Brandon K. Essig

Brandon K. Essig









Birmingham, AL

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  • B.A., University of West Alabama, 1998 cum laude
  • J.D., University of Alabama School of Law, 2002


  • Alabama, 2002

Brandon joined Lightfoot after more than a decade of public service. At the Department of Justice, he served nearly eight years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Middle District of Alabama. Brandon was the lead white collar prosecutor in the office. He investigated and prosecuted individuals and corporations for public corruption, money laundering, environmental crimes, healthcare fraud, bankruptcy fraud, and mail and wire fraud. While in the U.S. Attorney’s office, Brandon spent a lot of time in the courtroom, trying multiple felony jury trials each year. He also wrote multiple briefs and presented oral arguments to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Prior to the Department of Justice, Brandon was a Captain in the United States Marine Corps. After being commissioned through Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia, Brandon served in a variety of billets. In addition to being a prosecutor in the Marine Corps, Brandon spent ten months assigned to a Marine Corps infantry unit, including a seven-month deployment to Fallujah, Iraq. Brandon’s military awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Brandon’s career has also included a stint in private practice at a leading civil litigation firm, employment in-house at a Fortune 400 defense contractor, and work as a graduate assistant in the University of Alabama’s NCAA Compliance office while in law school. As a result of his breadth and depth of experience, Brandon has the ability to serve the firm’s clients in several of the firm’s core competencies.


Brandon has tried cases in all manner of venues, from rural county courthouses to Marine Corps courts-martial to federal trial and appellate courts as an Assistant United States Attorney. Brandon tried most of these cases as lead counsel, and had a substantive advocacy role in all of them. In other words, Brandon knows how to stand on his feet and advocate for his clients to any audience, whether it be a jury, a panel of appellate judges, or a regulatory body.

White Collar Criminal Defense

In addition to investigating and prosecuting all manner of white collar cases, Brandon worked in the Department of Justice as it underwent a sea-change in its approach to corporate prosecutions. This included the implementation of the “Yates Memo,” which was the Department’s effort to hold individual corporate employees accountable in every corporate investigation whether through, criminal, civil or regulatory enforcement. As a result, Brandon has a unique perspective on the challenges that companies, executives and individuals face when the government comes calling.

Internal Investigations/Compliance

One of the few things Brandon has done as much as trying cases in his career is conducting internal investigations. While in the Marine Corps, Brandon conducted internal investigations that included financial misconduct by a senior Marine Officer, loss of classified material, Law of War violations, and combat deaths. During his time serving in-house for a major defense contractor, Brandon’s primary responsibility was managing and conducting internal investigations for a division of the company with more than 10,000 employees and approximately $2 billion in annual revenue. In that role, Brandon drafted an internal investigations manual to assist the company in developing a process for using the findings of internal investigations to assist its compliance function. While in law school, Brandon assisted the Director of Compliance and Faculty Athletics Representative with the most significant NCAA investigation in the school’s history.


Brandon received his Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of West Alabama where he graduated  cum laude and was an Academic All-Conference tight end on the football team.  While at the University of Alabama School of Law, Brandon was a two-time recipient of the George P. Taylor Excellence in Trial Advocacy Award.

Presentations & Publications


Brandon’s time outside of compensated work is devoted to helping his wife Ashleigh, a full-time kindergarten teacher, control the unbound energy of their two sons and daughter. When time permits, he also likes to read, workout, and spend time in the woods. Brandon and his family are members of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Montgomery, Alabama.

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