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Brian J. Smith

Brian J. Smith is an associate in the Chicago office and a member of the firm’s antitrust, competition & trade regulation practice group. He focuses his practice on complex civil and criminal litigation, government enforcement, and white collar criminal defense, particularly in the areas of antitrust, cartel, and trade regulation.

Brian defends clients in federal and state courts, principally in matters involving the Department of Justice and federal antitrust class actions, against allegations of price-fixing, market allocation, bid-rigging, and customer allocation. He also has experience in conducting internal investigations for major domestic and international corporations in response to Department of Justice and state attorneys general investigations and grand jury subpoenas premised on the same conduct. 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. 

Brian’s pro bono experience includes representing minors in guardian ad litem proceedings and petitioners before the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission; drafting legal white papers on foreign evidentiary laws to aid a nonprofit’s lobbying against human trafficking; representing a foreign national in an immigration appeal before the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals; and representing individuals as part of the firm’s Cyber Civil Rights Project.

The K&L Gates antitrust and competition group has been recognized by Chambers USA for Antitrust in Illinois (2020), by US News-Best Lawyers: First- Tier Antitrust Law (2017-2020) and 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 (2016).

Brian 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, Brian 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, Brian 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, Brian 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)
  • American Bar Association – Antitrust Section
  • Chicago Volunteer Legal Services
  • Hemingway Society
  • Panelist, “An Investigation of Modern Love,” The Durrell School, Corfu, Greece
  • Guest Lecturer, “Hemingway’s First Thirty Years,” Dartmouth College
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