William M. McSwain, who last month stepped down from his position as the top federal prosecutor in the region, is joining one of the region’s top law firms, Duane Morris LLP.
McSwain, 51, was appointed by President Donald Trump in 2017 as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and served three years before resigning on Jan. 22. McSwain, a Republican, stepped down following the election of Democratic President Joe Biden. The president appoints all U.S. attorneys.
On Monday, Duane Morris announced that McSwain would be joining the firm’s trial practice group, where he will focus on white-collar defense and government investigations.
“This is a great day for Duane Morris and our clients,” said Matt Taylor, CEO of the Philadelphia-based firm with almost 900 lawyers. “One of the cornerstones to growing strategically is to bring on marquee talent in key practice areas. Bill McSwain is marquee talent.”
“He’s a straight shooter, a very humble guy, and an incredibly hard worker,” Taylor said.
As U.S. attorney, McSwain oversaw all federal criminal prosecutions and civil litigation in the region. He cast himself as a bulwark against what he called “a culture of lawlessness.”
In between high-profile battles with Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, McSwain’s office secured indictments against labor leader John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty and City Councilmembers Bobby Henon and Kenyatta Johnson. Their trials are pending.
McSwain personally argued in court against supervised injection sites proposed to help heroin addicts avoid overdoses and sickness.
Under McSwain’s tenure, the U.S. Attorney’s Office logged a 40% increase in its criminal indictments. He also set up two new units to go after white-collar crime: one to charge criminals whose offenses involved federally funded medical care, and another to file lawsuits against people who stole from the government.
In a statement, McSwain said he was joining Duane Morris because he believes in Taylor’s “vision for the firm” and “wonderfully upbeat, positive approach.”
A former infantry officer and platoon commander in the Marines, McSwain said he was looking forward to new rounds of battle representing defendants.
“Being on the receiving end of a government investigation of any sort can be an extremely stressful experience for businesses and individuals,” McSwain said. “I look forward to bringing my own experience and credibility to helping Duane Morris’ clients navigate that world.”