Sidley Austin announced the appointment of Kenneth Polite Jr., former head of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Criminal Division, as a partner and co-lead of the law firm’s white-collar government litigation and investigations practice, effective Oct. 1.

At Sidley Austin, Polite will focus on white-collar criminal defense, investigation, and compliance matters.

He served for more than two years as assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s Criminal Division before departing last month. During his tenure at the DOJ, he led a team of more than 1,400 attorneys and staff members responsible for conducting criminal investigations and prosecutions involving securities fraud, healthcare fraud, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, public corruption, cybercrime, intellectual property theft, and money laundering offenses.

Earlier in his career, Polite served as the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana and was a former chief compliance officer of Fortune 500 electric power company Entergy.

He described his time as a CCO as “perhaps the most challenging” period of his career during his keynote address at Compliance Week’s 2022 National Conference.