Former U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag to Return to Orrick to Lead Global Litigation Practice

January.13.2016

​San Francisco – Orrick announced today that Melinda Haag, who served as United States Attorney for the Northern District of California for the past five years, will rejoin the firm as a partner on March 1. Melinda will serve as Orrick’s Global Litigation Business Unit Leader and will reside in the firm’s San Francisco office.

After being nominated by the President and unanimously confirmed by the Senate, Melinda served as U.S. Attorney from August 2010 through September 2015, overseeing the U.S. Department of Justice’s work in a district that is an epicenter for complex, cutting-edge investigations and prosecutions. She led a team of more than 130 criminal and civil Assistant U.S. Attorneys in handling a high volume of matters that involved export enforcement, computer intrusions, intellectual property theft, international corruption, digital currency issues, securities fraud, economic crimes, national security, organized crime, public integrity and civil rights violations, among other things. Melinda served as Co-Chair of the White Collar Crime Subcommittee of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee and was a member of the Cybersecurity and Health Care Fraud Subcommittees, where she collaborated with U.S. Attorneys nationwide on the development and implementation of national policies and practices regarding the government’s approach to economic crimes and cybersecurity.

Melinda is a deeply experienced and accomplished trial lawyer and has served as lead or co-lead counsel in more than 19 jury and bench trials. She is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and has been included on many lists of top lawyers. Melinda has consistently been named by Chambers USA as one of America’s Leading Lawyers in White Collar Crime and Government Investigations, was identified by Lawdragon as one of 500 Leading Lawyers in America, was selected twice by the Daily Journal as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in California and five years in a row as one of the Top Women Litigators in California, and was chosen by San Francisco Business Times as one of the Most Influential Bay Area Women. 

“I am thrilled to return home to Orrick,” said Melinda.  “It was an extraordinary honor to serve as United States Attorney, but I was able to leave after five years knowing that the public’s interests are in the hands of an extraordinary team of lawyers who are handling some of the most important and cutting-edge cases on the DOJ’s docket. At the same time, I am excited by the growth and client results achieved by Orrick’s litigation team over the past five years. They have clearly kicked it up another notch, and I’m honored by the opportunity to lead this top-tier team.”

Earlier this month, The American Lawyer ranked Orrick among the top 10 law firms on its Litigation Power Rankings and among six finalists for 2016 Litigation Department of the Year.  In addition, The American Lawyer named Orrick as 2016 Intellectual Property Litigation Department of the Year. 

“We are absolutely delighted that Melinda is rejoining Orrick,” said Walter F. Brown Jr., head of the firm’s White Collar & Corporate Investigations Group and a member of the firm’s Board and Management Committee. “She is a first chair trial lawyer of the highest caliber who has deep insights into the complex enforcement issues our clients face. And she adds one of America’s leading women lawyers to our trial bench and senior leadership team.”

The White Collar Group at Orrick is ranked Band 1 in California by Chambers USA and is home to more than two dozen former government prosecutors and senior agency enforcement officials on both coasts. Melinda joins McGregor "Greg" Scott, who served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California and is deputy leader of the firm’s White Collar practice. In the past 16 months, Orrick has added John W. Wolfe and Aravind Swaminathan, an alum of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington, in Seattle; welcomed back alum Randy Luskey, who worked with Melinda in his former role as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of California’s U.S. Attorney’s Office; and added Jonathan E. Lopez, who joined after serving as Deputy Chief of the DOJ’s Money Laundering and Bank Integrity Unit, as well as William (Billy) B. Jacobson, former Co-General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of Weatherford International and former DOJ Fraud Section Assistant FCPA Chief in Washington, D.C.

Melinda began her career as a litigation associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Los Angeles. In 1989, she joined the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California (Los Angeles). Melinda later practiced at a boutique law firm where she was recruited by then Acting U.S. Attorney and former FBI Director Robert Mueller to serve as Chief of the White Collar Crime Section of the Northern District U.S. Attorney’s Office and handle multiple high-profile cases. She first joined Orrick in 2003 to help Walt develop and build the firm’s White Collar practice.

Melinda received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego in 1983 and her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 1987.