Rodger A. Heaton, who most recently served under Gov. Bruce Rauner, is the latest high-profile addition to McGuireWoods LLP’s government investigations and white-collar litigation practice.
The firm announced Heaton’s new role as partner on Monday. He will be based in Chicago.
Heaton, a former U.S. attorney in Springfield, said he was drawn to the firm’s government investigations and white-collar practice.
“I think this space is still highly relevant and very interesting work,” he said. “Having spent most of my career as either a federal prosecutor or an attorney in a firm helping clients navigate their way through government investigations, it’s a logical place for me to be.”
Christina M. Egan, managing partner of the Chicago office and member of the firm’s white-collar practice, said Heaton’s reputation as a lawyer and adviser is stellar.
“He is a proven leader whose sound judgment will benefit the firm and our clients immensely,” Egan, who spent 10 years as a federal prosecutor in Chicago, said in a statement.
The firm’s government investigations and white-collar litigation practice has nearly 60 attorneys. They represent “companies and individuals in the full range of civil and criminal investigations and enforcement matters at both the federal and state level,” according to the firm’s website.
McGuireWoods’ white-collar practice represented former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., who was indicted in 2016 on allegations of misusing campaign and government funds. In March, the U.S. attorney in Chicago dismissed the charges against Schock as part of a deferred prosecution agreement.
The firm also represented the parents of Otto Warmbier, a college student who was imprisoned in North Korea and died shortly after being released.
Heaton is the third former federal prosecutor this year to join McGuireWoods’ white-collar litigation practice. He joins Andrew McBride and Kevin Lally. McBride is a partner in Washington, D.C., and Lally is a partner in Los Angeles.
After graduating from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 1985, he served as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker in the Southern District of Indiana.
Heaton worked briefly for Sullivan & Cromwell LLP before taking a position as a federal prosecutor, first in Indianapolis and then Springfield.
He joined Kirkland & Ellis LLP in 2000 but shortly after returned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Springfield as head of the civil division.
In 2005, he was appointed U.S. attorney, a role he held until 2009. Heaton went back to private practice at Hinshaw & Culberton LLP, focusing on internal and criminal investigations and commercial litigation.
After Rauner was elected governor, Heaton joined his administration, first serving as public safety director and homeland security adviser. He was named Rauner’s chief of staff in 2017.