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Neil Eggleston Picked for White House Counsel

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by Publius
Posted April 21, 2014, 3:53 PM

BLT: The Blog of Legal Times reports:

W. Neil Eggleston, a white-collar defender in Kirkland & Ellis' Washington office, was named Monday the next White House counsel.

Eggleston was picked to replace Kathryn Ruemmler, a former Latham & Watkins partner who plans to stay at the post until mid-May, the White House said. Ruemmler intends to return to private practice in New York.

"Neil brings extraordinary expertise, credentials and experience to our team," President Barack Obama said in a written 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."

Eggleston is "the perfect person for this job" at this point in Obama's presidency, said Jamie Gorelick, who leads the defense and government-contracts practice at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr.

"Whether a president is a Republican or a Democrat, the last two years of the second term is likely to be filled with investigations and that is something Neil knows very well and has abundant experience with," Gorelick said.

During the past 20 years, Eggleston has handled high-profile cases with deep ties to the White House. He represented former Obama White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel during the criminal prosecution of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Eggleston represented the Office of the President in the Monica Lewinsky investigation and secretaries of labor and transportation and U.S. senators in ethics inquiries. In the Lewinsky matter, Eggleston represented President Clinton on privilege issues.

Between 1993 and 1994, Eggleston was a White House lawyer under Clinton. In that role, he worked with Susan Davies, who joined Kirkland in 2011 as a litigation partner after serving as deputy White House counsel under Obama, according to a Kirkland announcement. In the White House, Davies oversaw the judicial nomination process.

Obama today praised Ruemmler, whose work at the White House included a focus on the judicial-nominations fight on Capitol Hill. 

"Kathy has become one of my most trusted advisers,” Obama said in the statement. "I deeply value her smarts, her wit, her impeccable judgment – but most importantly her uncanny ability to see around the corners that nobody else in the room anticipates. I will forever be grateful for her service to the country, will continue to seek her counsel, and most of all, I am proud to call her a close friend." . . .

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