News and Views
Press Release

Blank Rome Welcomes Experienced Prosecutor and Former Deputy Chief at U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago

Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that Paul H. Tzur, former Deputy Chief of the Narcotics and Money Laundering Section at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, has joined the Firm’s Chicago office as a Partner in the White Collar Defense & Investigations group. Blank Rome opened its Chicago office last June and moved to 444 West Lake Street in September. Last week, the office also welcomed leading corporate and finance partner Craig Culbertson to the team. 

“Paul is an accomplished and respected litigator, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the Chicago team,” said Kenneth J. Ottaviano, Chair of Blank Rome’s Chicago office and Partner in the Finance, Restructuring, and Bankruptcy group. “With top talent like Paul and Craig on board, we are off to a strong start in 2020 building out Blank Rome’s newest office, and are committed to continuing our momentum in the weeks and months ahead.”

Paul has more than four years of corporate litigation experience in the private sector and nearly nine years as a prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office—including more than two in the Office's Securities & Commodities Section—and will focus his practice on high-stakes white collar defense and complex commercial litigation matters, representing clients as well as their boards, audit committees, officers, directors, and other individuals on government enforcement matters, internal investigations, and related litigation.

“It is an honor to have Paul join our Firm,” said Grant S. Palmer, Blank Rome’s Managing Partner and CEO. “In his roles as deputy chief and assistant U.S. attorney, Paul consistently exhibited innovative thinking and distinguished himself as an impressive litigator, arguing 11 appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. His experience in both investigating and prosecuting high-profile cases involving participants in financial markets and related industries shaped Paul’s understanding of the nuances involved in these matters, legal acumen that will prove valuable in his representation of clients facing complex civil actions, as well as white collar criminal matters.”

Drawing on his experience, Paul will counsel clients on the intricacies of government investigations, developing strategies that anticipate what methods investigators will leverage and what key evidence they will seek to uncover throughout the investigation and proceedings, should the cases move to trial. Paul’s work in the U.S. Attorney’s Office affords him a unique understanding of the conduct that may prompt criminal investigation, bringing an insider’s look at these matters. For example, Paul investigated and prosecuted corporate accounting fraud, bank fraud, insider trading, and unlawful market manipulation in the Securities & Commodities section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He also prosecuted Medicare fraud cases, and managed multiple narcotics and money laundering investigations and prosecutions brought by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

During his tenure at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Paul gained recognition for many of the cases he oversaw, including United States v. Gary Winemaster, Craig Davis and James Needham; United States v. Matthew Brunstrum; United States of America v. Chunlai Yang; and United States of America v. Carol Delgado and Brent Houck, among others.

“We are excited to welcome Paul to Blank Rome and to our practice,” said Jerry D. Bernstein, Co-Chair of the Firm’s White Collar Defense & Investigations group. “Paul will provide robust counsel on the most novel and complex investigations and disputes our clients face. And Paul’s government background and private practice experience will help grow our litigation team both in Chicago and nationally with a focus on white collar, criminal, and intellectual property matters, through exceptional service, outstanding relationships with attorneys and other business professionals, and his mentoring abilities.” 

“The decision to join Blank Rome was an easy one,” said Tzur. “I was attracted to the Firm’s comprehensive range of service capabilities and the prospect for cross-practice work—a key differentiator for Blank Rome and its partners. Also, I could not pass up the opportunity to contribute to the Firm’s strategic growth and presence in Chicago while building my own white collar and civil litigation practice.”

In line with Blank Rome’s ongoing commitment to pro bono legal representation and investment in the community, prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Paul regularly offered counsel to individuals appealing cases before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. Paul plans to resume his commitment to offering such counsel now that he is at Blank Rome. Paul also plans to become active with the Criminal Justice Act Panel and the Northern District Trial Bar.

Paul earned his J.D., cum laude, from the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law and his B.S. in Engineering, cum laude, from the Duke University Pratt School of Engineering. Following law school, Paul clerked for the Honorable Steven M. Colloton at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and then worked as a litigation attorney at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.