Richard Cullen Partner

Richard, a senior partner in the Government Investigations & White Collar Litigation department, counsels corporate executives, boards of directors, elected officials and the heads of major nonprofit institutions on matters of the utmost sensitivity, often involving issues of national security.

Richard, who served as chairman of the firm for 11 years, has extensive experience defending large multinational corporations in investigations conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice, state attorneys general and local prosecutors. He is frequently called on to conduct confidential internal investigations to assist corporations in assessing the risk of criminal prosecution or regulatory enforcement. His representation of clients in DOJ investigations often includes the proceedings that parallel white-collar prosecution, such as SEC enforcement actions, collective prosecution or civil enforcement by state attorneys general, debarment actions and civil litigation.

Richard gained a broad perspective on law enforcement from his service in high-level legal positions in both federal and state government. From 1997-98, Richard was Attorney General of Virginia. In 1991, President George H. W. Bush appointed him U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, where he directed investigations and prosecutions of financial institutions and defense contractors, and other white collar defendants. While serving as U.S. Attorney, Richard was chosen to be on Attorney General William Barr’s Advisory Committee. Richard also served as special counsel to U.S. Senator Paul Trible (R-VA) during the Iran-Contra investigation and was on the staff of Representative M. Caldwell Butler (R-VA) during the Watergate investigation. In addition, he was on President George W. Bush’s legal team during the recount of the 2000 election in Florida.


Representation of key grand jury witnesses in United States v. I. Lewis (“Scooter”) Libby and United States v. Rosen & Weissman, both involving allegations of leaks of classified national security information.

Negotiation of global settlements with U. S. Department of Justice on behalf of major defense contractor, aerospace manufacturer, multinational energy company and media conglomerate.

Representation of Members of Congress in Ethics Committee and DOJ investigations, including the resolution of the six-year federal investigation into former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s (R-TX) ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Counsel to U. S. Senate Rules Committee in challenge to the election of Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA).

Representation of acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives in “Fast & Furious” investigation.

Representation of CIA and Department of Defense officials in investigation into Bush-era interrogation techniques.

Representation of U. S. auto manufacturer, multinational food producer and global financial institutions in multi-state attorney generals’ investigations.

  • University of Richmond School of Law, JD, Editor in Chief, University of Richmond Law Review, 1977
  • University of South Carolina School of Law, 1971-1972
  • Furman University, BA, 1971

Board of Directors, CrossOver Ministries 

Chair, Furman University Board of Trustees 

Member, VCU Business School Foundation

Board of Visitors, Virginia Military Institute, 1998-2002

  • Virginia
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit

Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Criminal Defense: White Collar, Woodward/White, Inc., 2009-2022

Selected for inclusion in America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Litigation: General Commercial, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations, Chambers USA, 2009-2021

Named to "Virginia Super Lawyers," Business Litigation, Criminal Defense: White Collar, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2006-2021

Selected for inclusion in “Legal 500 United States,” Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense, 2020, 2021

Named to "Legal Elite," Criminal Law, Virginia Business, 2013-2015, 2017-2019, 2020

Named to "The Virginia 500: Power List," Virginia Business, 2020

Selected for inclusion in Virginia Lawyers Hall of Fame, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, 2019

Selected for inclusion as a "Leading Lawyer," Corporate Investigations And White-Collar Criminal Defense, Virginia, Legal 500 US, 2016-2017

Named "Lawyer of the Year," Criminal Defense: White-Collar, 2014, 2019; Bet-the-Company Litigation, 2016, 2018; Richmond, The Best Lawyers in America, Woodward/White, Inc.

Recipient, Honorary Doctorate of Laws Degree, Virginia Union University, 2013

Named a "Local Litigation Star," Virginia, Benchmark Litigation, 2013, 2018

Named a "Leader in the Field," Litigation: General Commercial, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations, Virginia, Chambers USA, 2008-2012

Named to "The Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America," White Collar, Virginia, Law Dragon, 2012

Recipient, Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Richmond, 1998

Fellow, Virginia Law Society

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