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Northwestern Law Alumnus Named New White House Counsel

W. Neil Eggleston JD ’78 specializes in representing high-profile public figures

EVANSTON, Ill. --- W. Neil Eggleston, a 1978 graduate of Northwestern University School of Law, has been named the new White House counsel by President Barack Obama.

Eggleston has been a litigation partner in Kirkland & Ellis’ Washington, D.C. and New York offices, regularly advising corporations and corporate boards on a wide range of legal issues, including corporate governance, civil litigation, internal investigations and allegations of fraud. 

Eggleston has represented a number of high-profile public figures, including the former White House chief of staff in the prosecution of the former governor of Illinois, the Office of the President of the United States in the Whitewater/Lewinsky investigation, a Secretary of labor in an Independent Counsel investigation, a secretary of transportation in a Department of Justice investigation, and U.S. senators in ethics inquiries.

“Neil Eggleston’s commitment to public service is legendary,” said Northwestern Law School Dean Daniel B. Rodriguez. “I can think of no one more qualified to advise the president on the most important policy questions and legal issues of our day.”

Eggleston has been a member of Northwestern’s Law Board since 2000, a group comprised primarily of its alumni who are law firm, corporate and civic leaders, which assists in framing the basic direction of the school and monitors the implementation of strategic plans. The Law Board also supports and advises the dean, the administration and the faculty in areas including curriculum, faculty, financial support, research, admissions, employment, student life, planning and resource allocation.

“Neil brings extraordinary expertise, credentials and experience, to our team,” President Obama said in a statement. “He has a passion for public service, is renowned for his conscientiousness and foresight, and I look forward to working closely with him in the coming years.”

From 1993 to 1994, Eggleston served in the White House as associate counsel to the President. He also served as deputy chief counsel, U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran, from 1987-1988, and as an assistant U.S. attorney (1981-1987) and chief appellate attorney for the Southern District of New York (1986-1987). He served as a law clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (1978-1979) and for Chief Justice Warren E. Burger on the U.S. Supreme Court (1979-1980).

Eggleston frequently lectures at the American Bar Association and similar seminars. He also counsels corporations on compliance programs and other preventative measures. He co-authored “Does Your Board Need a Risk Committee?” Directors & Boards (2009), in addition to “Option Pricing Issues: Six Questions You Should Be Asking,” Directors & Boards E-Briefing (2006).

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