Kirkland & Ellis LLP is pleased to announce that Jay B. Stephens has joined the Firm as Of Counsel in its Washington, D.C., office. Mr. Stephens will work in collaboration with attorneys across the Firm to support client engagements by counseling boards on corporate governance, transactional and enforcement matters, by providing advice to clients regarding complex internal investigations, compliance issues and regulatory enforcement strategies, and by contributing to the sound resolution of regulatory and litigation disputes. He will serve as a strategic asset to the Firm’s practice by supporting its global client engagements and the delivery of client services and solutions.
“During his distinguished career in government, private practice and business, Jay Stephens has earned an impeccable reputation as a trusted lawyer, business advisor and leader,” said Jeffrey C. Hammes, Chairman of Kirkland’s Global Management Executive Committee. “His experience handling the most complex and wide-ranging litigation, regulatory and corporate governance issues will be a tremendous asset to our Firm and to our clients facing complicated litigation and increasing compliance and regulatory obligations.”
Mr. Stephens joins Kirkland from Raytheon Company, a global leader in technology and innovation, specializing in defense, intelligence, civil and cybersecurity markets throughout the world. There, he served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary from 2002 to 2015. As a member of Raytheon’s senior leadership team, he participated in the operational management and strategic planning of the company. In his role as General Counsel, Mr. Stephens led the company’s legal and regulatory affairs, ethics and compliance programs, and corporate governance activities. He also oversaw corporate staff activities in the areas of risk management, safety and environmental quality. He retired from Raytheon in June, and served as a senior adviser to the company until the end of 2015.
Mr. Stephens also has extensive experience in senior government positions. Prior to joining Raytheon, he was the Associate Attorney General of the United States, where he provided leadership and policy oversight for the civil components of the U.S. Department of Justice, including the Antitrust, Civil, Civil Rights, Environment and Natural Resources, and Tax divisions. He also served as the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia from 1988 to 1993, where he led the nation’s largest federal prosecutor’s office, and as White House Deputy Counsel to President Ronald Reagan from 1986 to 1988.
Before becoming the Associate Attorney General, Mr. Stephens served as Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Honeywell International. There, he led the company’s litigation and regulatory functions, chaired its integrity and compliance program, and served as general counsel of the company’s diversified business divisions. Prior to joining Honeywell, he was a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Pillsbury Madison & Sutro LLP, and a co-managing partner of the firm’s Washington office. Earlier in his career he served in a variety of positions in the Department of Justice and in the private sector, including Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, Assistant U.S. Attorney and Assistant Special Watergate Prosecutor.
“Jay Stephens is a preeminent lawyer of his generation,” said Mark Filip, government, regulatory and internal investigations partner and a member of Kirkland’s Global Management Executive Committee. “He has successfully handled such a broad range of important matters, as a longtime leader at Raytheon, and at the U.S. Justice Department in his many public service roles, and he will be a great asset to our clients and their leaders. We are thrilled he has joined our government investigations team.”
“Jay is one of the most respected lawyers in Washington, and has worked on some of the most challenging issues — for public companies and the government — over the years. We are thrilled that he has decided to join us, and to work together in addressing our clients' needs," said Eugene Assaf, a Washington, D.C.-based litigation partner and a member of Kirkland’s Global Management Executive Committee.
“I am delighted to have an opportunity to work with the exceptional team of talented professionals at Kirkland. I look forward to contributing to the sound resolution of complex governance, regulatory and enforcement client issues, and to assisting the Firm in delivering trusted client services and creative solutions to its global clients,” said Mr. Stephens.
Mr. Stephens holds a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School and a B.A. in government, magna cum laude, and Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College. He also studied philosophy-politics-economics at New College, Oxford University, on a Knox Fellowship. He currently serves as chair of the Washington Legal Foundation’s Legal Policy Advisory Board, on the board of directors of the New England Legal Foundation and the Atlantic Legal Foundation, as well as counsel to the board of the National Association of Former United States Attorneys. He serves on the advisory board of the Georgetown Law School Corporate Counsel Institute, and as a trustee of the American Friends of New College, Oxford. In 2014, he was named one of “America’s Outstanding General Counsel” by The National Law Journal, and in 2015 the NYSE Governance Services honored him with its Lifetime Achievement Award.
About Kirkland & Ellis
Kirkland & Ellis LLP (www.kirkland.com) is a 1,700-attorney law firm representing global clients in complex litigation and dispute resolution/arbitration, corporate, restructuring and tax, and intellectual property and technology matters. The Firm has offices in Washington, D.C., Beijing, Chicago, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco and Shanghai.