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Brian J. Smith

Fax +1.312.345.9974

Brian J. Smith is an associate in the Chicago office and a member of the firm’s Antitrust, Competition & Trade Regulation practice group, focusing his practice on complex civil and criminal litigation, government enforcement, and white collar criminal defense. Mr. Smith is also a member of the firm’s Commercial Disputes group.

Mr. Smith represents clients in federal and state courts, principally in matters involving the Department of Justice and federal antitrust class actions. He also has experience in conducting internal investigations for major domestic and international corporations in response to Department of Justice investigations and subpoenas. In this role, he has participated in the preparation of investigation reports, the interviewing of senior executives, and the management of complex international electronic-discovery collection, review, and production.

Mr. Smith’s pro bono experience includes representing clients in guardian ad litem proceedings and petitioners before the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission.

In 2016, the K&L Gates Chicago antitrust and competition group was recognized as the “Cartel & Trade Regulation Law Firm of the Year in Illinois” by the international review and assessment programs of both Corporate INTL Magazine and Global Law Experts.

Professional Background

Mr. Smith was a summer associate at K&L Gates in 2014. While attending Northwestern University School of Law, he served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Ann C. Williams of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and as a legal extern for the United States Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Illinois. At Northwestern Law, Mr. Smith was an Articles Editor on the Executive Board of the Northwestern University Law Review, and was a senior law student in the Supreme Court Clinic, for which he drafted certiorari petitions and merits briefs submitted to the United States Supreme Court. Also during law school, Mr. Smith clerked for a Chicago-based litigation boutique and interned at a legal aid non-profit, Lawyers for the Creative Arts.

Prior to attending law school, Mr. Smith taught English literature and composition at a secondary school in New England.


  • Raoul Berger Prize (awarded for best senior research paper of graduating class) – Northwestern Law
  • Senior Research Honors – Northwestern Law
  • Public Service Award – Northwestern Law
  • CALI Awards (Legal Writing) (Patents)

Professional/Civic Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Chicago Volunteer Legal Services
  • Hemingway Society

Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, “An Investigation of Modern Love,” The Durrell School, Corfu, Greece, May 2008
  • Guest Lecturer, “Hemingway’s First Thirty Years,” Dartmouth College, February 2008
  • Represent U.S. and international companies and executive officers from the United States and Japan in criminal antitrust and cartel matters. Recent engagements have involved automotive parts and components, electronic components, and generic pharmaceuticals.
  • Represent international companies in federal antitrust class actions. Recent engagements have involved the automotive parts, capacitor industries, and generic pharmaceuticals.
  • Advised health care providers in various antitrust regulatory matters.