Tom Kirsch is a partner in the firm’s Chicago office and focuses his practice in complex commercial litigation matters, corporate internal investigations, white-collar criminal defense, and securities litigation and regulatory defense. In 2012, citing his diversity of clients and busy trial schedule, Law360 wrote that Mr. Kirsch “has gained a reputation for providing excellent representation in all stages of litigation as well as government and internal investigations.”
Mr. Kirsch has handled a variety of commercial and criminal matters in each phase of litigation, through and including jury trial. In 2012, Mr. Kirsch served as lead trial counsel for the former CEO of a publically traded medical device company who was charged with various criminal offenses relating to the importation, use, and promotion of multiple medical devices. After a four-week jury trial in federal court in Denver, Mr. Kirsch’s client was acquitted of 11 of 12 counts and was convicted only of making a false statement, for which he was sentenced to one year probation. The American Lawyer named him “Litigator of the Week,” noting that his defense was "particularly effective" in defusing government evidence of alleged misconduct.
Mr. Kirsch has also conducted large corporate internal investigations that were national in scope for several national and multi-national companies. In addition, he has handled several government and regulatory matters, including investigations and prosecutions brought by the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorneys, and state prosecutors; SEC actions and investigations (against both companies and individuals); FTC litigation; FCPA matters (initiated by both the U.S. Department of Justice and the SEC); and qui tam litigation.
Before joining Winston & Strawn, Mr. Kirsch served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Indiana from 2001 to 2008, focusing on white-collar investigations and prosecutions, including the prosecution of numerous elected and appointed public officials. He led numerous complex high-profile white-collar investigations, prosecuted 10 jury trials, and briefed and argued numerous appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals. He has prosecuted offenses in numerous areas, including mail and wire fraud, honest services fraud, tax fraud, bank fraud, health care fraud, conspiracy, extortion, money laundering, racketeering, obstruction of justice, perjury, and gangs and narcotics.
For one year, Mr. Kirsch served as counsel to the assistant attorney general at the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Legal Policy. While in Washington, D.C., he assisted in developing legislative and policy proposals in corporate crime, violent crime, and counter-terrorism.
Honors and Awards
On May 31, 2012, The American Lawyer named Mr. Kirsch “Litigator of the Week” for his work successfully defending a public company CEO in a federal criminal trial in Denver, Colorado.
In 2013, 2012, and 2011, Mr. Kirsch was named a “Rising Star” by Law360 in its list of lawyers under 40 to watch. Of more than 100 lawyers named, Mr. Kirsch is one of only two across the country to have received this honor three years in a row.
Mr. Kirsch was included as a Litigation Star in the 2013 edition of Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys. Mr. Kirsch was also included as a Future Star in the 2012 edition of Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys, a leading publication that recognizes lawyers who are consistently referenced by peers and clients as litigators likely to become “litigation stars.” The results of Benchmark are the culmination of research resulting from extensive interviews with litigators and their clients. Mr. Kirsch was also named a Rising Star in 2012 by Illinois Super Lawyers.
In 2009, Law Bulletin Publishing Company selected Mr. Kirsch, at age 35, as one of its “40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch.” More than 1,000 nominations were submitted for this recognition. Nominees were evaluated on their “intelligence, passion, scores of successful verdicts, hard work for their clients, a desire to help the community and willingness to work hard at one of the country’s most important professions.”
Mr. Kirsch was also included and recommended in the 2009 Legal 500 United States Directory, a prominent UK-based research and publishing organization that conducts extensive research nationwide to evaluate and select a limited number of attorneys based on, among other criteria, reputation and client feedback.
In 2008, at age 34, Mr. Kirsch was selected by a prominent Indiana business publication as one of the top 20 business people under 40.
As an assistant U.S. attorney, Mr. Kirsch received the prestigious Department of Justice Director’s Award for Superior Performance and was formally recognized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service for his work on white-collar prosecutions.
Mr. Kirsch serves on the Board of Directors of the Lake Area United Way and Campagna Academy, Inc., a 60-year-old non-profit organization that provides numerous services to at-risk children.
He also serves on the Local Rules Advisory Committee for the Northern District of Indiana and is a member of the Illinois and Indiana bar associations.
Additionally, Mr. Kirsch is an adjunct professor of law in trial advocacy at Northwestern University School of Law.
Mr. Kirsch received a B.A. in Economics and Political Science, with honors, in 1996 from Indiana University, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He received a J.D. in 1999 from Harvard Law School, where he was a member of the Harvard Journal on Legislation.
Speeches and Publications
- “PwC’s Annual Securities Litigation & Enforcement Update,” panel presentation (with SEC Regional Director), April 2013.
- “DOJ Prosecution: How far has the pendulum swung?” panel presentation (with Chief of Fraud Section at U.S. DOJ) at the Law Bulletin Seminars Annual White Collar Crime + Corporate Governance Conference, April 2013.
- “Trial by Jury 2012: Mastering the Art of Cross-Examination,” panel presentation (with U.S. District judges Jed Rakoff and Barbara Jones) at Practising Law Institute (PLI) in New York, November 28, 2012.
- “Securities Litigation in 2012 and Beyond,” panel presentation on parallel proceedings for the Association of Corporate Counsel – Southern California Chapter in Los Angeles, November 13, 2012.
- “Overlapping Government Civil Investigations/Litigation, Criminal Investigations, and Private Party Litigation,” presented to Alvarez & Marsal Dispute Analysis & Forensic Services, LLC, May 2011.
- “Parallel Proceedings,” panel presentation at the Law Bulletin Seminars Annual White Collar Crime + Corporate Governance Conference, April 2011.
- “Internal Investigations,” presented to Biomet, Inc., September 2010.
- “Ethics Scenarios Exploring the Conflicts Inherent within Internal Investigations,” presented at the Indiana State Bar Association Health Law Symposium, February 2010.
- “Preparing for the Rebound: The Forecast for Complex Litigation and Government Enforcement,” presented to the Association of Corporate Counsel—Southern California, November 2009.
- “Prosecution of Business Organizations,” presented to McDonald's Corporation, May 2008.
- “Demonstrative Aids Help Explain Trial Evidence,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (September 26, 2011).
- "No Rubber Stamp: Preparing for Heightened Scrutiny of Settlement Agreements with Government Entities," Investigations Quarterly (Winter 2011).
- “Problems in Domestic Violence: Should Victims Be Forced To Participate in the Prosecution of Their Abusers,” 7 William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law 383 (Winter 2001).