John D. Adams

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Practices
Industries
Education
  • University of Virginia School of Law, JD, Managing Editor, Virginia Law Review, 2003
  • Virginia Military Institute, BA, Economics, Distinguished Graduate, 1996
Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Affiliations

Member, Lewis F. Powell, Jr. American Inn of Court

Drawing on his deep experience in private practice and senior government service, John represents corporations, boards and executives facing significant legal, regulatory and reputational risk in criminal, regulatory, civil and congressional proceedings. He has resolved complex, high-stakes investigations through innovative settlements and successfully tried cases both as a federal prosecutor and defense counsel. A past chair of McGuireWoods’ Government Investigations & White Collar Litigation Department, he led the department to recognition by Law360 as a “Practice Group of the Year.”

In addition to his investigations practice, John is frequently called upon to brief and argue appeals in courts across the country. He co-chairs the firm’s Appeals and Strategic Issues Team and has argued appeals in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 4th, 6th, 7th and 11th Circuits. He also routinely advises clients with matters pending before the U.S. Supreme Court and the Solicitor General’s Office.

Prior to joining McGuireWoods, John served in positions of significant responsibility throughout the government. As associate counsel to the President of the United States, he represented the Office of the President in congressional investigations and other sensitive matters. His primary responsibility included handling issues arising out of the Department of Defense and State Department. In addition, he coordinated with the Department of Justice on litigation implicating the Office of the President. And as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, he tried cases ranging from fraud to violent crime and managed complex grand jury investigations involving fraud, public corruption and other matters.

John served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas from 2006 to 2007 and to Judge David B. Sentelle of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit from 2003 to 2004.

Prior to becoming an attorney, John served as a U.S. naval officer, deploying to the Persian Gulf. He led damage control operations on a Ticonderoga Class Cruiser and served as executive officer of a warship assigned to the Naval Special Warfare Command.

John is a member of the McGuireWoods' Recruiting Committee. He previously served as an adjunct professor of appellate and trial advocacy at the University of Richmond T.C. Williams School of Law and he serves as a trustee on the Executive Committee of the VMI Foundation.

In the News

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John D Adams
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T: +1 804 775 4744F: +1 804 698 2061Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916
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RECENT GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATIONS AND LITIGATION MATTERS

Represented one of the world’s largest financial institutions, leading a large-scale investigation involving the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Department of Justice and other federal regulators.

Led representation of a major grocery chain in an investigation by the Department of Justice and other federal agencies into food mislabeling issues.

Led representation of the board of a healthcare company investigating the conduct of a senior executive officer.

As lead trial counsel, obtained a full acquittal on 11 counts for a bank executive following a 10-week jury trial in a case brought by the Department of Justice, while all co-defendants were found guilty on multiple charges.

Led successful representation of a major national wireless carrier in years-long dispute with FCC, multiple state attorneys general and other federal regulators.

Successfully represented the general counsel of major American corporation in investigation of food and drug labeling issues, with no claims brought forward.

Led representation of a major chemical manufacturer in a years-long investigation by environmental regulators that resulted in no claims brought forward.

Represented a leading international defense contractor in years-long Department of Justice investigation into contracting issues with no claims brought forward.

Successfully represented a partner at a major international accounting firm into allegations of tax fraud with no claims brought forward.

Resolved a years-long case by the Department of Justice and Department of Commerce against an importer on terms highly favorable to client.

Successfully represented a financial adviser in a years-long criminal investigation involving FINRA and the Department of Justice with no claims brought forward.

Developed and led an innovative litigation and crisis management team for one of the world’s largest financial institutions that allowed them to avoid significant legal, political, and reputational risk.

Resolved a years-long criminal investigation into activities related to the mortgage foreclosure crisis at one of the nation’s largest banks with a noncriminal settlement.

Resolved a grand jury investigation into accounting practices at a major, national accounting firm with no charges brought forward.

Led an internal investigation related to money-laundering activity at one of the nation’s largest banks that concluded with no adverse action to the institution.

Defended multiple corporations, boards and executives in various congressional and grand jury investigations that are not publicly available.

APPELLATE MATTERS

John handles clients’ most important appellate matters. A former clerk for the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, he co-chairs the firm’s Appeals and Strategic Issues Team. John has argued appeals in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 4th, 6th, 7th and 11th Circuits. He has argued an array of issues implicating many industries, including intellectual property rights, Fourth Amendment concerns, and the scope of various federal statutes, including the False Claims Act, the Truth in Lending Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and many others.

He also represents clients in matters before the U.S. Supreme Court and Solicitor General’s Office.

Named a "Local Litigation Star," Benchmark Litigation, 2018

Selected for inclusion as a "Leading Lawyer," Corporate Investigations And White-Collar Criminal Defense, Virginia, Legal 500 US, 2016-2018

Selected for inclusion in America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations, Virginia, Chambers USA, 2012-2018

Named to “Virginia Super Lawyers,” Criminal Defense: White Collar, Civil Litigation: Defense, Appellate, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2012-2017

Named to "Legal Elite," Criminal Law, 2012-2013, 2015, 2017; Appellate Law, 2016, Virginia Business

Speaker, "Legal, Regulatory, Litigation and Insurance Issues," Community Banking and Cyber Risk Management, September 17, 2014