How John Helps Clients
John Cunningham concentrates his practice on internal investigations, corporate compliance, and white collar defense. He advises clients on a broad range of criminal, regulatory, and compliance concerns, focusing on FCPA and global anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, digital currency, trade sanctions, M&A due diligence, fraud, embezzlement, cannabis law, asset forfeiture and attorney-client privilege.
His practice includes representing companies before the DOJ, SEC, OFAC, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and other agencies in connection with such matters. He also specializes in designing, developing, and refining corporate compliance programs in harmony with the expectations and requirements of those agencies. At the core of his practice is a dedicated emphasis on providing clients with the right tools--from both an investigations and compliance perspective--to deter, detect, prevent, and remediate problems, and attentively guide them through each step of the process.
Prior to joining Buchanan, John worked for over ten years at one of the largest international law firms in the world. He also has extensive federal enforcement experience, having served as a senior trial attorney with the DOJ and an investigative analyst for the criminal division of the FBI. Additionally, he was a federal law clerk to the Honorable Gerald B. Lee in the Eastern District of Virginia.
John’s clients are primarily companies and other entities seeking experienced counsel in an investigative context or striving to enhance their compliance programs to mitigate risk and maximize employee and operational productivity. He counsels companies across a spectrum of sectors, including health care, life sciences, financial services, consumer products, hospitality, energy, manufacturing, and entertainment.
What Clients Can Expect
Given John’s background as a DOJ senior trial attorney and federal law enforcement investigator, coupled with his experience in both large and small law firms, he has managed a variety of matters and clients across a wide range of industry sectors. Clients rely on his unique government and defense experience, hands-on approach, accessibility, and keen legal insight to help find customized, timely solutions.
Outside the Office
In his personal time, John is an avid tennis player, drummer in a D.C.-based band and travel, sports, and history enthusiast.
- Conducted comprehensive anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, trade sanctions, fraud, and immigration-related internal or government-directed investigations for multiple companies, including life science and health care entities, financial service firms and associations, transportation and hospitality businesses, product manufacturers, a renowned consulting group, an energy company, an IT services firm, and an engineering corporation
- Advocated to obtain advantageous outcome for international information services firm in extensive DOJ, FBI, and SEC investigations for alleged fraud and internal controls issues.
- Designed, implemented, and defended comprehensive U.S. and global compliance programs for business products, aerospace, technology services, private equity, IT, engineering, infrastructure, consulting, retail, public relations, medical device, and life sciences companies.
- Directed targeted compliance evaluations and corresponding program enhancements for corporations in various industries, including banking and finance, management and consulting, technology, mobile devices, solar energy, product manufacturing, casinos, and hospitality.
- Performed fulsome anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, trade sanctions, and third-party-focused risk assessments for multinational corporations in a vast array of industry sectors, including technology, life sciences, manufacturing, industrial equipment, mobile devices, retail, food services, and consulting.
- Led FCPA, anti-money laundering, general compliance, and related pre- and post-acquisition due diligence projects for mergers and acquisitions by companies in the financial services, energy, life sciences, consulting, technology, product development and manufacturing sectors.
- Favorably resolved federal cases for individuals in a cross-jurisdictional criminal money laundering matter involving alleged gambling proceeds and in a multi-state immigration fraud matter.
- Investigated and successfully defended federal prosecutions against individuals for counterfeiting, asset forfeiture, espionage, and narcotics-related allegations.
George Washington University, M.A., 2008, American Legal History, summa cum laude
University of Richmond School of Law, J.D., 1999, cum laude, Editor-In-Chief, University of Richmond Law Review
College of William and Mary, B.A., 1991, International Relations
- District of Columbia
- Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS)
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
- U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
District of Columbia Bar, member
Virginia State Bar, member
American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section, member
Federal Bar Association, Criminal Law Section, member
Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists, member