CHICAGO, IL, April 13, 2021 – Jenner & Block announced today that Shoba Pillay, a former Assistant US Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois, has joined the firm in its Chicago office. Ms. Pillay has more than 10 years of investigations, trial, and appellate experience in fraud, cybercrime, data privacy, export control and sanctions, trade secrets, and intellectual property cases. She joins as a partner in the firm’s Investigations, Compliance, and Defense Practice and the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice.
“With significant experience overseeing and trying major cybersecurity, export controls and trade sanctions, trade secrets, and complex fraud cases, Shoba complements our leading investigations, compliance, and white collar defense team,” said Jenner & Block Co-Managing Partners Katya Jestin and Randy Mehrberg. “Her expertise also broadens our growing cybersecurity and national security teams, as we offer an increasingly robust suite of services to clients.”
While serving in the US Attorney’s Office’s National Security and Cybercrime Section, Ms. Pillay led complex investigations and prosecutions involving export control issues and international sanctions violations. She has experience with matters involving cybercrimes and electronic evidence collection, and has served as a subject matter expert in cybercrime prosecutions.
“Shoba strikes the right balance of substantive experience in complex fraud, cyber, data privacy, and sanctions that is needed for clients confronting a broad range of compliance risks and government-facing investigations,” said Erin R. Schrantz, a co-chair of the Investigations, Compliance, and Defense Practice. “As well as being an accomplished and well-respected prosecutor, Shoba shares our values of collaboration, diversity and inclusion, service to the bar, and mentorship.”
Ms. Pillay’s government experience includes managing large teams of agents and junior AUSAs across various units. As an AUSA, she has taken 18 federal criminal trials to verdict, argued nine appeals in the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and first-chaired complex investigations and jury trials. Among her significant prosecutions, Ms. Pillay first-chaired a trade secrets case involving a Chinese company, prosecuted a computer intrusion of a Fortune 500 company, and prosecuted a federal defense contractor for illegally exporting technical data to China.
“Shoba has been first chair in many large investigations during her time in the government and has managed multi-disciplinary teams of varying ages, personalities, and work styles – a skill that will serve her, and our clients, well in private practice,” said Reid J. Schar, a co-chair of the firm’s Litigation Department who is also a former prosecutor in the Northern District of Illinois. “Her commitment to mentoring junior lawyers is clear,” he added.
Ms. Pillay has also been active in criminal justice reform. Working with a group of federal judges, prosecutors, defense counsel, and pretrial services officers, she helped form and operate the Sentencing Options that Achieve Results (SOAR) Court in the Northern District of Illinois – which provides an alternative to incarceration for non-violent federal pretrial defendants.
“Cyber investigations and cyber compliance issues are on the rise, and I’m excited to bring my government experience and skill set to Jenner & Block. They have a stellar reputation in the investigations sector and are a litigation powerhouse; I’m eager to dig in, collaborate, and lend my expertise to the firm’s clients, both current and future,” said Ms. Pillay.
Ms. Pillay is an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois College of Law, where she teaches cybercrime investigations and cybersecurity, and at the Northwestern University School of Law, where she teaches trial advocacy. She received her BA from Washington University in St. Louis and received her JD from Boston College Law School.