Gregg Sofer, former U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas, joined the white collar practice at Husch Blackwell as a partner this week. He will work in the firm’s Austin and Washington, D.C. offices.
Sofer is the firm’s third U.S. attorney recruit this year, following Tim Garrison of the Western District of Missouri in April and Jeff Jensen of the Eastern District of Missouri in January.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining Husch,” Sofer said. “It is a firm on the rise, and it is growing in the areas in which I practice and with people that I respect and know well. Jeff [Jensen] has assembled a very impressive group of people.”
Prior to entering private practice, Sofer gained three decades of experience as a prosecutor. He has worked in the New York County District Attorney’s Office, the Criminal and National Security Divisions of the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas.
“[Gregg] is known as one of the best trial lawyers in the country and is very well respected by the DOJ and U.S. Attorney’s offices across the country. He is a tremendous leader and aggressive litigator” said Jensen, who now leads Husch Blackwell’s white collar practice. “Our work is growing rapidly, and we need to keep up with it in this environment of increased regulatory enforcement.”
Sofer, who spent much of his early career in New York and Washington, D.C., was recruited to join the U.S. Attorney’s Office after getting to know a number of people in the Western District’s Austin office while he was conducting an investigation as a trial attorney with the DOJ’s National Security Division.
For 12 of the years he was with the Western District of Texas, Sofer was an assistant U.S. attorney handling national security, fraud, violent crime and corruption cases. In 2018, he was promoted to chief of the Criminal Division.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr brought Sofer back to Main Justice to be his counselor. In this role, Sofer advised Barr on criminal and national security matters and crisis response. After John Bash resigned as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas last October, Barr appointed Sofer to be the top enforcement officer of one of the largest and busiest U.S. Attorney’s offices in the country. Sofer stepped down with the change in administrations and was succeeded by Ashley Chapman Hoff.
“Clients will appreciate the fact that I’ve been there and done that,” Sofer said. “Being at the tippy top has given me an insight into the entire operation of the DOJ and its leadership. These are the folks making decisions about whether to bring charges and issue subpoenas. It helps to know them and know how they think.”
Jensen, who was tapped by Barr to review a case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn, said that familiarity with DOJ leadership and agents establishes credibility and often leads to quicker resolutions.
Sofer said two highlights from his time at the Western District include convicting Naser Jason Abdo in the Fort Hood bomb plot and a RICO prosecution that resulted in a life sentence without parole for a man who attempted to assassinate Travis County Judge Julie Kocurek.
Export enforcement, trade secrets and privacy are all areas where Sofer is seeing increased activity.