Chicago and Washington, D.C. – January 11, 2021 – Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce that Paul W. Connell has joined the firm as a member of the State Attorneys General Group. Connell served as deputy attorney general and senior counsel to Wisconsin Attorney General Brad D. Schimel from 2015 to 2019. In that position, he directed legal strategy in all the state’s significant multistate consumer protection cases and advised state agencies and the Office of Governor. As the primary legal adviser to Attorney General Schimel, Connell developed and executed significant policy initiatives that profoundly and positively impacted all aspects of the state economy.
An experienced trial lawyer, strategic adviser, and skillful negotiator adept at navigating the complex state AG environment, Connell has been at the forefront of leading corporate responses to multistate enforcement actions and investigations. His practice encompasses matters involving state attorneys general and the U.S. Department of Justice in consumer protection, privacy, and environmental law across a diverse range of industries, including technology, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, and health care.
“Cozen O’Connor’s nationally recognized State Attorneys General Practice advises our clients on intricate and complex regulatory issues and government investigations that impact their business, and even their very existence,” said Lori Kalani, co-chair, Cozen O’Connor State Attorneys General Practice. “Bringing Paul on board further enhances our ability to serve clients nationwide across myriad industries.”
Co-chair Bernie Nash added, “Paul stands as one of the most respected and trusted former chief deputies, and we are humbled by his joining our State AG Group.”
Connell‘s impressive track record includes positive outcomes in matters involving privacy and data protection (including the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)), deceptive trade practices, false advertising, antitrust, price-fixing, and health care fraud.
Prior to his appointment as Deputy Attorney General, Connell served as a federal prosecutor for 12 years in the Western District of Wisconsin. During his tenure, he worked closely with the FBI and other federal agencies and led hundreds of grand jury investigations, including personally arguing more than two dozen cases on appeal before the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He handled hundreds of cases and tried complex cases involving money laundering and bank fraud, ERISA, firearms, and drug trafficking.
Connell spent the early part of his career in a securities enforcement practice group where he distinguished himself defending a major investment bank against a wide-ranging inquiry into conflict of interests between the investment bankers and telecom analysts. He worked closely with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Association of Securities Dealers, and the U.S. Department of Justice. He also had the distinction of being a member of the team that represented the Special Committee to the board of directors of Enron Corporation and helped draft the Powers Report, detailing Enron’s misuse of mark-to-market accounting and other fraudulent business practices, eventually leading to the company’s bankruptcy.
“Paul brings a depth of experience and vital relationships in the complex world of attorneys general, with the addition of a significant history working in the financial regulatory enforcement and investigations arenas. These are extremely valuable skill sets and knowledge that will greatly benefit Cozen O’Connor clients in Chicago and across the nation,” said Jeremy J. Glenn, Cozen O’Connor’s Chicago Office Managing Partner.
“I am excited about the opportunity to add my skills and experience to Cozen O’Connor’s highly regarded and broad-reaching State AG Group,” said Connell. “My first-hand experience in an AG office, together with the networks I have built, will allow me effectively to guide and defend clients’ business and strategic interests.”
The addition of Connell further strengthens Cozen O’Connor’s State AG practice, a group of 16 lawyers who devote their practice to understanding and interpreting this complex area of law and who have deep and long-standing professional relationships with AGs and their senior staff. It reinforces the firm’s commitment to one of the most challenging and increasingly significant areas of regulatory enforcement and litigation, particularly considering the ongoing ramifications of the pandemic and the upcoming change in administration.
Connell earned his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, Parkside, where he graduated cum laude. He received his J.D., magna cum laude, from the Marquette University Law School, where he was the executive editor of the Marquette Law Review.
About Cozen O’Connor
Established in 1970, Cozen O’Connor has over 775 attorneys who help clients manage risk and make better business decisions. The firm counsels clients on their most sophisticated legal matters in all areas of the law, including litigation, corporate, and regulatory law. Representing a broad array of leading global corporations and middle-market companies, Cozen O’Connor serves its clients’ needs through 31 offices across two continents.