Jenner & Block

Top-Tier Litigators and Legal Strategists Lee Wolosky and Dawn Smalls Join Jenner & Block’s New York and Washington, DC Offices

NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 3, 2020 – Jenner & Block is pleased to announce that former US Ambassador Lee S. Wolosky and Dawn L. Smalls, experienced litigators and crisis managers, have joined the firm as partners.  Mr. Wolosky is based in New York and Washington, DC, and Ms. Smalls is based in New York.

Mr. Wolosky and Ms. Smalls bring significant experience in representing clients facing multi-dimensional crises involving litigation, the government and the media.  They join the firm’s Complex Commercial Litigation Practice and its Government Controversies and Public Policy Litigation Practice, headed by Partner Thomas J. Perrelli.  They will also work closely with the firm’s Monitorship Practice, led by Partner Neil M. Barofsky.  Like Mr. Perrelli and Mr. Barofsky, they join the firm’s long roster of lawyers with significant senior government experience.

“Jenner & Block is a litigation powerhouse.  Lee and Dawn are cut from the same cloth, and their joining us enhances our ability to provide our clients with the highest levels of strategic thinking and excellent representation.” said firm Chair Craig C. Martin.

“Lee and Dawn are well-known, highly respected lawyers and legal strategists who help clients resolve existential challenges, and their experience will enhance the firm’s already substantial complex litigation, investigations and government controversies capabilities,” said Katya Jestin and Randy Mehrberg, Jenner & Block’s co-managing partners.  “Importantly, they are aligned with the firm’s strong culture, which is driven by our core values of excellence, collaboration, diversity and inclusion, and pro bono and public service.”

Mr. Wolosky has extensive experience handling the highest-profile matters unfolding in the courts and before the government and media.  He has led the representation of plaintiffs and defendants in multi-billion dollar litigation, including in complex multi-jurisdictional disputes.  He currently serves as the Monitor of a tier-one global financial institution and represents a key witness in the ongoing impeachment proceedings of the President.  He has led the prosecution of precedent-setting cases related to national security and foreign sovereign immunity.  His clients have included prominent CEOs, political figures, governments and media leaders.  He regularly represents clients in connection with governmental investigations and sanctions matters, including congressional and national security-related investigations.  He has served in national security posts under three presidential administrations, including as President Barack Obama's Special Envoy for Guantánamo, in which capacity he led US diplomatic efforts to close the Guantánamo Bay detention facility.  In 2016, President Obama accorded him the personal rank of Ambassador.  Earlier, under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, he served as Director of Transnational Threats on the National Security Council at the White House.  Mr. Wolosky, a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, graduated from Harvard Law School cum laude and from Harvard College magna cum laude.

In her practice, Ms. Smalls draws upon her experience in law, government and politics to provide strategic advice and legal counsel to clients on complex legal, policy and regulatory matters.  She currently serves as the Monitor of a tier-one global financial institution.  Previous representations include serving as co-lead counsel for one of the largest Fair Labor Standards Act class actions on record, representing more than 90,000 au pairs for wage fixing and violations of federal, state and minimum wage.  Ms. Smalls has extensive experience in the federal government having served two Democratic Administrations, first as Assistant to the White House chief of Staff and then as Executive Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.  From 2015 to 2018, she served as a commissioner of the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics.  In that role, she provided oversight to the state agency tasked with ensuring that state elected officials and lobbyists comply with the state’s ethics and lobbying laws and regulations.  Ms. Smalls has also worked in philanthropy for the Open Society Foundations and the Ford Foundation, two of the largest philanthropies in the world, where she managed approximately $40 million of grants promoting civic engagement, political reform and grassroots activism.  Ms. Smalls is actively engaged in politics, advising political candidates on the local, state and federal level, and was a candidate for New York City Public Advocate in the Special Election on February 26, 2019.  Currently, she serves as a national board member of the American Constitution Society, the nation’s leading progressive legal organization, with more than 200 student and lawyer chapters in almost every state, and the Roosevelt Institute, a think tank and campus network that serves as the nonprofit partner to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York.  Ms. Smalls received her JD from Stanford Law School and her BA magna cum laude from Boston University.

“I am thrilled to join Jenner & Block, a firm that values public service and pro bono as highly as the exceptional service that they provide to their clients,” said Ms. Smalls.

“Having worked with and across from Jenner & Block lawyers, I am looking forward to joining a firm with such a highly regarded reputation for excellence in litigation, investigations and crisis management,” said Mr. Wolosky.  “I am excited to build upon the firm’s international platform to offer high-stakes representation to clients around the world.”

Before joining Jenner & Block, Mr. Wolosky and Ms. Smalls were partners with Boies Schiller Flexner LLP.