Paul W. Connell


  • Co-Chair, State Attorneys General Practice

Paul Connell serves as co-chair of the firm’s State Attorneys General Practice, bringing bipartisan leadership and multifaceted experience as a former deputy state attorney general, trial lawyer and strategic adviser. As a Chambers & Partners rated State Attorneys General practitioner, clients routinely praise his level of attentiveness to detail, sophistication and commercial awareness with many clients noting that his advice is always “spot-on” and that he is “fearless and willing to do anything to help his clients.” Mr. Connell’s practice spans nearly every conceivable industry sector, including energy, technology, consumer protection, telecommunications, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals. He routinely defends clients both proactively and defensively in high stakes, multi-state investigations and regulatory enforcement matters brought by State Attorneys General, the US Department of Justice, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and many other regulatory and enforcement agencies. He also serves as outside counsel to an international online identity verification company and in that capacity advises on regulatory and enforcement issues pertaining to artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Mr. Connell, who was in private practice at another international law firm prior to rejoining WilmerHale, was previously an associate at the firm from 2000–2003. After leaving the firm, he entered public service as an Assistant US Attorney in the Western District of Wisconsin where he was routinely lauded by law enforcement agencies for his leadership and, on two occasions, led cases that were recognized as the Prosecution of the Year. As a federal prosecutor, he broke up a multi-jurisdictional child trafficking ring and, in the process, solved an attempted kidnaping case and a series of cold-case sexual assaults across the Midwest for which he was lauded by Deputy Attorney James Comey. In 2015, he was appointed by Wisconsin Attorney General Brad D. Schimel as Chief Deputy Attorney General and Senior Counsel. As Chief Deputy, Mr. Connell directed the DOJ’s efforts in multistate investigations with other state attorneys general offices and his portfolio included oversight of the state’s trial and appellate litigation, as well as responsibility over DOJ’s crisis response, legislative affairs and law enforcement functions, including several crime laboratories and the Division of Criminal Investigation. He is one of the few lawyers in the US who have served as both a federal prosecutor and as a state chief deputy attorney general, which gives him in-depth knowledge, experience and reputation to serve clients, especially those with issues involving both state and federal agencies. He holds a well-earned reputation for navigating some of the world’s largest companies through difficult investigations and litigation involving state law enforcement authorities.

In addition to handling investigations, Mr. Connell routinely develops and implements pro-active client engagement strategies to position clients with attorneys general offices in the event of subsequent enforcement activity. He assists clients with these public policy engagements at meetings such as the National Association of Attorneys General, Attorneys General Alliance, Republican Attorneys General Association and Democrat Attorneys General Association.

In addition to his attorneys general practice, he uses his experience as a federal prosecutor to defend companies and individuals in matters where there is a potential criminal indictment and has successfully convinced the government to accept civil resolutions in many of these situations.

Mr. Connell began his legal career as law clerk to the Honorable J.P. Stadtmueller, Chief Judge, in the Eastern District of Wisconsin.  


  • Named in the 2023 edition of Chambers USA Guide in USA: Nationwide for State Attorneys General.

Insights & News


  • Education

    • JD, Marquette University School of Law, 1998

      magna cum laude
    • BA, Political Science, University of Wisconsin - Parkside, 1994

      cum laude
  • Admissions

    • District of Columbia

    • Illinois

    • Wisconsin

  • Clerkships

    • The Hon. J.P. Stadtmueller, US District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1998 - 2000



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