Bob Eatinger, Government and National Security Practice Partner and Practice Lead.

Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig hires former Senior Deputy General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency, Robert Eatinger, to lead National Security Practice.

Bob’s extensive experience handling our nation’s most sensitive legal and strategic challenges makes him an exceptional addition to the firm.”
— Thomas Dunlap, Founding Partner

WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, January 28, 2019 / -- Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig (DBL), a leading international law firm serving businesses across North America, Europe and China, announced today that Robert “Bob” Eatinger, former Senior Deputy General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and CIA’s Acting General Counsel from October 2013 to March 2014, has joined the firm’s Government and National Security Practice as a partner and practice lead. Mr. Eatinger will advise clients on issues related to intelligence programs, business strategy and risk assessment, information security, digital platforms, and a wide range of government and security matters across DBL’s practices, including corporate, privacy, international trade, technology, and government contracts.

“Bob’s extensive experience handling our nation’s most sensitive legal and strategic challenges makes him an exceptional addition to the firm,” said Thomas Dunlap, founder of Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig. “Our clients will be well-served by his broad knowledge of U.S. regulations and policies impacting international business, technology, and government programs.”

From 2013 to his retirement from the CIA in December 2015, Bob oversaw the CIA’s Office of General Counsel of more than 150 attorneys, and was responsible for the timely and accurate provision of all legal advice and services to the leadership and personnel of the CIA. Legal matters ranged from the administrative, personnel, ethics, fiscal, information, litigation, and contract law matters faced by any federal agency, to the complex and novel U.S. and international legal law issues arising from the planning and conduct of operational intelligence activities, including covert action approved by the President of the United States, and protecting the privacy and civil liberties of U.S. persons. Intelligence matters ranged from the Constitutional, statutory, executive order, and regulatory issues attendant to the collection, analysis, production, and dissemination of foreign intelligence and counterintelligence and the conduct of counterintelligence activities. Notably, Bob represented or briefed the CIA legal interests in meetings with the President, the National Security Council, the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board and Intelligence Oversight Board, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, the Director of National Intelligence, federal courts, Congressional committees, members, and staff, and foreign partners and was one of the few attorneys who worked on the legal issues for the May 2011 operation that killed Osama bin Laden. Bob retired from the CIA in December 2015 with 31 years of experience practicing national security law, 24 years with the CIA, three years with the National Security Agency, and four years with the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Special Programs Office.

Before becoming CIA’s Senior Deputy General Counsel, Bob served as CIA’s Deputy General Counsel for Operations from September 2009 to June 2013, where he was responsible for the timely and accurate provision of legal advice on all CIA operational law matters. In addition, Bob served as the Chief Legal Adviser for Counterterrorism (2004 to 2009), Chief, OGC Litigation Division (1999 to 2004), Deputy Chief, OGC Litigation Division (1997 to 1999), Legal Advisor, Latin America Division, Directorate of Operations (1995 to 1997), and litigation attorney, OGC Litigation Division (1991 to 1995).

From 1983 to 1991, Bob served on active duty in the United States Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps, including a three-year assignment to the National Security Agency, where he specialized in intelligence law and national security litigation, including espionage prosecutions. He affiliated with the Navy Reserve Law Program after leaving active duty and retired in 2013 as a Captain with 30 years of service.

After retiring from the CIA and immediately prior to joining the DBL, Bob was the Principal of SpyLaw Consulting, LLC, a consulting service for U.S. businesses seeking to make better informed business and risk management decisions with respect to commercial or other interactions with U.S. intelligence agencies. Bob has presented on intelligence law and classified litigation at the University of Virginia School of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School, Columbia University Law School, University of Mary Washington, the Department of Justice National Advocacy Center, and the Naval Justice School. Bob is a member of the Lawyers of Distinction and a lifetime charter member of Best Attorneys of America. He is also a Council Member for the Gerson Lehrman Group, an Expert for Duco, a member of the Network of Experts for The Cipher Brief, and on the Board of Advisors for the Third Option Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization for CIA paramilitary officers and their families.

Bob received his JD in 1982 from the University of San Diego School of Law and his BS in Political Science in 1979 from California State University San Bernardino. Bob is admitted to the Bars of the State of California and the District of Columbia. Bob is not admitted to the Virginia State Bar and therefore may not and does not provide advice on matters of Virginia law or on federal matters that are either impacted by Virginia law or in which Virginia legal issues are involved.


Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig is a leading comprehensive legal advisor to national and global businesses, entrepreneurs, and executives and their families with 16 offices nationwide, as well as Toronto, London and China. DBL was founded by US Army veterans and has over 70 attorneys licensed to practice in over 40 states. Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig has been recognized as one of the top intellectual property law firms by IP Watchdog. For more info visit:

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