Mary McNamara



J.D. & LL.M, University of California, Berkeley School of Law

B.A. (First Class Hon.) Trinity College Dublin
Graduated First in Class
Henry Hamilton Hunter Memorial Prize

Chambers Band 1 for White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations in California

2022 President Bar Association of San Francisco

Best Lawyers 2024 Recognition (Recognized since 2008)

  • Bet-the-Company Litigation
  • Criminal Defense: White Collar

Mary McNamara


Mary McNamara is recognized in Band 1 of Chambers USA America’s Leading Lawyers, White Collar Crime & Government investigations, where she is described as “a fantastic advocate, who is incredibly persuasive…. She is one of the best oral advocates I have ever met.”  

Mary is AV-rated by Martindale Hubbell, and has been a Northern California Super Lawyer every year since 2004.  She also was named Best Lawyers 2012 Lawyer of the Year in White Collar Criminal Defense in San Francisco.  She was the 2022 President of the Bar Association of San Francisco.

Mary has obtained outstanding results for her clients through persuading prosecutors and regulators to decline enforcement proceedings, resolving challenging litigation at fractions of the exposure, and mitigating reputational harm for businesses and executives.  She handles a broad range of criminal matters including antitrust, tax fraud, health care fraud, securities fraud, money laundering, trade secret and economic espionage and is frequently retained by Fortune 500 companies in complex civil matters, including securities and derivative lawsuits, copyright and trade secret litigation, and a variety of commercial and business disputes. 

Representative matters include:

  • Successful representation of officers and directors in multiple federal securities fraud actions
  • Civil resolution of California AG Charitable Trusts Section investigation into major raffle offerings
  • Declination of enforcement action for bank executive in OCC investigation of national bank
  • Ongoing representation of key figure in federal political corruption case
  • Ongoing representation of defendant in federal economic espionage case
  • Declination of prosecution for oil executive in national disaster investigation
  • Deferred prosecution for executive of a failed regional bank in loan fraud matter
  • Non-prosecution of vendor in theft of public monies fraud matter
  • Misdemeanor resolution for national corporation in industrial fatality investigation
  • Significantly below guidelines sentence for director of regional agency in multi-million dollar embezzlement
  • Declination of prosecution for executive in major bank fraud investigation
  • Successful representation of high-level executives in academic institutions in investigative and disciplinary proceedings
  • Declination of prosecution in federal false claims cases
  • Dismissal of all charges against attorney accused of obstruction of justice
  • Representation of witness at Congressional hearing in connection with inquiry into data hacks and leaks at technology companies
  • Overturning manslaughter conviction and dismissal of murder charge against woman prosecuted for stillbirth while having street drugs in her system
  • Below guidelines sentence (after successful appeal) in terrorism case
  • Lead counsel for Big Tech company on federal securities class action case

Court Service, Professional Volunteering, Pro Bono:

Resume of Court Service 

Northern District of California Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Committee

CJA Fees Review Committee Chair

CJA Panel Attorney District Representative for the Northern District of California

Defender Services Advisory Group to the Defender Services Office of the U.S. Courts

Co-Chair Lawyer Representatives for the Northern District of California to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference

Member, Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panels


Professional Volunteering

2022 President of the Bar Association of San Francisco

Member, Bar Association of San Francisco’s Legal Alliance for Reproductive Rights 

Member, Legal Committee of the ACLU, Northern California


Pro Bono

California Attorneys for Criminal Justice Skip Glenn Award:  For pro bono representation of Adora Perez, charged with murder in Kings County after she suffered a stillbirth while having drugs in her system (manslaughter conviction overturned and murder charge dismissed).  

Bar Association of San Francisco Award of Merit:  For leading the Bar Association of San Francisco’s effort to create the Legal Alliance for Reproductive Rights, a group of law firms committed to providing pro bono assistance in the post-Dobbs era.

American Jewish Committee Pursuit of Justice Award