PAMELA J. BETHEL (J.D., George Washington University, Executive Partner, is an AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated attorney (5 of 5 rating). She is a native of Miami, Florida and an honors graduate of both Lincoln University (Pennsylvania) and George Washington University School of Law and has engaged in the practice of law for more than thirty years. As a trial attorney with the Securities and Exchange Commission Division of Enforcement, Ms. Bethel handled federal civil enforcement actions before joining the Fraud Section of the Department of Justice Criminal Division. There, she successfully prosecuted major insider trading suits and a variety of fraud cases in federal courts across the country. The Department of Justice recognized Ms. Bethel for her leading role as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Operation Illwind defense procurement probe. Investigating and prosecuting more than 50 individuals and corporations for bribery, tax and public corruption offenses, she succeeded in bringing charges against two former top Pentagon officials and recovered $10.3 million in corporate judgments, plus contract concessions worth up to $15 million. Her seventeen year government career also included representing the Department of Housing and Urban Development in bid protests and contract disputes.
Since entering private practice, Ms. Bethel has handled many complex litigations, many of which are of a sensitive nature. She has regularly represented corporations as well as individuals, handling several cases that have received national notoriety. Ms. Bethel has lectured on ethical issues, federal investigation process and procedures to audiences ranging from law enforcement agencies and the Attorney General's Trial Advocacy Institute, to the National Association of Securities Professionals. She is admitted to practice before several U.S. District Courts (for the District of Columbia, for the Eastern District of Virginia and for the District of Maryland), and the U.S. Courts of Appeals (for the District of Columbia Circuit and the 4th Circuit), as well as the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
Ms. Bethel’s work in the field of corporate governance, and that of O’Riordan Bethel, is nationally renowned. She conducts investigations into, and advises clients with respect to, all related matters, including allegations of breach of fiduciary duties; best practices; disclosure requirements; document retention policies; officer compensation; corporate transactions involving public and private companies; Sarbanes-Oxley reporting requirements; federal contracting compliance; antitrust; and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Her client list includes regional, national, and international not-for-profits and foundations; publically held companies with both national, and international operations; and privately held companies with regional, national and international operations.
Ms. Bethel has developed a highly comprehensive understanding of the competing political and administrative goals that must be addressed when representing public concerns, an understanding gained in her eight (8) years as a trial attorney in the Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission; then ten (10) years as a Trial Attorney and an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Department of Justice, prosecuting complex securities and financial fraud and, later, procurement fraud; and some twenty (20) years in private practice. She has served as litigation counsel for clients such as the Government National Mortgage Association, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Resolution Trust Corporation.
The Washington, D.C. chapter of the National Bar Association recognized Ms. Bethel for her service and contributions to the organization. Ms. Bethel is the 2012 Washington Bar Association Legal Fund, Inc. recipient of the Mabel Hayden Trailblazer Award. Also in 2012, Ms. Bethel was recognized for her outstanding services to the Washington Bar Association.
Ms. Bethel was inducted into the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame for her achievements in the field of Government and Law in September 2013. She joins the ranks of such notable inductees as Thurgood Marshall (1986), Barbara Jordan (1989), James E. Clyburn (2005), currently the third-ranking Democrat in the House, and Shirley Franklin (2006), the first African-American woman elected mayor of Atlanta, GA. Ms. Bethel was nominated by her alma mater Lincoln University.
She is a frequent commentator on high-profile cases and national issues on both network and cable television stations. In the last two years, Ms. Bethel has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and on NBC (Today Show). Most recently, she testified on Capitol Hill and was interviewed on CNBC regarding a provision of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act which requires that the financial regulatory agencies and the financial services industry diversify their workforce and the companies with whom they contract.
Member: George Washington University Law Alumni Board; U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 1974-1975; Enforcement Division, Securities and Exchange Commission, 1975-1981; Fraud Section, Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 1981-1987. Assistant U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Virginia, 1987-1991. Member, Edward Bennett Williams Inns of Court.