John Lausch is a partner in the Government, Regulatory & Internal Investigations Practice Group in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. John is the former United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and has deep experience in both private practice and government service. John is an accomplished leader, dedicated counselor and experienced trial lawyer who focuses his practice on government enforcement defense, internal investigations and other litigation matters.

John’s experience in private practice includes representing BP in connection with government investigations and related litigation resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and oil spill. He has also represented companies and individuals before various governmental entities and led confidential internal investigations for companies and/or their boards of directors on a variety of other matters, including in connection with allegations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, health care fraud and environmental crimes.

John served as United States Attorney during two presidential administrations, from 2017 to 2023. In that role, John oversaw more than 300 employees, including approximately 155 Assistant U.S. Attorneys, who investigate and prosecute federal criminal offenses and represent federal agencies in affirmative and defensive civil litigation. Under his leadership, the office successfully conducted significant prosecutions in the areas of public corruption, national security, financial fraud, violent crime and drug trafficking. John served on the United States Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC), which consists of approximately 15 United States Attorneys who advise the Attorney General on policy, management and operational issues impacting the Department of Justice nationwide. John also handled special projects for three Attorney Generals, to include conducting the initial investigation into the alleged mishandling of classified documents by the former Vice President and current President of the United States to inform the decision to appoint Special Counsel; and leading the Department of Justice’s efforts to provide materials to the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee related to the FBI’s investigation of the former Secretary of State’s alleged mishandling of classified information.

John started his legal career at Kirkland in 1997 as an associate and left in 1999 to become an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) in the Northern District of Illinois. He served 11 years in that role, including as a supervisor from 2005 to 2010. As an AUSA, he tried more than 20 criminal jury cases involving RICO conspiracy, various fraud offenses, narcotics, extortion and firearms charges. In particular, John investigated and tried high-profile, complex corruption cases as an AUSA. He also briefed and argued several appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. As an AUSA, John received two United States Department of Justice Director’s Awards for Superior Performance. After serving as an AUSA, John returned to Kirkland as a partner from 2010 to 2017.


Thought Leadership

Speaking Engagements

Panelist, “From Inquiry to Resolution: A Guide to Responding to Government Investigations,” General Counsel Conference Midwest, April 2024


Co-author, “White-Collar Crime Practice Guide – USA: Law & Practice,” Chambers & Partners, 2023


Recognized by Chambers USA for Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations, 2024

Memberships & Affiliations

The Chicago Inn of Court


Admissions & Qualifications

  • 1996Illinois


  • Northwestern Pritzker School of LawJ.D.cum laude1996

    Order of the Coif

    Executive Editor, Northwestern University Law Review

  • Harvard UniversityA.B.cum laude1992
    Captain, Varsity Football