Bloomberg Law
April 25, 2019, 4:18 PMUpdated: April 25, 2019, 7:04 PM

Jones Day Washington Litigation Head Joins Walmart Law Dept. (1)

Elizabeth Olson
Elizabeth Olson
Special Correspondent

Kerri L. Ruttenberg, a Jones Day partner and head of litigation in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, is departing for Walmart to serve as senior vice president of litigation at the retailer.

Karen Roberts, Walmart’s general counsel, made the announcement in a memo. She called Ruttenberg, who is starting at the company July 1, “a well-regarded litigator with first chair trial expertise.”

The memo said Ruttenberg has represented domestic and international clients in civil, criminal, and appellate actions in state and federal courts around the country.

At Jones Day, Ruttenberg has led attorneys in various offices on matters involving the False Claims Act, antitrust, securities, intellectual property, corporate fiduciary duty, and white-collar crime.

She led the successful legal representation in two False Claims Act jury trials and defended clients against the Federal Trade Commission in two separate antitrust merger challenges. She’s also the author of a book about how to use effective visuals at trial.

Ruttenberg will relocate to Arkansas where Walmart is headquartered. She succeeds Michael Bennett, who had been a senior vice president overseeing litigation at the Bentonville headquarters. He was in the position for 17 years and announced his retirement last November.

Ruttenberg said in a statement that the digital transformation Walmart is undergoing “makes this an exciting time” to join the retail giant. She declined further comment.

Walmart, buffeted by the growth in shopping online, is revamping its e-commerce efforts to allow customers to order online and pick up items in person and expanding its home delivery of groceries.

In February, another Washington-based lawyer, Rachel Brand, joined Walmart as executive vice president, global governance, and corporate secretary. She was formerly No.3 at the U.S. Justice Department.

Ruttenberg had been a partner at now defunct Dewey & LeBoeuf prior to joining Jones Day in 2010.

Jones Day recently added two partners from Big Law and another lawyer from PwC. The global firm, which has more than a dozen of its former lawyers serving in the Trump administration, also recently welcomed former partner Don McGahn.

McGahn had left Jones Day to serve as White House counsel, and is being asked to testify on his White House experiences before Congress.

(Added information about Ruttenberg and Walmart throughout. )

To contact the reporter responsible for this story: Elizabeth Olson at
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at