Leanne A. Bortner photo
Leanne A. Bortner
Washington DC
1919 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
+1 202 664 1935

Leanne Bortner focuses on white-collar criminal defense, regulatory investigations and complex civil litigation, with a particular emphasis on securities law and the financial services sector. Her two main areas of focus lie in defending clients in high-profile cases against the government and high-stakes litigation for major participants in the financial services industry.

Mrs. Bortner is an experienced litigator and a renowned expert in cutting-edge financial products and services disputes. She has particular experience with litigation involving commodities, futures, swaps and other securities and derivatives, and has successfully dealt with investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Mrs. Bortner also advises and defends a variety of clients ranging from executives, law firms, traders and hedge fund administrators located around the world in complex cross-border disputes, and played a key role in cases that led to precedent-setting opinions on jurisdictional issues.

Prior to joining Kobre & Kim, Ms. Bortner practiced at Nixon Peabody LLP and Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where she focused on white-collar criminal defense and government investigations.



  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • New York


  • Georgetown University Law Center, JD (The Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy, Articles Editor)
  • University of Pennsylvania, BA

Select Engagements

  • Representation of Brian Hunter, the former head of energy trading at Amaranth Advisors LLC, a fund that had US $9 billion under management, in connection with market manipulation actions by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), a pre-emptive suit against the FERC for overreaching the limits of its jurisdiction, and in the defense of several class and private civil suits. Kobre & Kim obtained complete dismissal of FERC case by a precedent-setting opinion of U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit that the FERC lacks jurisdiction over energy futures.
  • Representation of a precious metals trader in defending against criminal charges brought by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois for alleged commodities fraud and spoofing in the precious metals futures market traded on COMEX.
  • Representation of a precious-metals derivatives trader at a major bank who has been indicted by the U.S. DOJ, and is also the subject of parallel investigations and proceedings by the U.S. CFTC and a self-regulatory organization (“SRO”) into alleged spoofing.
  • Representation of several London-based foreign exchange sales executives in connection with a U.S. DOJ investigation a prominent U.S. investment bank.
  • Representation of the sole director of a UK-based pharmaceutical exporter indicted in the U.S. for misbranding-related charges. Successful representation led to all charges being dismissed.
  • Representation of several senior executives of a UK-based telecommunications company in an investigation led by the U.S. Attorney's Office concerning allegations of domestic bribery in government contracting.
  • Representation of a trader at a major European investment bank in connection with a joint investigation by the U.S. DOJ and the U.S. CFTC into alleged spoofing and manipulation of the precious metals market.
  • Representation of an executive of a large British investment bank in the forex investigation conducted by the U.S. DOJ, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the U.S. CFTC and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) into alleged manipulation of the foreign exchange market.
  • Representation of a former executive of Mizuho in connection with the well-publicized investigation by the U.S. SEC relating to the Delphinus CDO (collateralized debt obligation).
  • Representation of a former officer of a global mining and exploration company in an investigation being conducted by the U.S. SEC and U.S. DOJ into possible violations of the Foreign Corruption Practices Act (FCPA) arising out of certain Southeast Asian projects.
  • Defense of a former large law firm name partner in multiple civil litigations.
  • Representation of an execution broker as a defendant in the U.S. CFTC enforcement action relating to alleged attempted manipulation of the New York Mercantile Exchange's (NYMEX) platinum and palladium futures markets.
  • Representation of the CEO of an international food manufacturing company as a defendant in a U.S. SEC civil action in the District of Columbia relating to allegations of accounting fraud.
  • Representation of the vice president of an air cargo contracting company under investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York for payoffs made to government officials.
  • Representation of an employee in an investigation by the U.S. DOJ and the U.S. SEC into allegations of violations of U.S. law, including the FCPA and false statements, relating to the construction of a natural gas complex in Africa.
  • Representation of executives of a major European financial institution in connection with potential trade sanctions and an investigation into violations of regulations of the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
  • Representation of several executives in an investigation into a precious metals commodity retailer being conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, as well as in parallel proceedings before the U.S. CFTC.
  • Representation of hedge fund administrator in US $350 million+ dispute pending in the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) regarding services rendered to Bermuda-based hedge fund, as well as related Chapter 15 proceedings pending in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York.
  • Representation of a private equity firm and a limited liability company that acquired a popular collectibles company in seeking to recover US $12 million in damages incurred as a result of breach of contract, fraud and other wrongdoing by the selling company and its officers, directors and affiliated companies.
  • Representation of an insurance industry executive in connection with investigations conducted by the New York State Attorney General's Office, the U.S. DOJ and the U.S. SEC into alleged accounting fraud and bid-rigging.
  • Representation of the general counsel of an international central securities depository based in Europe in a U.S. DOJ criminal investigation into a possible violation of Iranian sanctions.
  • Representation of the individual and corporate targets of an enforcement action for alleged fraud in the sale of precious metals futures by the U.S. CFTC, including negotiation of a consent order appointing a temporary monitor, administration of compliance with the monitorship, and ultimately, successful litigation of a strategy to discredit the U.S. CFTC's expert, resulting in the U.S. CFTC's abandonment of the action on terms favorable to the clients.

Professional & Community Involvement

  • Georgetown University Law Center, Adjunct Professor

Attorney Advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.