King & Spalding today announced that former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia John Horn has joined as a partner in the firm’s Atlanta office where he began his legal career. Horn is the fifth federal prosecutor and ninth lateral to join the firm’s Special Matters team, which is part of the Government Matters practice group, in the past year. He also becomes the fifth former U.S. Attorney currently practicing at King & Spalding.
“John is a superb lawyer and leader who is naturally collaborative,” said Wick Sollers, who heads the firm’s Government Matters practice group. “John’s prosecutorial experience and understanding of the process will provide our clients invaluable insights when enforcement agencies come calling.”
Horn had a stellar career with the U.S. Department of Justice investigating and prosecuting a range of federal offenses, including public corruption, cybercrime, national security and complex financial fraud cases. Horn first joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2002 from King & Spalding’s Atlanta office, where he had been a member of the Special Matters practice. Horn began as a line Assistant U.S. Attorney and rapidly moved up the ranks, becoming the Deputy Chief of the Narcotics & Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, Chief of the Appellate Division, and then the First Assistant U.S. Attorney under then-U.S. Attorney Sally Yates. After Yates was confirmed to serve as the Deputy Attorney General, Horn led the office for three years as U.S. Attorney.
“King & Spalding’s Government Matters practice is replete with accomplished senior members of enforcement agencies from not just DOJ, but the SEC, FDA, and numerous other offices, which provides a natural platform for me to support clients in need of this expertise,” said Horn. “Also, King & Spalding has emerged as a national leader in data privacy and cybersecurity matters, which allows me to combine a leading government investigations practice with a cutting-edge cyber incident response and counseling practice. I’m thrilled and honored to be rejoining the firm.”
Horn received his undergraduate degree from the College of William & Mary and his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. After law school, he served two years as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Harold L. Murphy in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, and one year as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Stanley F. Birch, Jr. in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
As U.S. Attorney, Horn chaired the Attorney General Advisory Committee’s Working Group on Elder Justice, and also served on the AGAC’s committees on financial fraud, cybercrime, violent crime and drug enforcement. Horn created the Northern District of Georgia’s first Cybercrime Unit, which prosecuted leading international cases involving sophisticated hackers of financial institutions, the creators of preeminent malware/botnot programs, and state actors conducting corporate espionage. Horn also created the district’s first Civil Rights Enforcement Unit and spearheaded the country’s largest implementation of the innovative Drug Market Intervention model to dismantle a 30-year heroin and crack marketplace operating in Atlanta’s historic English Avenue community. Through his extensive experience in long-term wiretap investigations, Horn served on DOJ’s national Title III/electronic evidence working group and lectured at training events regarding the collection and use at trial of electronic evidence.
He was the lead prosecutor in the takedown of a significant component of Mexico’s Beltran-Leyva cartel, including kingpin Edgar Valdez-Villarreal, aka “La Barbie.” He also served as a member of the prosecution team in the case of Centennial Olympic Park bomber Eric Rudolph.
Horn joins former federal prosecutors Zach Fardon, Patrick Collins, Brian Michael and Patrick Otlewski, all of whom joined King & Spalding’s award-winning Special Matters team in the last year. The practice is comprised of over 100 lawyers in 14 offices throughout the world, and is dedicated to representing clients in government investigations, white collar criminal defense and related civil fraud litigation, making it one of the largest and most respected such practices in the world. The team has been nationally acclaimed as White Collar Practice Group of the Year in 2017 by Law360, among other recognitions. The team has handled investigations before more than 70 of the 93 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in the United States and every litigating division of the Justice Department. It also has appeared before the Securities and Exchange Commission and all 12 of its Regional Offices, and handled multinational investigations involving approximately 80 countries.
In addition to Horn and Fardon, former U.S. Attorneys Paul B. Murphy, John Richter and Jim Vines are all partners at the firm.