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Preston Burton is a highly regarded trial lawyer with more than two decades of criminal law experience, both as a defense attorney and as a federal prosecutor. A Partner in the Washington, DC office of Buckley Sandler LLP, he is an integral part the firm’s exemplary White Collar practice.

Over the course of his career, Mr. Burton has tried more than 50 criminal cases to verdict, representing individual and corporate clients in complex federal white collar criminal cases, governmental and civil proceedings, and internal investigations. He has also handled more than 10 appeals before the D.C. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, and Fourth Circuit.

His work is punctuated by numerous front-page cases, representing such high-profile clients as Monica Lewinsky, former CIA intelligence agent Aldrich H. Ames, and former FBI Special Agent Robert Hanssen. He has represented business executives and companies in areas such as public corruption investigations, criminal antitrust matters, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and export control violations, False Claims Act (FCA) cases, and procurement fraud. Many of Mr. Burton’s cases have involved cross-border investigations, including extradition requests and multi-jurisdictional enforcement actions. He has also handled congressional investigations, as well as numerous matters involving national security issues, including the representation of several intelligence agency officials and serving most recently as an amicus appointed by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Mr. Burton’s recent matters include:

  • Serving as part of a trial team representing a former government contracting firm executive in a jury trial in the Eastern District of Virginia on public corruption, conspiracy, and fraud charges where all defendants were found not guilty on all charges
  • Representation of a group of current and former employees of a multi-national software company in a pending criminal fraud and national security investigation in the Eastern District of Virginia
  • Representation of a Wall Street executive in a pending Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation of trading activities

Since 2010, Mr. Burton has been ranked by Chambers USA as a leading lawyer in White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations. He joined Buckley Sandler from Poe & Burton PLLC, a boutique litigation firm he co-founded in 2011. Prior to that, he led the litigation practice of the Washington, DC office of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. Following law school, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Boyce F. Martin Jr., on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia. Mr. Burton received his J.D. from the University of Virginia, and his A.B. from Duke University.

In The News

Awards and Recognitions

Awards & Recognitions

  • Chambers USA 2017: Band 2, District of Columbia Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations
  • Best Lawyers 2017: Criminal Defense - General Practice, Criminal Defense - White-Collar
  • Chambers USA 2016: Band 2, District of Columbia Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations
  • Who's Who Legal: Business Crime Defence 2016


  • J.D., University of Virginia
  • A.B., Duke University (magna cum laude)


  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, District of Maryland
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Virginia

Government Service

    • Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Columbia

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