Jerry W. Kilgore



(804) 762-6916

(804) 762-6950

Recent Publication:

Virginia Viewpoint: Virginia 2023 Election Results

Virginia Democrats sweep the General Assembly, now have majority in both chambers.

A former Virginia Attorney General (AG) and Virginia Secretary of Public Safety, Jerry offers his clients facing State AG and other governmental investigations the benefit of counsel with 360-degree perspective, gained through a combination of private practice, government service, and political involvement. His distinguished political career has afforded Jerry connections at all levels within State AG offices, and bi-partisan respect within the AG community. He has earned a reputation as a trusted legal and policy adviser on both sides of the aisle, and is politically active at the local, state, and federal levels. This diverse experience has honed Jerry’s ability to identify the appropriate route to take in any given circumstance to efficiently advance his clients’ interests.

Jerry advises clients — including market disrupters, companies in transition, industry leaders, and trade associations — in connection with important government investigations and consumer protection matters, and the interplay with Attorneys General and public policy. He is also a seasoned litigator and has significant experience handling multi-state actions. In recent years, Jerry has focused his practice on businesses in higher education (including for-profit colleges and universities), healthcare, cannabis, energy, timeshares, and the hospitality industry. Jerry also has significant experience in the FinTech arena, particularly with respect to products and platforms directed toward consumers, such as payment and loan technologies.

In all matters he handles, Jerry operates from a position of positivity, firm in his conviction that the challenge confronting his client can and will be met. He uses the insider’s perspective he gained from his service as Virginia Attorney General to navigate paths that might elude some — and to blaze new ones where needed — to reach a solution with which all stakeholders are comfortable.

As attorney general of Virginia from 2002-2005, Jerry served on the executive committee of the National Association of Attorneys General and as chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association. He worked with the federal government, the state legislature, and other stakeholders to promote a business friendly environment. Jerry served as secretary of public safety under Governor George Allen from 1994 to 1998 and as assistant U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia from 1987-1992. He also has significant prior experience as a state-level lobbyist.

Jerry donates time to building legislative and executive support for America’s Kids Belong/Virginia Kids Belong, a program to encourage the adoption of children out of foster care. He also serves as chairman of the board of Appalachian School of Law.



Best Lawyers Honors More Than 200 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys to its Best Lawyers in America 2024 Edition

August 17, 2023

Best Lawyers selected 232 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 24 of the firm’s U.S. offices for inclusion in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Eighty-eight Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 23 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2023 Guide

June 05, 2023

Of the 88 lawyers ranked, 17 lawyers have been recognized nationally, and eighteen were recognized in Band 1. Eight of the firm's practice areas have been recognized nationally, and nine were ranked Band 1.

As the Supreme Court Leans on State Authority, Big Law Leans on State AG Practices

May 31, 2023

In this article Jerry Kilgore notes, “most decisions are being pushed back to the states and that’s going to give state AGs a lot of authority to fashion policies. And SCOTUS will say ‘it’s a state issue, let them decide.”

More Than 200 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch

August 22, 2022

210 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 24 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Chambers Ranks 86 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 22 Practice Areas in Chambers USA 2022 Guide

June 02, 2022

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the United States, has ranked 86 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the guide’s 2022 edition.

More Than 205 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch By The Best Lawyers In America

August 19, 2021

Best Lawyers selected 210 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 23 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

200 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch By The Best Lawyers In America

August 20, 2020

Best Lawyers selected 200 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 23 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in America© (Copyright 2020 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC).

138 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 28, 2019

Best Lawyers selected 138 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 21 of the firm’s national offices for inclusion in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.


Virginia Viewpoint: Virginia 2023 Election Results

November 08, 2023

Virginia Democrats sweep the General Assembly, now have majority in both chambers.

Fights Over ESG Investment Reach the Courts, With States Battling Banks

August 25, 2023

Jerry Kilgore comments in National Law Journal on legal battles taking place in Missouri and Kentucky over those states’ efforts to bar companies from basing investment decisions on ESG concerns.

State AG Pulse | The Laboratories of Democracy

June 26, 2023

In the season 2 finale of State AG Pulse, General Rokita of Indiana joins Jerry Kilgore and Chris Allen to talk about the challenges of upholding Indiana’s interests against the federal bureaucracy, and the power of states.

State AG Pulse | Iowa: Taking a Commonsense Approach

May 15, 2023

In conversation with fellow Midwesterner Meghan Stoppel and former Virginia AG Jerry Kilgore, newly-elected Iowa AG Brenna Bird addresses a wide range of topics, from preparing to enforce Iowa’s new privacy laws to stumping with her six-year-old.

Don’t ignore state antitrust risks, competition specialists say

May 03, 2023

Legal Dive listened to our podcast The Broad Sweep of State AGs’ Antitrust Authority and warns consumer goods companies of the risks of ignoring state AGs’ independent antitrust authority.

State AG Pulse | The Broad Sweep of State AGs’ Antitrust Authority

May 01, 2023

State AGs have a wide range of tools they can use to hold companies accountable. Milton Marquis, Jerry Kilgore and Ann-Marie Luciano explore AGs’ power to prevent anticompetitive business conduct ranging from no-poach agreements and illegal non-competes to collusion and price-fixing.

Warranty Claims Spike, Target Tesla After FTC Action

April 13, 2023

Jerry Kilgore noted State AGs’ consumer protection authority makes them a target for trial attorneys pitching new causes of action in a recent article.

State AG Pulse | Attorneys General as State Policymakers: The NY Model

March 06, 2023

Cozen Public Strategies Managing Director Katie Schwab joins Jerry Kilgore, former VA AG, and Meghan Stoppel, former NE Consumer Chief, to debate the role of state AG as policymaker, and whether the NY model holds for the rest of the country.

State AG Pulse | “I View Businesses As Poverty Destroyers”

January 23, 2023

In the first episode in Season Two, new Virginia AG Jason Miyares dispels the myth that AGs are anti-business. He talks about how he views businesses as victims when it comes to data breaches and seeks to work with them rather than blame them.

Countdown to Decision 2022 – Election Perspectives from Our Team

October 06, 2022

As election day 2022 approaches, members of the Cozen O’Connor State AG Group share their thoughts on some of the trends and themes that have emerged over the course of the primary season.

State AG Pulse | Money Is The Mother’s Milk of Politics

July 11, 2022

In Arizona, a crowded field means having money to spend on name recognition and get-out-the-vote efforts will be the key to success. Jerry Kilgore and Paul Connell discuss the candidates that have it… and those that don’t.

State AG Pulse | Republicans Forecast A Red Wave

May 16, 2022

In this week’s episode, hosts Bernie Nash and Jerry Kilgore talk with Pete Bisbee of the Republican Attorneys General Association about what RAGA is, how it recruits candidates, and how it raises money to fund races. They speculate on election winners and losers, and we hear Pete’s diagnosis of potentially vulnerable Democrats and his “just crazy” prediction.

Past as Future: AGs’ Prior Experience Can Shape Their Priorities and Policies

February 14, 2022

In our second article analyzing the impact of the 2022 state AG elections on corporate America, Jerry Kilgore and Chris Allen look at how an AG’s experience prior to taking office can inform a business’s approach.

2020 State Attorney General Elections at a Glance [Alert]

October 22, 2020

Jerry Kilgore discusses the state AG races taking place across the country, the outcomes of which will have a profound impact on their states’ constituents and businesses.

Virginia Adopts Workplace Safety Standards for the Pandemic — May be Coming to a State Near You [Alert]

July 30, 2020

Jerry Kilgore and Julia Hammond discuss Virginia's workplace safety standards to protect Virginia workers.

Industry Sectors


  • William & Mary Law School, J.D., 1986
  • The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, B.A., summa cum laude, 1983

Awards & Honors

Chambers & Partners USA 2022-2023; Band 2 in Government Relations: State Attorneys General

Appalachian School of Law Access to Justice Award 2019

Best Lawyers in America 2019-2024

  • Virginia
  • District of Columbia