Debra Wong Yang is a partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Los Angeles office, where she is a member of the executive committee and Co-Chair of the Crisis Management Practice Group, the White Collar Investigations and Defense Practice Group and the Information Technology and Data Privacy Group.
Ms. Wong Yang previously served as the United States Attorney for the Central District of California and was the first Asian-American woman to serve in that capacity.
Ms. Wong Yang’s practice specializes in crisis management and complex litigation matters, both criminal and civil. She served as counsel to numerous Fortune 100 companies under scrutiny by regulatory authority whose issues received mainstream media coverage. The matters range from technology, entertainment, retail, to energy. She has litigated high-profile matters in Court and has served as counsel for one of the largest foreign telecom companies investing in the United States. In the past, she has been both a DOJ-appointed Monitor over an orthopedic manufacturing company with health care compliance and regulatory issues and a monitor appointed by the New York state courts over a pharmaceutical dispenser. She has spearheaded matters in the crisis arena where she has overseen the legal, media, regulatory, investigatory and public reporting issues for top national companies. The recent crises she has responded to have included the following areas: healthcare, food and safety, refinery, education and NCAA, technology, entertainment, business in China, insurance and data privacy.
She has also represented companies and boards in internal investigations, compliance matters, and criminal investigations. In addition, Ms. Wong Yang has provided advice on matters relating to FCPA, trade secrets, and cyber/data intrusions. She has overseen teams of attorneys conducting FCPA investigations and has reviewed FCPA compliance programs in a variety of industries.
She was previously a Police Commissioner for the Los Angeles Police Department, appointed by Mayor Villaraigosa, and is active in local and national affairs. She was a former Los Angeles Superior Court Judge, and a Supervising Judge of the Hollywood Court.
After becoming United States Attorney, Ms. Wong Yang sat on President Bush’s Corporate Fraud Task Force and chaired the Attorney General’s Advisory Committees on Cyber/Intellectual Property and on Civil Rights. She was appointed by the Attorney General to sit on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee and on the Intellectual Property Task Force. She holds a number of positions on boards and legal committees. Ms. Wong Yang has also prosecuted a number of high-profile cases. As a federal prosecutor, she handled violent crimes, white-collar crimes, international money laundering, arson and computer crimes. She has consistently been recognized over the years by Lawdragon, Chambers, Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, National Law Journal’s Top Minority Lawyers, and the Anti-Defamation League.
Ms. Yang received her Juris Doctorate in 1985 from Boston College Law School and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Ronald S.W. Lew in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. She is a native of Los Angeles, and is a fourth generation Californian.