Neil Eggleston is a litigation partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Neil has a distinguished record of public service, and has held a number of senior government roles. He was White House Counsel to President Obama from 2014 to 2017, and advised the president on all legal and constitutional issues across a broad spectrum of domestic and foreign policy matters. Neil’s practice focuses on enforcement defense including at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), U.S. Attorney’s Offices, and other enforcement agencies. Earlier in his career, Neil served as Associate Counsel to President Clinton from 1993 to 1994. He also served as Deputy Chief Counsel, U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee Investigating the Iran/Contra Affair (1987–1988); Assistant U.S. Attorney (1981–1987); and Chief Appellate Attorney for the Southern District of New York (1986–1987).

He regularly advises corporations and corporate boards on a wide range of legal issues, including corporate governance, civil litigation, internal investigations, and allegations of fraud. He has significant experience representing corporate audit committees in SEC and audit-related issues. He also has broad experience advising individuals and companies facing Congressional and regulatory investigations.

In 2023, Neil was honored as a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award by The American Lawyer. Clients have said Neil has “good judgment” and is the “person you want to have fighting in your corner,” who “not only offers superb judgment, but also approaches the practice of law with a passion and then turns that passion into extraordinary creativity for getting results.” He is commended for his deep experience in white-collar criminal defense work as well as securities litigation and securities regulation work, according to Chambers USA. In the 2020 edition of Chambers USA, clients praised Neil as an “extremely sophisticated, plugged-in and smart attorney,” adding: “He’s the guy you want to bring to the table for a big board meeting.” Clients also noted that Neil “displays an excellent manner with boards and senior executives and regulators,” according to The Legal 500 U.S.

Neil served as a law clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (1978–1979) and for Chief Justice Warren E. Burger on the U.S. Supreme Court (1979–1980).

Neil teaches a seminar at Harvard Law School on the topic of “Presidential Power” in the spring of 2017, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2023 and upcoming in 2024 and has taught a seminar on the topic of “The New Supreme Court” since the fall of 2021. Neil previously taught at Yale Law School in the spring of 2018. He also frequently lectures at the American Bar Association and similar seminars.


Thought Leadership

Press Mentions

“Can Donald Trump Still Assert Executive Privilege?,” Harvard Law Today, September 28, 2021

“How Far Can Biden Go?,” The Harvard Gazette, July 30, 2021


Author, “Opinion: George Floyd Might Still Be Alive if An Officer Like Cariol Horne Had Been There,” The Washington Post, June 25, 2021

Co-Author with Alexa Kissinger, “How to Fix 4 Years of Trump’s War Against Government,” The New York Times, January 25, 2021

Co-Author, “White-Collar Crime Practice Guide – U.S. Chapter,” Chambers & Partners, October 2019


Panelist, “Checking the Executive: The Importance of Congressional Oversight,” The Federalist Society, December 22, 2017

Guest, “American Forum: The President's Lawyer,” PBS, Season 29, Episode 5, October 8, 2017

Speaker, “Rule of Law and the Role of the White House Counsel,” American Constitution Society, Columbia Law School, September 12, 2017


Recognized as a Local Litigation Star and National Practice Area Star in White Collar Crime, Benchmark Litigation, 2019–2024

Recognized in the “Hall of Fame,” Lawdragon, 2023–2024

Recognized in "500 Leading Litigators," Lawdragon, 2024

Recognized in Criminal Defense: White-Collar (Washington, D.C.), Best Lawyers®, 2013–2014, 2020–2024

Highly ranked in Litigation: White-Collar Crime and Government Investigations (District of Columbia), Chambers USA, 2019–2023

Recognized in Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense, The Legal 500 U.S., 2012–2013, 2018, 2020–2023

Selected by The American Lawyer as a Lifetime Achievement honoree, 2023

Recipient of Lifetime Achievement Award, The American Lawyer, 2023

Recognized as Lawyer of the Year for Criminal Defense: White-Collar (Washington, D.C.), The Best Lawyers in America, 2022 

Recognized in Financial Services: Litigation, The Legal 500 U.S., 2013–2014, 2018–2019

Recognized in Securities Litigation: Defense, The Legal 500 U.S., 2018

Recognized as one of Washington’s Best Lawyers, Washingtonian, 2011, 2014

Tier 1 in Litigation: White-Collar Crime and Government Investigations (District of Columbia), Chambers USA, 2012–2014

Tier 1 in Litigation: Securities (District of Columbia), Chambers USA, 2012–2014

Highly ranked in Securities: Regulation: Enforcement (Nationwide), Chambers USA, 2012–2014

Highly ranked in Securities: Litigation (Nationwide), Chambers USA, 2012–2014

Recognized on the NACD Directorship 100 (a list of the most influential leaders in corporate governance), National Association of Corporate Directors, 2012

Memberships & Affiliations

Member, American College of Trial Lawyers

Member, American Law Institute

Board of Directors, Washington Lawyers’ Committee 

Board of Trustees, Campaign Legal Center 

Board of Trustees, Supreme Court Historical Society


Admissions & Qualifications

  • 1978Virginia
  • 1986New York
  • 1987District of Columbia


  • Northwestern Pritzker School of LawJ.D.1978
  • Duke UniversityB.A.1975