Former AUSA Jennifer Freel Rejoins V&E as Government Investigations and White Collar Criminal Defense Counsel in Austin
Jennifer Freel, a trial and appellate lawyer who spent nearly a decade as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas, has rejoined Vinson & Elkins as a counsel in the firm’s Austin office.
Freel, who started her career in private practice as a V&E associate before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, will focus on white collar criminal defense, government investigations, internal investigations and complex commercial litigation.
“Jennifer is an exceptional lawyer who brings to the firm a range of unique experience and insight she gained as a federal prosecutor,” said John Wander, Co-Chair of V&E’s Complex Commercial Litigation practice. “We are excited to have her back and confident her formidable skills will have an immediate impact, benefitting our clients and advancing the growth of the firm’s litigation and white collar practices.”
After graduating from The George Washington University Law School in 2005, Freel clerked for Judge Fortunato Benavides on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. In 2006, Freel joined V&E as an associate, where she handled a mix of trial and appellate matters, as well as administrative law cases, including several related to the healthcare field.
In 2008, Freel began her career as a federal prosecutor, serving for nine years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Western District of Texas, where she focused on trial and appellate matters, securing and defending convictions involving narcotics conspiracies, gun smuggling, money laundering, mail fraud, securities fraud, wire fraud and asset forfeiture. In late 2017, Freel left public service to become a counsel at Ewell, Brown, Blanke & Knight LLP, a boutique law firm in Austin committed to disputes and investigations.
Among her notable past representations, while serving as an AUSA, Freel served as trial counsel for the U.S. in the prosecution of an investment advisory firm executive who was subsequently convicted by a federal jury of running a $75 million Ponzi scheme that targeted NFL players and members of the Mormon Church. For her work on the case, she received the DeAtley Award for Complex or Significant Trial.
Freel is board certified in Criminal Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, having presented more than 20 oral arguments before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
“As an associate at V&E, I experienced firsthand the firm’s tireless dedication to its clients, its top-notch talent and the unique, inclusive culture that separates it from other firms,” said Freel. “I am very pleased to be rejoining the team.”
V&E’s Government Investigations and White Collar Criminal Defense practice is among the world’s best, receiving recognition nationally and internationally in Chambers USA (2018), Legal 500 U.S. (2018) and as a member of the Global Investigations Review 100 (2017).
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