May 17, 2021 / Press Release

Clark brings significant government experience to Porter Wright

Porter Wright welcomed partner Joe Clark to its Washington, D.C. office today. Joe most recently served as Senior Advisor to the Deputy Secretary and Counselor to the General Counsel in the U.S. Department of the Treasury. He brings significant Federal government experience.

Joe concentrates his practice in financial institutions regulatory matters, internal investigations, and government relations. He provides counsel in the anti-money laundering (AML) and national security arenas, including with respect to issues arising under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) that involve blockchain-based assets (e.g., cryptocurrencies).

“Joe brings a unique skill set and depth of experience to Porter Wright that will be invaluable to our clients in the financial, trade and currency sectors,” said Holly Kozlowski, partner-in-charge of Porter Wright’s Washington, D.C. office. “The legal landscape around digital-based currencies is developing at the speed of light and we are excited to have Joe’s leadership in this and other areas.”

Joe’s career has spanned senior roles in both the executive and legislative branches of the federal government. Before Treasury, Joe was a Special Assistant and Associate Counsel to the President in the Office of the White House Counsel, where he advised on rulemakings, executive orders, and appointments across a range of areas.  Joe also spent nearly six years on Capitol Hill, helping to lead investigations for the House Committee on Financial Services before serving as its General Counsel and Parliamentarian.

As a senior Treasury official, Joe developed unique insight into many of today’s most complex AML and financial transparency issues.  He was intimately involved in drafting and securing enactment into law of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020, a key update to the nation’s AML framework that overhauled regulatory requirements under the BSA and established a new “beneficial ownership” reporting regime to curtail the illicit use of shell companies.  Joe also spent significant time leading the development of regulatory and policy proposals involving virtual currencies intended for use as digital payments.  In addition, beginning in October 2020 until his departure from Treasury, Joe performed the duties of the FinCEN Chief Counsel, advising the Director, Deputy Director, and other senior officials on AML and other matters under the BSA.

Joe was deeply involved in the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, he negotiated and drafted key provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and he later served in leadership roles on the teams that implemented the Act’s provisions providing relief to the airline industry and establishing the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. 

Joe is admitted to practice law only in the state of California. Pending his admission to the District of Columbia Bar, Joe is directly supervised by Jay Levine, an active member of the D.C. Bar.