Press Release

Kirkland Welcomes Back Former White House Counsel Neil Eggleston

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is pleased to announce that W. Neil Eggleston is returning to Kirkland as a partner in the Government, Regulatory & Internal Investigations Practice Group, after serving as White House Counsel under President Obama.

“Neil is an outstanding lawyer with a passion for the profession and a range of experience that is hard to match,” said Jeffrey C. Hammes, Chairman of Kirkland’s Global Management Executive Committee. “Lawyers like Neil have a lot of options available to them when leaving government. We are thrilled he will return to Kirkland, and we look forward to welcoming him back to the Firm.”

In the White House, Mr. Eggleston advised the president on legal and constitutional issues involving such domestic and foreign policy matters as the defense of congressional investigations, the judicial selection and nomination process, government ethics and clemency.

Mr. Eggleston, who was at Kirkland from 2012 to 2014, has also represented corporations and high-profile public figures against allegations of civil and criminal fraud-related offenses in the areas of securities, health care and government procurement, as well as violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and antitrust laws, among other matters. He also has substantial experience representing companies and individuals in internal investigations and congressional investigations.

Among his high-profile representations before becoming White House Counsel, Mr. Eggleston served as defense counsel for former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in the prosecution of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. He was also Associate White House Counsel in the Clinton administration, handling oversight and litigation matters. He represented the Office of the President of the United States in the Whitewater/Lewinsky investigation, as well as a Secretary of Labor, a Secretary of Transportation and U.S. senators, among other prominent agencies and individuals.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Eggleston served in several government positions, including Deputy Chief Counsel, U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran (1987-1988); Assistant U.S. Attorney (1981-1987); and Chief Appellate Attorney (1986-1987) for the Southern District of New York.

“Neil has answered the call to serve in important government roles throughout his exceptional career. He is a lawyer’s lawyer and an intellectual heavyweight,” said Gene Assaf, a litigation partner in Kirkland’s Washington, D.C., office and a member of the  Firm’s Global Management Executive Committee. “We are glad to see him return to Kirkland where he will use his tremendous talent, drive and energy to serve clients.”

“Neil is such an asset to clients facing tough challenges. He has a great legal mind, and he also possesses very mature, informed judgment and grace under pressure as a result of the experience that he’s had in his varied positions,” added Mark Filip, another member of the Firm’s Global Management Executive Committee. “When he left we lost one of our best ballplayers and it’s great to welcome him back to the team as one of our stars.”

“I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to serve in the White House under President Obama, and am looking forward to returning to Kirkland & Ellis, private practice and teaching once again,” said Mr. Eggleston.

Mr. Eggleston earned a J.D. from the Northwestern University School of Law and a B.A. from Duke University. He clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and for U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren E. Burger. He is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers and currently teaches at Harvard Law School.

Mr. Eggleston has also been recognized as a leading lawyer by industry publications including Chambers USA, which said, Neil is “a person you want to have fighting in your corner” and “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.”

About Kirkland & Ellis
Kirkland & Ellis is a 1,900-attorney law firm representing global clients in government, regulatory and internal investigations, litigation and dispute resolution/arbitration, private equity, M&A and other complex corporate transactions, restructuring and intellectual property 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.