Karen D. Williams


Karen focuses her practice on a variety of litigation matters, particularly those involving allegations of white-collar crime and fraud. She defends individual and corporate clients in state and federal trial courts and arbitration proceedings across the United States, as well as in connection with internal and government investigations.

Karen has experience in various phases of criminal matters – from conducting internal investigations and responding to federal grand jury subpoenas to litigating a case to jury verdict. She has represented clients in a broad range of industries, including government contracting, mortgage services, alcohol distribution, and professional services.

Internal investigations that Karen has conducted include allegations of harassment and hostile workplace environment in the entertainment and technology industries and allegations of fraud and anti-kickback violations in the health care industry.  She also advises clients in matters arising under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and U.S. export controls and sanctions and anti-money laundering regulations.

Before joining Cozen O'Connor, Karen served as counsel in the litigation section of the Washington, D.C., office of a large, international law firm and as a law clerk to the Honorable Thomas D. Schroeder of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.

Karen is also active in providing pro bono legal representation, including representing one of over two hundred defendants arrested in D.C. while protesting during the 2017 Inauguration.  She has also represented two individuals facing the death penalty at the trial level.

While attending law school, she was the editor-in-chief of the American University Law Review and was named a member of the Order of the Coif. She also served as an extern at the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Appellate Staff and as an intern to the Honorable Reggie B. Walton of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.  Prior to law school, Karen worked in journalism.



Twelve Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Recognized as Washington, D.C., Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

May 05, 2021

Super Lawyers has named 12 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to its 2021 Washington, D.C., Super Lawyers and Rising Stars list.

Impeachment Is Almost Over. Here Are the Dozens of Lawyers Who Got Involved

February 05, 2020

On February 5, the National Law Journal published an article about the private lawyers who were pulled into President Donald Trump's impeachment at “nearly every stage of the proceedings."

Cozen O’Connor Elects 19 Associates to Membership

April 09, 2018

Cozen O’Connor has elected 19 associates to membership in the firm. The management committee appointed this qualified group of attorneys to membership based on demonstrated professionalism, leadership, dedication, and loyalty to Cozen O’Connor.

Cozen O’Connor Welcomes Karen D. Williams to its Criminal Defense & Internal Investigations Group in Washington, DC

January 04, 2017

Williams represents both individual and corporate clients in civil litigation, white collar and criminal defense matters and has handled investigations and arbitration proceedings involving breach of contract, fraud and tort claims.


Supreme Court Emphasizes Limits of Federal Fraud Statutes

May 21, 2020

Karen Williams and Stephen Miller discuss the Supreme Court's decision in Kelly v. United States.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

ABA White Collar Crime 2023

March 01, 2023 - Miami, FL

Leaks, leakers, and the law

June 22, 2017 - Phoenix, AZ


  • American University, Washington College of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 2009
  • University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, B.A., 2002

Awards & Honors

DC Super Lawyers’ Rising Stars (White Collar Defense & Investigations), 2021

  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia
  • U.S. District Court -- Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court -- District of Columbia

American Bar Association

D.C. Chapter of the Women’s White Collar Defense Association