June 04, 2012

Assistant United States Attorney Reid J. Schar will join Jenner & Block as a partner in the firm’s White Collar Criminal Defense and Investigations Practice Group.  During Mr. Schar’s tenure at the U.S. Attorney’s office, he led the prosecution of some of the most important and significant public corruption cases ever brought in the Northern District of Illinois.  Mr. Schar was the lead prosecutor in both corruption trials of former Governor Rod Blagojevich and was a member of the team that helped convict Tony Rezko (a former Blagojevich fundraiser).

He was also a member of the prosecution team in the trial of Muhammad Salah and Abdelhaleem Ashqar, who were accused of aiding Hamas.  Mr. Schar has tried more than 20 criminal cases, most involving complex fraud and financing issues.  He has led a number of grand jury investigations into complex corruption and financial matters and has briefed and argued 10 appeals in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Mr. Schar is a broad-based thinker whose accomplishments at the U.S. Attorney’s Office are impressive,” said Jenner & Block Chairman Anton R. Valukas. “His track record and superb advocacy skills are exactly what is required to work on the types of matters our clients look to us to handle.  His judgment and integrity are of the highest level.” 

After spending the last 13 years as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Mr. Schar will join the ranks of other Jenner & Block lawyers formerly from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including two former U.S. attorneys,  Mr. Valukas and Thomas P. Sullivan.  Mr. Schar will be the firm’s 11th partner who formerly served at the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The firm’s Managing Partner Susan C. Levy said, “I expect Reid to fit right in handling high-profile, high-risk matters.  His experience will ensure a solid defense and representation of our clients.”

Since 2011, Mr. Schar has served as counsel to U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, where he provided input on management, personnel, cases, and a host of other issues.  He also served as Deputy Chief of the General Crimes Section and Deputy Chief of the Organized Crime and Public Corruption Section.  Since 2005, Mr. Schar has been the Office’s Chief Liaison to the Environmental Protection Agency and, since 2007, he has served as the Office’s Ethics Advisor and Professional Responsibility Officer. 

Mr. Schar will be a valuable asset to the firm’s internationally recognized and acclaimed trial and litigation practices.

“Jenner & Block is one of, if not the, top litigation firm in the country,” Mr. Schar said.  “I want to be part of a firm that is engaged in the most interesting and complex matters out there.  I’ll have that at Jenner.”

Mr. Schar’s practice will focus on representing individuals and corporations in complex criminal matters, internal investigations and high-stakes civil litigation.

“The firm’s white collar practice enthusiastically welcomes the addition of Mr. Schar,” said Partner Charles B. Sklarsky, co-chair of Jenner & Block’s White Collar Criminal Defense and Investigations Practice.

Mr. Schar received his J.D., cum laude, in 1997, from Northwestern University Law School and his A.B. in 1994, from Stanford University.  He clerked for U.S. District Judge Elaine Bucklo before briefly working in private practice.

The news of Mr. Schar joining Jenner & Block was widely covered in the local and national media.  See these links for the coverage:

ABC7 Chicago News

Associated Press

Bloomberg News

CBS2 Chicago

Chicago Sun-Times

Crain’s Chicago Business


Main Justice


Chicago Daily Law Bulletin