Press Release

Former U.S. Attorney John Lausch Returns to Kirkland

Kirkland & Ellis is pleased to welcome back John Lausch, who recently stepped down as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, following over five years of distinguished service in that position. Mr. Lausch will return to the Firm as a partner in the Government, Regulatory & Internal Investigations Practice Group.

“John is an exceptional talent who has served with distinction in government and private practice throughout his career. With his vast experience he could have gone anywhere, but we’re delighted he chose to come back to Kirkland, adding strength to strength in our government, regulatory and internal investigations practice,” said Jon A. Ballis, Chairman of Kirkland’s Executive Committee.

Mr. Lausch served as U.S. Attorney since 2017, overseeing 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 achieved significant convictions in the areas of public corruption, national security, financial fraud, violent crime and drug trafficking.

From 2018 to 2020, Mr. Lausch also served on the U.S. Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC), which consists of a select number of U.S. Attorneys who advise the Attorney General on policy, management and operational issues impacting the Department of Justice nationwide.

Mr. Lausch started his legal career at Kirkland in 1997 as an associate and left in 1999 to become an Assistant U.S. 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.

At Kirkland, Mr. Lausch will focus his practice on government enforcement defense, internal investigations and other litigation matters. His 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. Mr. Lausch has also represented companies 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.

“We look forward to working side-by-side again with John,” said Mark Filip, a member of Kirkland’s Executive Committee who helps lead the Firm’s Litigation and Government, Regulatory & Internal Investigations Groups. “John is a first-rate lawyer who is broadly respected across the nation. He has a well-rounded perspective and is a committed advocate for his clients.”

“I’m excited to return to private practice and to Kirkland, which provided me with a strong foundation of skills for my legal career,” Mr. Lausch said. “I’m looking forward to reconnecting with old colleagues, meeting new people and putting my skills and experience to work for clients.”

Mr. Lausch holds degrees from Harvard University and Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. He clerked for U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Judge Michael S. Kanne. He has also taught a seminar on “Federal Criminal Practice” at the University of Chicago Law School and trial advocacy at the Department of Justice’s National Advocacy Center.