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Brent J. McIntosh


Brent J. McIntosh

Washington, D.C. +1-202-956-7500+1-202-956-7500 +1-202-293-6330+1-202-293-6330

Brent J. McIntosh is a partner in Sullivan & Cromwell’s Litigation Group and is one of the co-heads of the Firm’s cybersecurity practice. He handles litigation and investigations for a wide variety of clients, including many major financial institutions. Mr. McIntosh originally joined the Firm in 2001 and then rejoined in 2009 after serving as an official at the U.S. Justice Department and as an attorney in the White House.

Mr. McIntosh has represented clients in a variety of state and federal courts and arbitral bodies, and he has served as lead counsel in appeals before the federal circuit courts. He has extensive experience litigating against federal agencies and advising clients on matters of federal administrative procedure.

Mr. McIntosh has also represented clients before numerous government agencies and congressional committees, including in investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, and the New York Attorney General. He has regularly handled matters in which investigations are accompanied by parallel civil litigation.

Mr. McIntosh’s clients have included financial institutions such as AIG, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Prudential and UBS, as well as corporations such as BP, Fiat, Chrysler, Finmeccanica, Interbrew (now Anheuser-Busch InBev), Labatt Brewing and Microsoft. He has also represented the Clearing House Association, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the Institute of International Bankers, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He has advised clients on matters relating to the Administrative Procedure Act, the Bank Secrecy Act, the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Federal Arbitration Act, the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and state analogues, Suspicious Activity Reporting, and corporate compliance programs. His pro bono service has included representation of a capital inmate in post-conviction and clemency proceedings, as well as advice to foreign governments and multinational organizations on rule-of-law issues, especially as to efforts to aid developing nations in combating maritime piracy.

Mr. McIntosh has extensive experience advising on matters relating to cyber systems and data protection. He has provided advice and handled disputes regarding U.S. federal legal regimes governing privacy of privately held personal and financial data and state-law analogues. He advised a major U.S. company on the permissible handling of customer data in connection with a mobile-phone app, including sharing of customer data with third-party service providers. While serving in the Justice Department, Mr. McIntosh served as co-coordinator of various post-9/11 Executive Branch-wide “information-sharing” initiatives under the Intelligence Reform & Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 and Executive Orders 13356 and 13388. In that role, he helped coordinate efforts to facilitate the secure sharing of threat information (including cyber threat information) among federal agencies, state and local governments, and private-sector institutions such a critical infrastructure operators. He also advised on classified National Security Council policy-development efforts regarding intelligence community/military cyber operations, and while serving in the White House, he acted as liaison to the President’s Privacy & Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

Until January 2009, Mr. McIntosh was deputy assistant to the president and deputy staff secretary at the White House (2007-2009). In that position, he oversaw and coordinated the flow of official documents to and from the president, working closely with the president on a daily basis. Before that, he served in the White House Counsel’s Office as associate counsel to the president (2006-2007), where his portfolio included national security matters, investigations and litigation, and judicial selection and confirmation.

He previously served in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Policy (2004-2006), most recently as deputy assistant attorney general (2005-2006), handling matters relating to counterterrorism, intelligence, international law, and federal criminal law and procedure, as well as judicial nominations. While at the Justice Department, he testified before Congress, represented the United States in proceedings before the United Nations, made media appearances on the Department’s behalf, assisted with the nomination and confirmation of two Supreme Court justices and many other federal judges, and was awarded two departmental medals and the State Department’s Superior Honor Award.

Mr. McIntosh clerked for Judge Laurence H. Silberman, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (2000-2001), and Judge Dennis Jacobs, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (1999-2000). He is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Alexander Hamilton Society, the American Society of International Law, the Bretton Woods Committee and the Federalist Society, and was previously a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He serves as co-chair of the Alexander Hamilton Society's Washington, D.C. chapter and on the Executive Committee of the Federalist Society's International and National Security Law Practice Group. In 2013, the New York Law Journal named him a Rising Star.


  • Serves as national coordinating counsel for JPMorgan Chase for dozens of actions relating to mortgage-backed securities issued by JPMorgan Chase, Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual.
  • Represented a prominent consulting firm in a joint Justice Department-SEC probe into allegations that the firm aided its clients in manipulating their books, successfully persuading both agencies to decline to bring an action against the firm.
  • Counsel to JPMorgan Chase in numerous actions and investigations stemming from JPMC’s acquisition of the assets of Washington Mutual Bank following WaMu’s closure by federal regulators, including in obtaining summary judgment for JPMC in a dispute with 30 hedge funds over title to hybrid securities worth more than $4 billion.
  • Counsel to UBS Securities in securing an injunction against a FINRA arbitration seeking $43 million in damages, based on allegations relating to HealthSouth’s accounting fraud, and successfully defending the injunction on appeal before the Second Circuit.
  • Represented Morgan Stanley in numerous actions arising out of the merger of America Online, Inc. and Time Warner, Inc., including in winning dismissal of all claims against Morgan Stanley in the class action brought on behalf of Time Warner shareholders.
  • Counsel to UBS in multiple Enron-related litigations, including in obtaining the dismissal of securities claims seeking ¥18.5 billion in alleged damages for an investment in Enron credit-linked notes.
  • Successfully defended Interbrew in litigation seeking to impede its merger with AmBev.