Obama names veteran Washington lawyer as White House counsel

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 21, 2014 at 9:42 pm •  Published: April 21, 2014
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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has named Neil Eggleston, a veteran Washington lawyer who has worked in both the public and private sectors, as White House counsel.

Eggleston, 60, will replace outgoing counsel Kathryn Ruemmler.

A partner in the Washington and New York offices of Kirkland & Ellis, Eggleston is a practiced hand in Washington political and legal circles. A white-collar defense lawyer, he represented former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel during former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's federal corruption trial and, in private practice, worked for the White House during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

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

Eggleston will have to guide the administration through its tense relationship with Congress, and administration officials said he was chosen in part because of his experience in dealing with how the executive branch interacts with the legislative one.

"You need to be capable of wearing probably half a dozen different hats, and he's exactly the type of person you want," said William McLucas, a partner at the Washington law firm WilmerHale and former director of enforcement for the Security and Exchange Commission's Division of Enforcement. "His intellectual capacity is enormous, but his temperament and his bearing and his reasonableness will just really serve the president quite well."

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