Katherine Winfree Joins Orrick’s Public Policy Group in Washington, D.C.


​Orrick announced today that Katherine “Kay” Winfree has joined the firm as counsel in its Public Policy Group, resident in Washington, D.C. Kay has over 30 years’ experience serving in multiple high-level roles in state and federal government, including Chief Deputy Attorney General for the State of Maryland, Chief of Staff of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, and 19 years as Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. She joins Orrick from Manatt.

Orrick has an innovative public policy practice that helps clients solve their most critical legal and regulatory issues in the state legislatures, before attorneys general, and across a wide range of state regulatory agencies. The firm built the 10-lawyer team, which is co-headed by Rob McKenna, two-term Washington State Attorney General, and Jeremy Kudon, in recognition of the increasing importance to its clients of state legislation, regulation, and enforcement.

"Kay is a recognized leader in the area of regulatory enforcement and will be a tremendous addition to our policy team. She brings extensive government experience and knowledge of the intricacies of state and federal processes and will be a huge asset to our technology and consumer product clients in protecting their business interests," said McKenna.

Kay’s litigation, regulatory, and policymaking background spans a variety of industries, including consumer services, high technology, energy, environment, financial services, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications and tobacco.

At the FCC, Kay was a key policy advisor to the enforcement bureau chief and provided oversight and guidance on a broad array of projects relating to telecommunications, technology law, and regulation. In her role as Maryland’s Chief Deputy Attorney General, Kay was the state’s second-highest ranking law enforcement officer, responsible for the supervision of 32 divisions including antitrust, consumer protection, criminal, environment, public safety and transportation, and argued the high-profile case Maryland v. King in which the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Maryland’s post-arrest DNA collection statute.

Kay began her career in the Honors Program of the Department of Justice’s Appellate Section, Criminal Division, where she served as a staff attorney. She then served as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia for 19 years where she prosecuted cases in the D.C. Superior Court and U.S. District Court and briefed and argued appeals in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and D.C. Court of Appeals. Kay also spent several years as Chief Deputy State’s Attorney where she investigated and prosecuted cases in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland. During her tenure as a federal prosecutor, she was the recipient of the Harold Sullivan Award honoring her as the top prosecutor from among 350 Assistant United States Attorneys, in addition to numerous Special Achievement Awards for outstanding performance.

"Orrick has a premier state government practice that I’ve long admired. Their coordinated and thoughtful approach to policy advocacy, regulatory compliance, and litigation strategy makes them the ideal firm for my clients and myself," Kay said. "I’m excited to work closely with Orrick’s highly-regarded litigation, corporate, and public policy lawyers in the U.S. and internationally on innovative legal issues for our clients."

Kay earned her J.D., Order of the Coif, from the University of Oklahoma, College of Law, and her B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, from the College of William & Mary. She is a member of American University’s Washington College of Law faculty, where she teaches a course on trial advocacy.