Press Release
January 7, 2020

Brian Hayes, Chief of Criminal Division for U.S. Attorney’s Office for Northern District of Illinois, Joins Holland & Knight

CHICAGO (January 7, 2020) – Holland & Knight announced today that Brian Hayes, most recently chief of the Criminal Division for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, has joined the firm as a partner and head of its Chicago White Collar Defense and Investigations practice. He will reside in the firm’s Chicago office. Mr. Hayes resigned from the U.S. Attorney’s Office on December 31, 2019, after more than 16 years of service.

“Brian is an experienced and skilled prosecutor and an excellent addition to our white collar defense team,” said Christopher G. Kelly, head of Holland & Knight’s Litigation Section. “Years of leadership experience at the DOJ enable Brian to provide invaluable insight and guidance to boards, audit committees and executive managers in any number of highly regulated industries. He is uniquely equipped to engage with regulators and law enforcement on our clients’ most sensitive matters and distinctly qualified to litigate those that cannot be resolved.”

As chief of the Criminal Division, Mr. Hayes supervised a team of 120 assistant U.S. attorneys in criminal prosecutions involving public corruption and organized crime, securities and commodities fraud, financial crimes, and national security and cybercrimes. Among them were some of the most significant, complicated and high-profile prosecutions brought by the office.

Mr. Hayes joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office as an assistant U.S. attorney in 2003 and was named deputy chief of the Financial Crimes and Special Prosecutions Section three years later. He subsequently served as chief of the Money Laundering and Asset Forfeiture Section and chief of the General Crimes Section before being promoted to chief of the Criminal Division in 2016. He is a former FBI special agent and an associate general counsel for the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

“Brian is highly regarded in the Chicago legal community, with a reputation as both a skilled prosecutor and a dynamic leader,” said David Wirt, executive partner of Holland & Knight’s Chicago office. “He is the ideal lawyer to build a team in Chicago that would anchor our Midwest white collar defense and investigations practice.”

“Holland & Knight has a top-notch white collar and investigations team, and I am honored to be joining such an impressive and dedicated group of professionals,” said Mr. Hayes. “I look forward to applying the skills, judgment and knowledge of the inner workings of the justice system that I gained while working as a prosecutor on behalf of the firm’s clients when the stakes are high.”

Mr. Hayes received a J.D. degree from Santa Clara University School of Law and a B.A. degree from San Jose State University

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