Kristin Bender is a partner in the Litigation Department and a member of the Crisis Management Group and the Strategic Motions & Appeals Group. Her practice centers on high-stakes disputes and class actions, often relating to complex anti-corruption, contracts, defamation, fraud, and securities and financial matters on behalf of leading commercial and entities. She has served as trial counsel for plaintiffs and defendants on numerous federal trials. Kristin maintains a strong regulatory practice—with a particular focus on the Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”)—and, leveraging her advanced degree in international law and years in the London market, regularly performs work on behalf of multinational clients including in relation to INTERPOL. Kristin maintains a robust pro bono practice and is a member of the Editorial Board for the American Bar Association’s Litigation Journal.


Kristin was a law clerk for the Hon. Richard C. Wesley on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the Hon. Lawrence J. Vilardo on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York.

Kristin’s recent experience includes:

  • Securing a $148.1 million jury verdict in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of Fulton County Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and Wandrea’ ArShaye Moss in a lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani for launching a conspiracy to falsely accuse them of committing election fraud in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.
  • Representing PDV Holding, Inc., a U.S.-based subsidiary of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company governed by the U.S.-recognized National Assembly, in ongoing litigation in the Southern District of New York, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the New York Court of Appeals in relation to the invalidity of bonds issued in 2016—an issue implicating more than $1.9 billion and the pledge of a controlling interest of the holding company of CITGO Petroleum Corporation—the “crown jewel” of Venezuela.
  • Serving as counsel of record for an amicus brief filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on behalf of federal judiciary employee alleging sexual harassment and retaliation claims.
  • Representing a third party in relation to multi-million dollar art fraud case in the Southern District of New York relating to works by da Vinci, Klimt, Magritte and Modigliani.
  • Representing the Kurdistan Regional Government in significant transnational litigation relating to the KRG’s constitutional right to export oil under the terms of the Iraqi Constitution and laws of the Kurdistan Region.
  • Representing the plaintiff in a defamation litigation filed on behalf of the brother of deceased DNC staffer Seth Rich, challenging viral online conspiracy theories relating to Seth Rich’s murder.
  • Representing multiple clients in relation to submissions to the International Criminal Police Organization, including with respect to the removal of red notices.
  • Pro bono counsel in Neiberger, et al. v. Islamic Republic of Iran, earning a near-complete verdict of liability on motion for default judgment under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and a judgment of more than $455 million on behalf of U.S. military service members and civilians and their families who were injured or killed in terrorist attacks in Iraq from 2006 to 2009.
  • Counsel for plaintiff in Rich v. Butowsky, defamation litigation challenging viral online conspiracy theories, achieving successful settlement and retractions by defendants.
  • Trial counsel successfully defending Uber Technologies Inc., achieving complete defense verdict against $750 million in liability in client’s first-ever trial taken to verdict.*
  • Trial counsel representing plaintiff SourceOne Dental Inc. in group boycott trial, achieving successful settlement after close of plaintiff’s case.*
  • Trial team for Apple Inc. in highly publicized contract and licensing dispute that resulted in successful settlement during trial.*

* Kristin advised on these matters prior to joining Willkie.



Duke University School of Law, J.D., LL.M., 2016 Clemson University, B.S., 2013

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia New York

Court Admissions

United States Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit United States Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit United States Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit United States Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit United States Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit United States District Court, District of Columbia United States District Court, Southern District of New York United States District Court, Eastern District of New York United States District Court, Western District of New York