D. Brett Kohlhofer
Associate | Washington, D.C.
D. Brett Kohlhofer

D. Brett Kohlhofer is a problem solver and litigator, focusing on government enforcement and investigations. He also represents clients in litigated commercial, securities, and administrative law disputes in courts around the country.

Mr. Kohlhofer's clients often operate in highly regulated industries, including the financial, automotive, and healthcare sectors. In particular, Mr. Kohlhofer has significant experience representing clients in asset management, for whom he often handles cross-border internal investigations and government-facing enforcement matters involving, among others, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). He has long been a part of Dechert's Asset Management Litigation & Enforcement Team.

Over the past decade, Mr. Kohlhofer has established himself as a thought leader, publishing many articles on issues relevant to his enforcement practice. His writing has been featured in The Investment Lawyer, The Journal of Federal Agency Action, FCPA Professor, Competition Policy International, and Law360.

In his pro bono practice, Mr. Kohlhofer recently secured the dismissal of an Immigration Court removal proceeding that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had been pursuing for nearly 20 years. Earlier in his career, on behalf of a human trafficking victim, he won a sizeable civil judgment against a foreign diplomat for violations of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act. Currently, he represents the District of Columbia in a civil action against dozens of individuals and groups involved in planning and carrying out the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol.

Mr. Kohlhofer is Dechert’s 2023 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Fellow. He previously served on Dechert's Global Associates Committee as well as the firm's Washington, D.C. hiring committee.

Prior to joining Dechert, Mr. Kohlhofer was an extern at the Administrative Law Division of the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General. He was also a law clerk for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas. Before law school, he was a consultant at Mercer, where he focused primarily on executive compensation issues.


Enforcement & Investigations (Financial Sector)

  • Investment adviser to a hedge fund, and its principals, in SEC and CFTC enforcement investigations concerning the actions of a rogue trader who had mismarked positions in interest rate swap and related option trades
  • Major financial institution in internal investigation regarding compliance with Investment Company Act of 1940
  • Senior executive of a major financial institution in connection with CFTC investigation regarding pricing of interest rate swaps
  • Investment adviser and affiliated distributor in an SEC enforcement matter concerning fees paid for the distribution of registered funds
  • Several investment advisers in complex, cross-border internal investigations concerning valuation and marketing compliance issues involving several large venture capital and private equity funds
  • Investment advisers in several EBSA investigations concerning compliance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974

Enforcement & Investigations (Other Sectors)

  • Former CFO and former Controller of a publicly-traded construction company in SEC enforcement investigation concerning revenue recognition and financial reporting fraud
  • Automotive equipment manufacturer in parallel investigations by, among others, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and several congressional committees in connection with the largest automotive recall in United States history
  • Pharmaceutical distributor in a civil enforcement action by Department of Justice alleging non-compliance with Controlled Substances Act and related Drug Enforcement Administration regulations
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturer in investigations by committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives relating to prescription drug price increases
  • Publicly-traded technology company in SEC investigation concerning revenue recognition issue
  • Technology company in a NHTSA recall concerning a safety-related defect in lithium ion batteries that were installed in vehicle-mounted tablet computers

Commercial, Securities, and Administrative Law Litigation

  • Former officers and directors of a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) in several civil actions alleging violations of securities laws and breach of fiduciary duties (several jurisdictions)
  • Independent Community Bankers of America in federal court action challenging a final rule of the National Credit Union Administration relating to commercial lending by insured credit unions (E.D. Va.)
  • Former government official as amicus in support Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shareholders challenging action of Federal Housing Finance Agency (U.S. Supreme Court)
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Investment Company Institute as amici in support of MetLife, Inc.’s challenge to its designation as “too big to fail” by the Financial Stability Oversight Council under the Dodd-Frank Act (D.D.C. & D.C. Cir.)
  • Independent Community Bankers of America as an amicus in support of a challenge to the National Credit Union Administration’s Field of Membership rule (D.D.C.)
  • Real estate investor in disputes with former business partner concerning ownership and control of prominent New York hotel (AAA Arbitration & New York Supreme Court, Commercial Division)
  • Defense subcontractor in contract disputes with prime contractor (Virginia state court & Dubai-based arbitration)
Services Industries
    • Southern Methodist University, B.A., Political Science, 2008, Pi Sigma Alpha
    • Southern Methodist University, B.B.A., Finance, 2008
    • Boston College Law School, J.D., 2013, cum laude, Order of the Coif, Development Editor of Uniform Commercial Code Reporter-Digest, Recipient of the John D. O'Reilly, Jr. Award for Overall Contribution to the Boston College Law School Community
    • District of Columbia
    • Massachusetts
    • New York
    • United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
    • United States District Court for the District of Columbia
    • United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
    • American Bar Association, Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice
    • Hispanic National Bar Association
    • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (2023 Fellow)