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John Rowley


Detail oriented and tenacious, John Rowley pairs extensive courtroom experience in both civil and criminal matters with the ability to parse complex facts, laws, and regulations to achieve the best possible outcomes for his clients.

John specializes in complex civil litigation and white-collar criminal defense. He also represents clients in investigations conducted by federal agencies and the U.S. Congress.

Nothing beats preparation

According to John, “nothing beats preparation.” He is a trial attorney at heart, first-chairing numerous bench and jury trials. But he recognizes that even more cases are won outside the courtroom and brings his meticulous preparation to the many settlements he has reached for clients.

Prior to private practice, John served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Virginia and West Virginia. His prosecution work gives him credibility with U.S. Attorney’s offices and the Department of Justice, and an insider’s understanding of law and regulatory enforcement.

A well-rounded litigator

John has led the defense of a wide range of important complex matters, including:

  • Heading the U.S. legal team that defended Brazilian aerospace company, Embraer S.A., in a first-of-its-kind Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation by the U.S. Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Defending SAIC in a False Claims Act jury trial filed by the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • Winning a jury verdict for Belgian company, Picanol, S.A., in a bet-the-company software patent infringement case brought by a European competitor.
  • Preparing and defending individuals in investigations by the U.S. Congress.
  • Obtaining a trial judgment for the Chairman of the Board of a technology company in a case pressed by investors under Virginia’s Securities Act.

In 2011, John earned an Executive MBA from the University of Notre Dame. He pursued a rigorous MBA program while meeting the demands of his busy legal career to better serve his clients and understand their businesses. (In a proud father moment, he and his son graduated on the same day from their respective programs at Notre Dame.)

After two decades in multinational D.C.-based law firms, John enjoys the collaborative environment of a specialized boutique and working alongside friends and trusted colleagues with in-depth legal experience.

  • J.D., University of Richmond School of Law
  • M.B.A., University of Notre Dame
  • B.A., Political Science, State University of New York at Oneonta
  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia
  • Eastern District of Virginia
  • Southern District of West Virginia
  • Department of Justice Director’s Award for Superior Performance
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2024
    Martindale-Hubbell, Rated AV-Preeminent
Civic Involvement
  • Board of Directors (past), Lorton Arts Foundation
  • Supporter, Jazz for Justice
  • Graduate, Leadership Fairfax

Prior to helping found SECIL Law, John had his own firm, JPRowley Law. Before that he was a partner in two multinational law firms where he represented clients in high-stakes litigation and white-collar investigations. His government service includes working as:

  • Chief Investigative Counsel, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform;
  • Staff Director for the Congressionally mandated U.S. Department of Defense panel created to investigate allegations of misconduct at the U.S. Air Force Academy;
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney and Branch Chief for the Eastern District of Virginia; and
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia.

He previously served as law clerk to the Hon. John A. Field, Jr., Senior U.S. Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.