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Adams appoints McGuire, former assistant U.S. attorney, as chief counsel

Brooklyn Heights resident comes from law enforcement background

December 17, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Mayor-elect Eric Adams on Friday announced his appointment of Brendan R. McGuire, a former assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York and a Brooklyn Heights resident, as chief counsel to the mayor and City Hall. 

McGuire will serve as the principal legal advisor to Adams and his leadership team and direct legal strategy across the administration. Mayor-elect Adams cited the importance of accountability, transparency, and effective governance in the selection of McGuire, a New York City native who is an accomplished trial lawyer and litigator with experience in both the public and private sectors.

McGuire served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York (which stretches from Manhattan to Dutchess and Sullivan counties) for 11 years, including as chief of the Public Corruption Unit and chief of the Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit.  As chief of the Public Corruption Unit, he led many high-profile investigations and prosecutions, including the largest municipal fraud case in the city’s history and the prosecution of several elected officials for corruption. 

He comes from a family with a strong law enforcement background. His grandfather, James McGuire, spent four decades as a police officer, and his father, Robert McGuire, was a police commissioner under Mayor Ed Koch, according to published reports.

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McGuire is currently a partner in the New York office of WilmerHale, where he represents corporate and individual clients in criminal and regulatory investigations as well as complex commercial litigation.

“For my administration to be successful, my team in City Hall needs leaders who embody emotional intelligence, independent thinking, and calm under pressure. As someone who has always valued the role attorneys play in government and has surrounded himself with talented counsel, I appreciate that the city’s lawyers must play an essential role in improving the government’s performance in every area, with a critical focus on accountability and transparency. That is why I have asked Brendan McGuire to serve as my chief counsel,” said Adams. 

“I love the city. It is a privilege to return to public service to work on behalf of its residents.  The mayor-elect is uniquely positioned to bring us together and bring us back to where we belong. And I look forward to working with him, the City Hall team and the dedicated and talented attorneys across city government to improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers,” McGuire said.

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