Karen Hewitt

Jones Day
Chapter Leader

My Contact Information

Jones Day
San Diego, CA
Phone 1: 858-314-1119


Karen Hewitt is a former United States Attorney and an experienced trial lawyer who has successfully litigated hundreds of cases in federal court for more than two decades. She currently represents companies nationwide in civil and criminal investigations and in complex business litigation. Karen's practice focuses on defending matters involving possible violations of federal law, including the Anti-Kickback Statute, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Taft-Hartley Act, and the False Claims Act. She is the Partner-in-Charge of Jones Day's California Region, which encompasses five offices and nearly 300 lawyers.

For the past six years, Karen led the defense of an international retailer in a complex FCPA investigation conducted by the DOJ and SEC in four countries. She also has represented major public and private companies in internal investigations on highly sensitive topics, crisis management, compliance, contested proceedings before regulatory agencies, and "bet-the-company" litigation. In the matters Karen leads, she routinely reports to senior management, the board of directors, the audit committee or a special committee, and develops the comprehensive strategy for the company to protect and defend itself from a range of legal and regulatory risks.

Before joining Jones Day, Karen served as the Southern District of California's chief federal law enforcement officer, where she focused on national security, border security, cyber and intellectual property crime, white collar and financial crime, civil fraud, violent crime, and narcotics enforcement.

Karen is a director of the National Association of Former U.S. Attorneys. She is a Master in the Enright Inn of Court and a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of San Diego School of Law.


Named to The Daily Transcript's 2020 list of Influential Women

Daily Journal "Top 100 Lawyers in California" (2012-2016) and "Top 100 Women Lawyers in California" (2013-2017)

Best Lawyers in America (2015-2017)

National Law Journal "Regulatory and Compliance Trailblazer" (2015)

National Diversity Council "Top 50 Women Lawyers in the United States" (2016)

Recipient of honors for exceptional legal work from the U.S. Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, State, and Health and Human Services


University of San Diego (J.D. 1989); University of California, Berkeley (B.A. in Rhetoric 1986)


California, U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Ninth and Federal Circuits, and U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Central, and Northern Districts of California


Service with the United States Department of Justice (1992-2010), including Trial Attorney with the Civil Division, Constitutional and Specialized Torts Section in Washington, D.C. (1992-2000); Assistant U.S. Attorney (2000-2006); Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney (third-in-command in U.S. Attorney's Office, 2006-2007); Interim United States Attorney (2007); and United States Attorney (2007-2010)

Practice Areas

  • Corporate Crime
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • Government Investigations
  • Healthcare
  • Trials
  • White Collar Crime