Andrew Luger
Andrew Luger ()

After being forced to resign from his post earlier this year, former U.S. Attorney for Minnesota Andrew Luger has joined Jones Day, a firm with close ties to the Trump administration.

Luger, a New Jersey native, will become a partner in Jones Day’s investigations and white-collar defense practice in Minneapolis, where the Am Law 100 firm opened an office last year.

“I’ve talked to many law firms, all of which were terrific, but this opportunity was really unique for me because of the collaborative style [at Jones Day],” Luger said Monday. “The quality of lawyers is just top notch [and] the lawyers that I’m going to be working with are all going to make me better.”

Luger became the top federal prosecutor for Minnesota in February 2014, following a nominated by U.S. senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar, the latter a former partner at Dorsey & Whitney. Known in the state for his terrorism and white-collar crime prosecutions, Luger was one of 46 remaining U.S. attorneys appointed by President Barack Obama that were asked to resign in March by current U.S. Attorney General Jefferson “Jeff” Sessions III.

“Obviously any new administration has the right to make the change,” Luger said of his dismissal. “It was a little surprising that it happened on a Friday afternoon [with] no heads up or warning.”

Nonetheless, the prospect of joining Jones Day, a firm that has sent at least a dozen lawyers into the Trump administration, including former public policy partner Donald McGahn II, who serves as White House counsel to President Donald Trump, didn’t bother Luger.

“The firm has so many people who served in a wide variety of administrations in many ways,” Luger said. “It [is] a very welcoming firm that clearly cares passionately about the rule of law and doing great work for clients and that’s what mattered most to me.”

While leading the U.S. attorney’s office in Minneapolis, Luger oversaw the prosecution of 11 men charged with plotting to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a move that coincided with a federal pilot program managed by his office to curtail the recruitment of Somali Americans by terrorist organizations. (Luger spoke with CBS Corp.’s “60 Minutes” for a story last year about the program.)

Luger also worked on several other high-profile matters, including major investigations into human trafficking, as well as white-collar cases involving a national copyright suit scam (one that resulted in the indictments of two Minnesota lawyers for “porno-trolling”), corporate embezzlement and trade secrets.

At Jones Day, Luger plans to continue focusing on white-collar issues and investigations, while also handling large business litigations, a specialty he built up while working in private practice between his public service appointments.

Luger worked in private practice at now-dissolved New York firm Townley & Updike and litigation boutique Stillman Friedman & Shaw—absorbed by Ballard Spahr in 2013—before joining the U.S. Department of Justice in 1989 as an assistant U.S. attorney in Brooklyn.

In 1992, Luger joined the U.S. attorney’s office in Minneapolis, where he worked on a number of high-profile cases, including the 1995 conviction of Gary Lefkowitz, a former lawyer and developer of low-income housing, in a $120 million fraud scheme. Luger joined Minneapolis-based boutique Greene Espel that same year, spending the next 18 years in private practice until his appointment to the U.S. attorney’s office three years ago.

Luger said he did not use a legal recruiter in making the move to Jones Day, which last month saw three former partners, including McGahn, disclosed the amounts they were paid by the firm. Luger said that part of his impetus for heading to Jones Day was the ability to be a part of its growth in Minneapolis.

“I was presented with the opportunity to help build this new office which is both professionally and personally exciting,” Luger said.

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