June 05, 2017

Peter Kadzik and Alicia O'Brien, Former Senior Obama Administration Justice Department Officials, Join Venable's Washington, DC Office

5 min

Managed the Department's relationships, strategic responses to oversight inquiries and investigations, and legislative priorities on Capitol Hill, and successfully led confirmation efforts of high-ranking Department officials

Washington, DC (June 5, 2017) – Venable LLP announced today that former senior Obama Administration Department of Justice officials Peter J. Kadzik and Alicia C. O'Brien have joined the firm as partners in the Government Division in the Washington, DC office. Mr. Kadzik most recently served as Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA), while Ms. O'Brien served as an Associate Deputy Attorney General in the Office of the Deputy Attorney General and a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legislative Affairs.

Commenting on the addition of Mr. Kadzik and Ms. O'Brien, Lawrence H. Norton, Co-Chair of Venable's Government Division, said, "Peter and Alicia were on the front lines of advancing some of the administration's top public policy initiatives, priorities, and high-profile nominees, and responding to the most sensitive and high-profile investigations and oversight inquiries. Managing the Department’s relationships on Capitol Hill in an increasingly polarized environment is no easy task and requires a deep understanding of how best to navigate the views of multiple and, frequently, competing stakeholders. The deep background and knowledge they bring, not only of how the Justice Department operates, but also of Capitol Hill, will be an invaluable asset to clients facing high-stakes and often public matters requiring a steady hand."

In his Senate-confirmed position as head of the OLA and a critical member of the Department's leadership team, Mr. Kadzik led the efforts to manage the Department's relationships on Capitol Hill and worked closely with the Department's leadership offices, law enforcement components, U.S. Attorneys' Offices, litigating divisions, and grant-making components on a variety of legislative and oversight matters. He prepared the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, and numerous high-ranking Department witnesses for congressional oversight hearings and hearings on proposed legislation, including FISA reauthorization (USA Freedom Act), criminal justice reform, enhanced measures to prevent human trafficking, Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) reform, the Judicial Redress Act, and reauthorization of the 9-11 Victims Compensation Fund. He also successfully led the confirmation efforts of Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates, FBI Director James Comey, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Director B. Todd Jones, among others.

Ms. O'Brien also served as a key senior advisor at the Department through her roles in the Office of the Deputy Attorney General and OLA. In these capacities, she routinely advised Department leadership on high-profile, sensitive oversight matters, and managed all aspects of the Department’s responses to an exceptional volume of congressional inquiries and investigations, as well as parallel inquiries by Inspectors General, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and other federal agencies. She regularly prepared the Department’s most senior officials, including the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, Associate Attorney General, and United States Attorneys, for numerous congressional hearings, Member briefings, and other congressional engagement on a wide range of oversight and policy issues. Ms. O'Brien also managed the Senate confirmation process for presidentially appointed Department nominees, including serving as a leading adviser to the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General, among others.

In a joint statement, Mr. Kadzik and Ms. O'Brien said, "We were drawn to Venable's already market-leading practices in the areas of government investigations and white collar defense, legislative and government affairs, litigation, and regulatory matters; absolutely exceptional attorneys throughout the firm; and their team-driven approach to practicing law. We are excited to join the firm and look forward to the opportunity to continue expanding these areas of focus and building on the deep expertise across multiple practices in the firm."

Prior to their tenure at the Justice Department, Mr. Kadzik and Ms. O’Brien worked in private practice at Dickstein Shapiro LLP as partner and counsel, respectively. For more than 30 years, Mr. Kadzik focused on antitrust and commercial litigation, congressional and internal investigations, corporate compliance, matters involving state attorneys general, and representation of various nonprofit organizations and trade associations on legal and policy matters. He also formed and advised several labor-management committees to advance the mutual interests of both in industries such as pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, steel, and timber. Ms. O'Brien spent a decade representing companies, executives, government officials, and other individuals in a wide array of congressional, federal, and state government investigations. She also assisted clients in preventing and mitigating legal risks, reputational damage, and business disruption associated with government inquiries and actions through crisis management and public messaging strategies, comprehensive compliance programs and management steps, and targeted internal investigations.

At Venable, Mr. Kadzik and Ms. O'Brien will represent companies, institutions, executives, public officials, and other individuals in all aspects of congressional, federal, and state government investigations. They join an industry-leading Regulatory Practice that provides strategic counsel across a broad range of industries where business, policy, and government regulations intersect. Many of the group's attorneys and legislative advisors come from distinguished careers in government and include former members of Congress, a Cabinet secretary, agency heads, and veteran Capitol Hill and Executive Branch legislative staffers and policy advisors from both sides of the aisle.

Mr. Kadzik earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and his B.A. from University at Buffalo, graduating summa cum laude. Ms. O'Brien earned her J.D. from American University Washington College of Law, graduating magna cum laude, and her B.S. from University of Maryland at College Park, graduating magna cum laude.


Venable LLP is an American Lawyer Global 100 law firm headquartered in Washington, DC that serves as primary counsel to a worldwide clientele of large and mid-sized organizations, nonprofits, and high-net-worth entrepreneurs and individuals. With over 600 attorneys across the country, including California, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Virginia, and Washington, DC, the firm strategically advances its clients' business objectives in the U.S. and around the globe. Venable advises clients on a broad range of business and regulatory law, legislative affairs, complex litigation, and the full range of intellectual property disciplines.