Gus P. Coldebella is a litigation partner in the Goodwin Procter LLP's Washington, D.C. office. He specializes in complex civil litigation, securities and corporate governance litigation, governmental and internal investigations, and congressional oversight. Mr. Coldebella, former acting general counsel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), also provides advice on the national security laws and policies of the United States, federal law enforcement, regulatory enforcement and compliance, and crisis management.
In October 2005, Mr. Coldebella, then a partner in Goodwin Procter’s Boston office, was appointed to be deputy general counsel of the Department of Homeland Security. He was nominated to be DHS’ general counsel by President George W. Bush in July 2008, and served as its acting general counsel from February 2007 to January 2009.
As the department’s top lawyer, Mr. Coldebella helped DHS navigate complex issues ranging from cyber security and privacy to private-sector liability protection and international trade and investment. Arriving at DHS one month after Hurricane Katrina’s landfall, Mr. Coldebella was asked to manage the department’s responses to Congress’ multiple investigations, and he subsequently oversaw DHS’ responses to all major congressional oversight, including representing the Secretary, the Deputy Secretary and other senior officials in their appearances before Congress. He also spearheaded the development of regulations, including those relating to the relationship between DHS and the private sector, such as the most recent SAFETY Act regulations, the chemical facility anti-terrorism regime, the creation of a voluntary private sector preparedness program, and others, and worked on rules on the inter-agency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Mr. Coldebella also managed the over 1,700 lawyers at DHS and its components, oversaw the department’s varied litigation portfolio and held a TS/SCI clearance.
WORK FOR CLIENTS
Mr. Coldebella represents major public companies, private equity funds, Internet and other technology startups, boards of directors, and others in a variety of adversarial matters. These include class actions alleging violations of the securities laws and breaches of fiduciary duties, agency investigations and enforcement actions, arbitrations, partnership and post-closing disputes, executive terminations, and other complex litigation. He has argued appeals before the First Circuit and Second Circuit Courts of Appeals, as well as the Massachusetts Appeals Court.
Mr. Coldebella conducts internal investigations, and counsels companies and their boards of directors on fiduciary duties, disclosure, and crisis management. He assists corporations and individuals in managing congressional oversight and other governmental investigations.
Mr. Coldebella provides advice on national security-related issues, including cyber security and privacy, intelligence and information sharing, critical infrastructure protection, liability protection, border security and immigration, transportation security, and trade. He defends agency enforcement actions, and advises clients on how homeland security laws and regulations affect day-to-day business operations, how to comply with them, and how to, where applicable, use agency rules to limit exposure or gain efficiencies.