Former U.S. Attorney Rodger Heaton Joins McGuireWoods’ White Collar Team in Chicago

Prosecutor Served as Chief of Staff to Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner

September 9, 2019

Rodger A. Heaton, an accomplished federal prosecutor, litigator and gubernatorial adviser, has joined McGuireWoods’ nationally recognized Government Investigations & White Collar Litigation Department as a partner in Chicago.

Heaton supervised investigations and prosecutions of public corruption, narcotics and gang offenses, money laundering, racketeering, tax evasion and other major federal crimes while serving as U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois from 2005 to 2009. He oversaw fraud settlements with hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare professionals, recovering tens of millions of dollars for the Medicare Trust Fund. He led the prosecution of major procurement fraud cases and initiated multiagency task forces on cybercrime and public corruption throughout Illinois.

Before President George W. Bush appointed him U.S. attorney, Heaton led the civil division in the Central District, including the financial litigation and healthcare fraud units. He also served as an assistant U.S. attorney from 1989 to 2000 before entering private practice as a litigation partner at Kirkland & Ellis. Heaton was a partner at Hinshaw & Culbertson in Chicago from 2009 to 2014, representing clients in internal and criminal investigations as well as commercial litigation.

“Rodger is a highly respected litigator who has led major investigations as a prosecutor and defended clients in high-stakes matters while in private practice,” said Todd Steggerda, chair of the firm’s Government Investigations & White Collar Litigation Department. “His experience and insight make him a great addition to our deep bench of former prosecutors and government regulators.”

Heaton is one of three former federal prosecutors to join McGuireWoods’ white collar practice in recent months, along with Washington, D.C., partner Andrew McBride and Los Angeles partner Kevin Lally. Michael Herring, the former commonwealth’s attorney in Richmond, Virginia, also joined the firm this year.

Heaton most recently served as chief of staff and homeland security advisor to former Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner. He provided strategic leadership in all areas of the governor’s office, including legal matters, agency operations, budget and policy development, legislative affairs and executive appointments. In his previous role as the governor’s public safety director and homeland security advisor, he oversaw seven state agencies, led the Illinois Terrorism Task Force and chaired the state’s Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform.

“Rodger has a stellar reputation as a lawyer and strategic adviser,” said Christina Egan, managing partner of the Chicago office and member of the firm’s white collar practice. “He is a proven leader whose sound judgment will benefit the firm and our clients immensely.”

McGuireWoods ranks among the world’s premier investigations firms in the 2018 edition of the GIR 100, a guide to leading cross-border investigations practices based on independent research by Global Investigations Review. Earlier this year, a McGuireWoods white collar team persuaded the Department of Justice to drop all criminal charges in a 24-count indictment against former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock of Illinois.

“McGuireWoods has built an elite white collar practice that excels in guiding clients through sensitive investigations and high-profile cases,” Heaton said. “I am excited to join this powerhouse team and put my experience to work for the firm’s clients.”

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