Akin Gump Welcomes DOJ Veteran Chuck Connolly
(Washington, D.C.) – Charles F. “Chuck” Connolly, most recently the chief of the Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, has joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP as a partner in its litigation practice in Washington, D.C. Since 2002, Mr. Connolly has served in several capacities within the Department of Justice (DOJ), including as a counselor to the attorney general and an assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting complex fraud cases for the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Virginia. Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Connolly practiced with a large, international law firm.
Mr. Connolly is the third former Department of Justice official announced to be joining the firm since late July, following Steven F. Reich, previously associate deputy attorney general, and Pratik A. Shah, most recently an assistant to the solicitor general.
In his most recent role in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Connolly led a team of approximately a dozen assistant U.S. attorneys in investigating and prosecuting a wide range of white collar criminal cases, including corporate fraud, securities fraud, financial sector fraud, bank fraud, health care fraud, procurement fraud, tax fraud and public corruption. At Akin Gump, he will focus on counseling clients who are facing similar allegations.
Akin Gump chairperson Kim Koopersmith said, “Ensuring that our clients have access to highly experienced counsel who are well versed in white collar litigation and investigations remains a top priority for the firm. When facing significant business or reputational risk, we understand that our clients need someone who has ‘been there’ and can guide them effectively through the process—and Chuck fits that mold perfectly. He brings a wealth of experience that is hard to match and is a seasoned prosecutor who adds tremendous depth to both the practice and the firm overall.”
“Our litigation practice has been a leader in the area of white collar defense for many years,” said Stephen M. Baldini, head of Akin Gump’s litigation practice. “With Chuck joining us, we will be able to enhance the already sophisticated services we offer to clients who seek counsel in the areas of government or internal investigations. Chuck is a strong addition to our team, and we are delighted to have him with us.”
Added Mr. Connolly, “Akin Gump is widely credited with having one of the top litigation practices around. The firm’s strong defense work in white collar cases involving such allegations as securities fraud, mortgage fraud and FCPA violations is very impressive, and I am thrilled to be here, working alongside some very talented lawyers whom I have known for years.”
About Charles F. Connolly
Mr. Connolly was with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the past 11 years. As Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Unit chief, he worked closely with regulatory and law enforcement agencies to identify and develop corporate, securities, financial and procurement fraud cases. Mr. Connolly prosecuted and investigated complex financial crimes, where he was responsible for all phases of those cases, from grand jury investigations to jury trial to post-trial proceedings and appeals.
From 2007-2009, Mr. Connolly was detailed to DOJ, where he served as a counselor to attorneys general Alberto Gonzales and Michael Mukasey and, then, as the latter’s acting deputy chief of staff. At DOJ, Mr. Connolly was responsible for the legal and policy issues involving criminal law enforcement, corporate fraud, public corruption and congressional oversight matters.
Mr. Connolly has spent most of his career in government service, starting as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Fraud Unit of Virginia’s Eastern District in 2002. Prior to that, he practiced for seven years at O’Melveny & Myers LLP in the areas of white collar criminal defense, complex litigation and securities enforcement.
Mr. Connolly received his J.D. degree, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and his B.A. degree, with honors, from The Johns Hopkins University. In 2013, Mr. Connolly received the Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service for his role in the successful investigation and prosecution of Lee Bentley Farkas, who was convicted in one of the most significant criminal financial cases in the wake of the financial crisis.
Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 850 attorneys in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
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