Robert Khuzami, the deputy U.S. attorney in Manhattan, is stepping down April 12.
Khuzami, a former Kirkland & Ellis white-collar partner, joined the Southern District of New York at the beginning of 2018, serving as second-in-command to U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman.
Berman named Audrey Strauss, currently senior counsel in the office, to replace Khuzami as deputy U.S. attorney and Craig Stewart, an Arnold & Porter partner, to serve as chief counsel.
“Rob Khuzami is an extraordinary and brilliant lawyer who has upheld the ideals of integrity and professionalism that characterize the work of this office,” Berman said in a statement Friday. “There can be no higher praise. As an example of his extraordinary commitment to the office, Rob has been commuting weekly from Washington, D.C., since January 2018. While his desire to continue to serve remains strong, he understandably has decided to return home to his family.”
Khuzami’s highest-profile effort in the Southern District was in piloting the prosecution of President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, as Berman recused himself from the matter.
If Khuzami elects to return to private practice, he will undoubtedly be a hot commodity. When he joined Kirkland in 2013 after four years at the helm of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s enforcement division, he reportedly was wooed with $5 million per year in guaranteed compensation for his first two years.
A financial disclosure from March 2018 revealed that he’d earned $11.1 million in partnership income in his last year at the firm.
A spokesman for the SDNY said that Khuzami was not taking inquiries about his future plans.