Press Release

Erin Nealy Cox, Former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, to Join Kirkland & Ellis as Partner

Nealy Cox is the latest addition to the Firm’s growing Government, Regulatory and Internal Investigations Group

Kirkland & Ellis is pleased to announce that Erin Nealy Cox, a prominent lawyer, former high-ranking U.S. Department of Justice official and cybersecurity expert, will be joining the Firm on September 1 as a partner in the Dallas office. Ms. Nealy Cox most recently served as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. She will be joining Kirkland’s Government, Regulatory and Internal Investigations Group and will continue her work counseling boards of directors and executives from the world’s top companies.

“We are thrilled to welcome Erin to Kirkland,” said Jon A. Ballis, Chairman of Kirkland’s Executive Committee. “Erin is an incredibly talented litigator and trusted counselor, who is widely respected in the private and public sectors. Her breadth of experience gained from years as a senior Justice Department official, serving as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, as well as years as a respected senior advisor particularly on cybersecurity, will greatly benefit the corporations and executives who trust Kirkland to help them navigate their most pivotal moments.”

“Erin is an exceptional trial lawyer and leader known for her strong integrity and unmatched expertise in supervising and conducting large, complex criminal investigations. Given her background leading high-profile positions at DOJ, and her deep expertise in cyber issues and board governance, Erin is a strong addition to our already deep bench of more than 100 white collar lawyers, including 35 former federal prosecutors,” added Mark Filip, a member of Kirkland’s Executive Committee who leads the Firm’s Government, Regulatory and Internal Investigations Group. “I look forward to working with Erin as she leads our efforts in Texas to grow the practice group.”

As U.S. Attorney, Erin led over 110 federal prosecutors and quarterbacked the Northern District of Texas’ most significant investigations, prosecuting more cases and more defendants than any other extra-large non-border district in the nation. While serving as U.S. Attorney, Ms. Nealy Cox served as Chairperson of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC), a body of 15 U.S. Attorneys selected by the Attorney General to advise on national priorities, including policy and operational issues. She also led the AGAC task force on domestic violence and firearms crimes. In addition, Nealy Cox served as co-chair of the Attorney General’s task force on violent anti-government extremism, served on DOJ’s religious liberty task force, and was one of five U.S. Attorneys advising DOJ’s China initiative, a group of senior officials combatting state-sponsored economic espionage. 

“Through her extraordinary credentials and our personal experience, we know Erin to be a brilliant lawyer and wonderful colleague who will be a valuable addition to our Firm. Having overseen some of DOJ’s highest-profile investigations, Erin will strengthen our already notable government investigations practice, and enhance our position as a leading white collar defense law firm in Texas,” commented Andrew Calder, a member of Kirkland’s Executive Committee and a partner in the Firm’s Houston office.  

During her prosecutorial career, Ms. Nealy Cox served as Chief of Staff and Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General in the DOJ’s Office of Legal Policy in Washington, D.C. She also previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Texas, where she prosecuted cyber and white collar crimes.

Prior to her appointment as U.S. Attorney in 2017, Ms. Nealy Cox served briefly as a senior advisor at McKinsey & Co., in the consulting firm’s cybersecurity and risk practice. Before that, she was executive managing director at Stroz Friedberg, a cybersecurity and investigations consulting firm, ultimately leading the firm’s global incident response business. She also served on the board of directors of Sally Beauty Holdings, a large retailer listed on the NYSE. 

She has been recognized extensively for her work and contributions in the areas of public corruption, reduction of violent crime, domestic violence and human trafficking. She received national accolades for the Northern District of Texas’ efforts to reduce crime and engage the community as part of the DOJ’s Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative. She was also recognized nationally and locally for her efforts to combat domestic violence through gun control initiatives and her work to eradicate human trafficking through the efforts of the North Texas Trafficking Task Force. 

Ms. Nealy Cox clerked for Chief Judge Henry A. Politz of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the Honorable Barefoot Sanders, U.S. District Judge in the Northern District of Texas. She earned her J.D., magna cum laude, from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law and her B.B.A. in finance from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.