Obama names W. Neil Eggleston next White House counsel

Neil Eggleston, left, watches on as his client, former White House Political Affairs Director Sara Taylor, testifies during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2007.

President Obama will name W. Neil Eggleston as the successor to White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler, who is stepping down next month, according to the New York Times.

Eggleston, currently a partner at the law firm Kirkland & Ellis, is best known for his work defending government officials under investigation ranging from Chicago Mayor and former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel to former White House Political Affairs Director Sara Taylor, who was questioned in connection to the mass firing of several U.S. attorneys.

"Neil brings extraordinary expertise, credentials and experience to our team," Mr. Obama said in a statement, according to the Times. "He has a passion for public service, is renowned for his conscientiousness and foresight, and I look forward to working closely with him in the coming years."

Ruemmler, who served under Mr. Obama longer than any other counsel, plans to step down in mid-May after several previous attempts to depart the position. Eggleston will start his new position in May.

He worked in the counsel's office during former President Clinton's tenure before moving to the private sector. After attending Duke University and Northwestern University School of Law, Eggleston clerked for then-Chief Justice Warren Burger and served as a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York.

  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.