JB Kelly is of counsel in the Litigation Department at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Mr. Kelly’s practice leverages his more than 30-year career in the public sector working with state attorneys general (AG) as he handles a variety of complex, often multistate matters, involving critical public policy and strategic issues.
Mr. Kelly has extensive experience assisting clients in addressing enterprise-threatening, publicly scrutinized issues that require a sophisticated and nuanced approach with regulators, shareholders, consumers and other stakeholders. Although this includes preemptive compliance counseling and training, when issues do arise, Mr. Kelly also works with clients to design and implement accompanying tactics for communication with both regulators and the public that allow for minimal interruption of their business operations. When enforcement action is unavoidable, he regularly advises clients in negotiations with state AGs, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other federal regulators and represents them in inquiries, investigations and litigation.
In addition to advising and representing clients in connection with AG issues across the country, Mr. Kelly counsels clients on a variety of consumer protection issues, especially those involving deceptive or unfair trade practices. He represents clients facing regulatory scrutiny by the FTC as well as by the state-level counterparts, which have similar statutory jurisdiction through “Little FTC Acts.” Mr. Kelly also helps clients understand consumer fraud laws and assists them in successfully navigating consumer complaints and the related government oversight process.
Mr. Kelly served as general counsel to North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper from 2001 to 2012, overseeing major litigation involving the State of North Carolina. He was a member of the negotiation teams in high-profile, multistate settlements involving mortgage foreclosure, Ameriquest and tobacco, among others.
Mr. Kelly is admitted to practice in the State of North Carolina and the District of Columbia. His court admissions include the United States District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of North Carolina and the District of Columbia, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Kelly graduated with a B.A. from University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill in 1980. He received a J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1984, where he served as research editor of the North Carolina Law Review.