Kamal Ghali is a co-founder of Chaiken Ghali LLP, a former federal prosecutor, and a top-ranked white collar criminal defense and business litigation attorney recognized in The Best Lawyers in America and Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.
Over the last fifteen years, Mr. Ghali has handled some of the biggest criminal and civil cases in the country, including high-profile white collar criminal fraud investigations and trials; high-stakes business disputes involving racketeering (RICO) and fraud allegations in state and federal court; and a range of cybersecurity matters.
He is described in Chambers USA as an “excellent trial lawyer” and an “excellent courtroom advocate, sharp and quick on his feet,” with a “fantastic ability to explain complex legal and technology-related topics” and “particular expertise in matters concerning cybercrime.” He has received numerous awards and commendations for his trial and litigation skills, including praise from a federal judge who described his courtroom performance as “excellent,” “outstanding,” and as hitting a “home run” in the “bottom of the ninth.”
While his work runs the gamut from squaring off against federal prosecutors and regulators in court to conducting corporate internal investigations, he has also secured significant client wins without setting foot in a courtroom. He has successfully resolved numerous criminal investigations without the filing of any criminal charges against his clients and without any negative media publicity. Likewise, he has helped businesses and executives settle contentious, bet-the-company business disputes, including a recent settlement of a multi-billion-dollar dispute over the ownership of two nuclear power plant units.
Before co-founding Chaiken Ghali LLP, he was a partner at a prominent Atlanta-based litigation firm where he led the white collar criminal defense practice, founded the cyber & digital litigation practice, and resolved numerous high-stakes business disputes. Prior to that, he served as a U.S. Department of Justice white collar and cybercrime prosecutor for over six years, including as a deputy chief at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta. As a federal prosecutor, he worked closely with the FBI, IRS, SEC, and other agencies on white collar criminal matters ranging from multi-week securities fraud trials to high-profile cybercrime prosecutions, including the prosecution of the developers of SpyEye—a notorious malware that caused over one billion dollars in losses worldwide. He previously served as a judicial law clerk on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
He serves on the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation.
- University of Michigan Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 2006
- Order of the Coif
- Note Editor, Michigan Law Review
- Emory University, B.A., magna cum laude, 2001
- President, Alben W. Barkley Forum Debate Team
- Ranked Best College Debate Team of the Decade, 1999-2009
• Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, 2012-2018
- Deputy Chief, Cyber and Intellectual Property Crime Section, 2018
- AUSA, Economic Crimes Section, 2014-2018
- Coordinator, Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (CHIP) Unit, 2014-2018
- AUSA, Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, 2012-2014
- Member, Critical Incident Response Team, 2016-2018
• Law Clerk, U.S. Circuit Judge Frank M. Hull, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, 2008-2009
• Law Clerk, U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Thrash, Jr., U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, 2006-2008
• U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
• U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
• U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
• Georgia Court of Appeals
• Georgia Supreme Court
• Georgia State and Superior Courts
• Ranked in The Best Lawyers in America (2022, 2023)
• Ranked in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2021, 2022, 2023)
• Elected to Master, Cooper Inn of Court (2019)
• Selected by U.S. District Court to serve on the Criminal Justice Act Panels for the Northern and Middle Districts of Georgia
• Commendation, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and FBI (2019) (intellectual property theft prosecution)
• Commendation for Demonstrated Excellence, FBI Director Christopher A. Wray (2018) (federal jury trial in securities fraud prosecution)
• Director’s Award for Superior Performance, U.S. Department of Justice (2017) (SpyEye cybercrime prosecution)
• U.S. Attorney Award, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia (2017) (for excellence and integrity in the co-prosecution of a former member of the Georgia General Assembly)
Co-Author, “Regulatory Uncertainty Makes Cryptocurrency Deals Vulnerable to Litigation,” Daily Report and Law.com, May 20, 2021.
Co-Author, “With Facebook, Can the Federal Trade Commission Take a Merger Mulligan?” Daily Report and Law.com, November 18, 2020.
Author, “Should Calling in Sick—When You’re Not—Be a Felony?” Daily Report and Law.com, June 18, 2020.
Co-Author, “When Software Disputes Become Nuclear Litigation Events,” Daily Report and Law.com, February 4, 2020.
Co-Author, “How Corporate Data Breach Victims Can Use the Georgia RICO Statute to Recover their Data,” Daily Report and Law.com, May 31, 2019.
Co-Author, “How Private Trade Secret Cases Collide With DOJ’s War on Criminal Trade Secret Theft,” Daily Report and Law.com, March 19, 2019.
Co-Author, “What We Can Learn from the FBI’s Disruption of North Korea’s Botnet,” Daily Report and Law.com, February 20, 2019.
Co-Author, “U.S. v. Panin: Sentencing Challenges in Botnet Cases,” U.S. Department of Justice Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Newsletter, CHIP NEWS, July 2016.
Co-Author, “A Procedural Rule and a Substantive Problem: Legislative Hawks and the Concentration of Power in Georgia’s Speaker of the House,” Yale Law Journal Forum, March 20, 2008.
Co-Author, “The Sedona Conference Draft Commentary on Proposed Model Data Breach Notification Law” (Forthcoming).
Panelist, “What’s New in Cybersecurity Law?” 23rd Annual University of North Carolina Charlotte Cybersecurity Symposium, October 12, 2022.
Panelist, “Investigative Interviewing Techniques,” Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants’ 2022 Fraud and Forensic Accounting Conference, September 22, 2022.
Panelist, “Secure Your Finances: Your Best Defense Against Fraud,” Livestream Webinar hosted by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s “She Leads” Program, August 2, 2022.
Presenter, “Crypto 3.0: What’s Next in Regulation, Litigation, and Trade,” Association of Corporate Counsel (Georgia Chapter) and Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta, CLE Event, March 29, 2022.
Guest Instructor, “Cybercrime Prosecutions,” Emory University School of Law Prosecution Internship, March 22, 2022.
Panelist, “A Year After SolarWinds: Which Way Do They Blow?” Nisos Webinar, January 25, 2022.
Panelist, “Crytpo Law – Hot Topics: A Virtual Fireside Chat About Cryptocurrency,” South Asian Bar Association Virtual Event, October 29, 2021.
Guest Instructor, “Parallel Investigations and Proceedings,” Emory University School of Law, Advanced Issues in White Collar Defense Seminar, September 14, 2021.
Panelist, “Cyber-Readiness and Incident Response Briefing,” U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Secret Service, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Virtual Event, August 24, 2021.
Presenter, “What Thriller Writers Get Right and Wrong About Cybercrime,” Mystery Writers of America Gathering, July 12, 2021.
Presenter, “The Colonial Pipeline Hack: What is the State of Cyber Security in the United States, and What Lessons Can We Learn Going Forward,” Lawyers Club of Atlanta Virtual Presentation, May 19, 2021.
Presenter, “Corporate Counsel’s Role in Responding to Insider Threats,” Association of Corporate Counsel Virtual Event, March 9, 2021.
Moderator, “Digital Evidence and Privacy Under the Fourth Amendment,” Atlanta Bar Association Privacy & Cybersecurity Law Section Zoom Event, December 10, 2020.
Speaker, “NCR Corporation Law Conference, A Conversation with Kamal Ghali,” October 14, 2020.
Panelist, “Model Data Breach Notification Law,” Sedona Conference Working Group 11 Midyear Meeting, October 1, 2020.
Presenter, “Cyber Dangers with a Remote Work Force,” Association of Corporate Counsel Georgia Chapter Virtual Value Challenge Series, May 27, 2020.
Panelist, “Online Meeting for the Sedona Conference Draft Commentary on Proposed Model Data Breach Notification Law,” April 21, 2020.
Guest Instructor, “Cybercrime Prosecutions,” Emory University School of Law Prosecution Externship, Emory University School of Law, April 9, 2020.
Guest Instructor, “International Cybercrime Investigations,” Transnational Criminal Litigation Seminar, Emory University School of Law, April 6, 2020.
Presenter, “Cybersecurity and Data Breach Class Actions, Georgia ICLE Class Actions Seminar, October 4, 2019.
Panelist, “Model Data Breach Notification Principles,” The Sedona Conference Working Group 11 Midyear Meeting in Montreal, September 19, 2019.
Panelist, “Cybercrime and Economic Espionage: Privacy, Speech, Defense and Safety,” Lightfoot White Collar Institute, May 8, 2019.
Panelist, “What to do when a Foreign Government Steals Your Company’s Data,” Association of Corporate Counsel Value Challenge, April 30, 2019.
Speaker, “Data Security and Privacy for IP Owners & Firms,” Atlanta Bar Association’s 15th Annual Intellectual Property Springposium, April 27, 2019.
Guest Instructor, “Cybercrime Prosecutions,” Advanced Issues in White Collar Defense Seminar, Emory University School of Law, April 15, 2019.
Presenter, “Cybersecurity and Privacy,” Atlanta Bar Association Criminal Law Section, February 13, 2019.
Moderator, “Into the Breach – What to do Before, During and After a Breach,” Cybersecurity Summit Atlanta, February 13. 2019.
Panelist, “Cybersecurity & Privacy,” Healthcare Compliance Association’s Regional Atlanta Conference, February 13, 2019.