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Nadira Clarke

Washington, DC Office

Nadira Clarke is the head of the Litigation practice at Katten's Washington, DC office, and a member of both the firm's Board of Directors and Executive Committee.

A formidable litigator with first-chair trial experience, she focuses her practice on technically complex, high-stakes matters. She is sought after for her aggressive defense of corporations and executives facing large-scale, multi-faceted governmental investigations. Calm and decisive by nature, she provides leadership and valuable counsel in a crisis.

Nadira has obtained a number of highly favorable resolutions on behalf of clients. Recently, following a significant multiagency, joint federal and state investigation, she obtained a declination for her client of all federal criminal and civil charges, and negotiated a favorable civil resolution with the state. In another matter, her legal team filed a pretrial motion that resulted in the dismissal of all felony counts of an indictment charging her client.

Nadira previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Maryland, and a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. Well versed in the area of corporate compliance and business ethics, she works with two separate corporate monitor teams appointed by the court to oversee compliance of companies in the wake of criminal prosecution. She previously served as counsel to the Department of Justice's Office of Professional Responsibility, where she led internal professional ethics investigations involving federal prosecutors and high-ranking Department of Justice officials. 

Early in her career, Nadira served in the highly selective US Attorney General's Honor Program for the Department of Justice, and worked as a trial attorney with the Environment and Natural Resources Division, including the Environmental Crimes Section and the Natural Resource Section. She was also selected to serve as a Special Assistant to the Assistant Attorney General for the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice.

Nadira is a frequent industry speaker, and has been recognized as a "Rising Star" by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association. Her pro bono work includes mentoring and litigating sex-discrimination and political asylum cases.

Shown below is a selection of Nadira’s engagements.

  • Representation of a global energy services company under criminal investigation for fraud related to inspection services provided to oil and gas production platforms.
  • Representation of a global provider of labor and production services criminally charged in connection with a multi-fatality incident on an oil and gas production platform.
  • Representation of an oil company in an ongoing criminal investigation into a pipeline release.
  • Representation of a Fortune 100 company in connection with federal and state investigations related to a multi-fatality incident at a chemical manufacturing plant.
  • Representation of a company targeted in a combined state/federal criminal investigation of alleged improper reporting of emissions in violation of the Clean Air Act.
  • Representation of an individual employee of a shipping company under criminal investigation in connection with tampering with a pollution prevention device and illegal discharge of pollutants into waters of the United States.
  • Representation of an international oil and gas services company in Suspension & Debarment proceedings before federal agencies relating to potential disqualification from participation in federal contracts and related subcontracts.
  • Representation of an energy services company charged with criminal OSHA violations in connection with a hot work-related fatality.
  • Representation of an energy company in connection with civil enforcement action involving alleged violations of state air emission regulations.
  • Counsel to a manufacturing company in securing a declination from the Department of Justice in connection with a multi-facility federal grand jury investigation involving allegations of illegal dumping of hazardous waste, bypassing of a treatment system, improper waste disposal and failure to report waste releases.
  • Representation of a leading independent provider of services to the global power generation industry before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in connection with an investigation involving allegations of market manipulation and fraud in the sale of power to an independent system operator responsible for the operation of a region’s electrical power system. 
  • Representation of a metal plating company in a multi-facility federal investigation of violations of the Clean Water Act. Successfully negotiated a declination.
  • Lead an internal investigation involving potential Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act violations at a coke manufacturing facility.
  • Lead confidential internal investigations at the Department of Justice involving allegations of professional misconduct by Assistant Attorneys Generals, US Attorneys, Assistant US Attorneys and other Department of Justice lawyers.
  • Lead internal investigation into whistleblower allegations of fraud by a municipal water services provider.
  • Successful defense of a large public utility in a three-week products liability trial.
  • Representation of a petroleum manufacturer in connection with a series of federal and state product liability cases involving alleged groundwater contamination by a gasoline additive.


Best Lawyers in America, 2019–2020
Legal 500, 2015, 2017–2019
Super Lawyers, Washington, DC, 2014–2019

Working Mother, Mother of the Year

Working Mother, Mother of the Year, 2017

Minority Corporate Counsel Association

Minority Corporate Counsel Association, Rising Star, 2013
Firm News
Nadira  Clarke


  • JD, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law
  • BA, Tufts University

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Pennsylvania

Court Admissions

  • US Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • US Court of Federal Claims
  • US Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • US District Court, District of Maryland


Best Lawyers in America
Legal 500
2015, 2017–2019
Super Lawyers
Washington, DC, 2014–2019

Working Mother, Mother of the Year


Minority Corporate Counsel Association

Rising Star, 2013
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