Former Federal Prosecutor James A. Petkun Expands Klehr Harrison's White-Collar Criminal Defense Practice

PHILADELPHIA (September 19, 2019) — Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg LLP (Klehr Harrison) is pleased to announce that James A. Petkun will be joining the firm on September 17 as a white-collar partner in its Litigation Practice Group. Petkun, who most recently was Counsel at Reed Smith LLP, focuses his practice on white-collar criminal matters, government investigations, and related complex litigation.

“James’s unique experiences and perspective, having served for years with the Justice Department in Philadelphia and DC, will give him an indispensable voice in our department,” said Paul Nofer, Chair of the Litigation Practice Group. Mark Sheppard, who joined the firm earlier this year to form Klehr Harrison’s white-collar practice, said that “adding depth and additional talent to our white-collar and government investigations practice group has been a priority since I joined the firm, and James will be an outstanding addition to our team.” Petkun said, “in getting to know the firm, I was genuinely impressed with the strength of Klehr Harrison’s practice, the caliber of its outstanding lawyers, and the firm’s vision for the future. I’m excited to join the team and continue to grow the firm’s emerging white-collar practice.”

Petkun previously served for eight years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia, within the U.S. Department of Justice, where he led the prosecution of complex white-collar matters involving corporate fraud, money laundering, cybercrime, bank fraud, mail/wire fraud, tax crimes, ID theft and RICO. As a federal prosecutor, Petkun was lead trial counsel in over 60 trials, including over 25 jury trials, and led the investigation and prosecution of hundreds of matters. He also briefed over a dozen appeals on behalf of the government, and argued five — two before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and three before the D.C. Court of Appeals. In recognition of his service, Petkun received formal commendation from the FBI Director for outstanding performance, was nominated by DOJ for a Director’s Award, and twice received DOJ Special Achievement Awards recognizing his trial and investigative work.

Prior to joining DOJ, Petkun served as a law clerk to the Honorable Michael M. Baylson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and worked as a litigation associate at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. 

A native of Ardmore, Pa., Petkun is a 2003 graduate of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, and a 2007 graduate, magna cum laude, of Villanova University School of Law, where he served as a managing editor of the Villanova Law Review, was elected to the Order of the Coif, and received the school’s award for excellence in the study of criminal law.