• N. Richard Janis

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    Harvard Law School, J.D., 1972


    University of Wisconsin-Madison, B.A., with honors, 1968

    Bar Admissions


    Washington, D.C.

    • Profile
    • Representative Matters
    • Honors & Awards
    • Publications
    • Memberships & Activities
    • Speaking Engagements


    Richard Janis is a partner in the Litigation Division in the Washington, D.C., office and a member of the Corporate Investigations & White Collar Defense practice group. He is one of Washington’s most well-known and highly regarded white collar criminal defense lawyers, as well as an experienced civil litigator. Over the course of his career, Mr. Janis has been involved in a wide range of criminal matters, representing both companies and individuals throughout the United States; he has also had a number of client matters in England, as well as in Italy, Switzerland, France, Taiwan, Australia, and Canada. Mr. Janis is currently representing two senior executives of BP with respect to investigations being conducted by the Department of Justice, as well as with respect to the multidistrict litigation, regarding the Deepwater Horizon incident.

    Following his graduation from Harvard Law School, Mr. Janis served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. For 32 years prior to joining Manatt, he managed Janis, Schuelke & Wechsler, Washington’s premier white collar criminal boutique law firm.

    Among the more notable cases, Mr. Janis has represented:

    • Albert Hakim in the Iran-Contra case, in which his client was indicted in the principal case before Judge Gesell along with John Poindexter, Oliver North and Richard Secord, as well as clients in several other Independent Counsel Investigations (Meese, Passport, Clinton);

    • A major defense contractor in the “Ill Wind” case as well as numerous other DOD procurement fraud investigations and parallel administrative proceedings involving proposed suspension or debarment;

    • The Vice President and Controller of the company in the WorldCom case;

    • An executive of British Aerospace in the investigation involving the Al Yamamah contracts between the UK and Saudi Arabia, and clients in a variety of other Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations;

    • Clients in a number of antitrust investigations, including a company accused of illegal market sharing agreements and most recently individuals in investigations involving the freight forwarding industry and the polyurethane foam industry;

    • The Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) case in which he worked, with others in his firm, as lead law firm for BCCI;

    • Clients in several congressional investigations (three days of nationally televised hearings in the Iran-Contra case; retained with one of his partners by the Senate Ethics Committee for its investigation of Senator Alfonse D’Amato; represented a National Security Council staff member regarding the campaign finance investigation arising out of the 1996 elections);

    • Clients in a number of internal investigations for DOD companies and a series of investigations for the Board of Directors of a major medical device company;

    • Clients in a number of SEC investigations, including investigations regarding allegations of misstatements of financials and of insider trading;

    • Clients in a number of investigations regarding allegations of violations of U.S. export control laws;

    • Clients in public corruption investigations with allegations of bribery and kickbacks involving members of Congress, state government officials, Foreign Service Officers and foreign diplomats,

    • A senior financial executive with respect to regulatory requirements surrounding the client’s application to become treasurer of a nationally known financial services company;

    • A bank with respect to potential Currency Transaction Reporting violations resulting from one of its bank tellers helping a drug dealer to launder money;

    • A corporation as lead counsel in a lawsuit alleging that it had tortiously interfered in contractual relations brought by a large company after its contract with the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority for the provision of all of WMATA’s automatic fare collection equipment was set aside and the contract was awarded to Mr. Janis’ client. After extensive litigation, the plaintiff agreed to dismiss all claims against Mr. Janis’ client in return for an agreement not to sue the plaintiff for malicious prosecution;

    • A major defense contractor as lead trial counsel in a lawsuit brought against an international aerospace company for breach of contract. The case was settled during trial with the payment by defendant of nearly $10 Million; and

    • An American company in an investigation regarding allegations that a U.K. company from which it had acquired a subsidiary had intentionally misrepresented financial information provided during due diligence and in advance of the acquisition. Based on the information discovered during the investigation, Mr. Janis represented the American company in litigation in the U.S. and the U.K. which was ultimately settled with the U.K. company repaying a substantial portion of the price paid for the subsidiary.

    Representative Matters

    Honors & Awards

    Who's Who Legal: The International Who's Who of Business Crime Defence Lawyers, 2013. 

    The Best Lawyers in America, 1993-2014.

    Super Lawyers, 2007-2014.


    “Ensuring Employee Rights in Internal Investigations,” ABA Human Rights Journal, Volume 36, Number 2, Spring 2009.

    “DOJ's Latest Gambit,” The National Law Journal, September 29, 2008.

    “The McNulty Memorandum: Much Ado About Nothing,” The Washington Lawyer, February 2007. 

    “Deputizing Company Counsel as Agents of the Federal Government: How Our Adversary System of Justice Is Being Destroyed,” The Washington Lawyer, March 2005. (Updated and Republished by The Cato Institute in 2008.)

    Memberships & Activities

    Admitted to practice in Washington, D.C.; also admitted in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States

    Master, Edward Bennett Williams Inn of Court

    Senior Counsel, the College of Master Advocates and Barristers

    Vice Chair, White Collar Crime Committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)

    Fellow, American Bar Foundation

    Member, ABA’s Presidential Task Force on the Attorney-Client Privilege

    Past Chair, Hearing Committee, Washington, D.C., Bar’s Board of Professional Responsibility

    Past Chair, Committee on Grievances of the U.S. District Court, District of Columbia

    Speaking Engagements