice, Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), New York Federal Reserve Bank, and various domestic and foreign regulatory agencies.

  • A leading global financial institution in parallel investigations by the Department of Justice, IRS, SEC, New York Federal Reserve Bank, New York Department of Financial Services (DFS), Congress and foreign regulatory agencies.

  • One of the largest global medical device manufacturers in parallel Department of Justice and SEC investigations of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act issues.

  • A Fortune 100 transportation company in conducting internal investigations of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act issues voluntarily disclosed to the Department of Justice and SEC.

  • Two different Fortune 250 energy companies in conducting internal investigations of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act issues.

  • A leading defense contractor in qui tam litigation under the False Claims Act.

  • The audit committee of the board of directors of a Fortune 250 technology company in conducting an independent investigation of revenue recognition and corporate governance issues.

  • The Governor of New Jersey in connection with investigations relating to the George Washington Bridge toll lane closings.

  • Court-appointment as a Special Master to help the court resolve a discovery dispute between the Department of Justice and a major healthcare company in False Claims Act litigation.

  • Appointment by the World Bank as the compliance consultant under a settlement with a leading global technology company.

Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America, Who's Who and Legal 500 all rank Mr. Wray as a leading litigator in white-collar crime and government investigations, with Chambers describing him as a “renowned heavy hitter in this space” (2010) and a "top-notch advocate who can provide counsel on the toughest issues," who "brings instant credibility and will give you straight answers without blowing smoke" (2017). Similarly, Legal 500 recognizes him as “one of the best in the business” for his “excellent judgment, vast experience and responsiveness” (2011).  In 2011, he was selected as one of a small number of national Client Service All-Stars based on BTI Consulting’s independent surveys of corporate counsel. And in 2015, the National Law Journal selected him as a Regulatory & Compliance “Trailblazer.” According to Chambers, “any time a major corporation is under investigation, you expect to see him present.” (2014).

Mr. Wray has substantial federal appellate experience, including successful oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Eleventh Circuit sitting en banc and before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mr. Wray is also a member of the Lead Director Network, a select group of lead outside directors from many of America’s top companies, focused on improving corporate performance and earning shareholder trust through more effective board leadership.

He served as a law clerk to Judge J. Michael Luttig of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit from 1992 to 1993.

Mr. Wray graduated, cum laude, from Yale University in 1989 and received his law degree in 1992 from Yale Law School, where he served as Executive Editor of the Yale Law Journal.