Tim Heaphy

Lead Investigator, January 6 House Select Committee; Former United States Attorney for the Western District of Virginia
Tim Heaphy in a dark blue blazer, light blue shirt, and red tie
  • Led investigation of the inquiry into the January 6 Capitol Hill conflict
  • More than three decades in public interest and private practice law, with prior roles as asst. Virgnia attorney general, U.S. attorney, and counsel for UVA
  • Shares sought-after expertise on the intersection of our legal system with democracy, business, and society

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Working at the intersection of law, politics, and society, Timothy Heaphy is a widely respected attorney who was appointed as the lead investigator for the bipartisan United States House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack in the aftermath of the turmoil that took place at the U.S. Capitol. Heaphy is no stranger to serving the American public in the spotlight as a lead investigator, having been the University of Virginia’s general counsel, and directed the investigation and authored the report commissioned by the City of Charlottesville on the city’s handling of the August 2017 Unite the Right rally. Throughout his career, Heaphy has been a champion for principle over politics and is renowned for his unwavering commitment to our nation’s justice system and acting ahead of self-interest to arrive at fair and equitable outcomes for all through the eyes of the law.  

Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, Heaphy walks groups through an engaging analysis of today’s challenges in law, the moments in history that brought us to where we are now, and the impact that the current landscape has on organizations, industries, and society. He captures the audience’s attention early on as he shares insights and anecdotes from behind the scenes of the most newsworthy cases of the era — including the January 6 hearings. Heaphy shares stories you can only hear from a leader working at the center of some of history’s defining events, while putting forth sensible solutions for addressing issues such as criminal justice and protecting our democracy through the justice system.  

One of the most influential figures reshaping the U.S. criminal justice system, from 2009-2014, Heaphy served as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Virginia, having been nominated and subsequently appointed by President Barack Obama. During this time, he oversaw all federal criminal prosecutions in the district and was responsible for enforcing federal law and protecting the rights of citizens. At the start of his legal career, he was a law clerk for Judge John A. Terry of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, later becoming an assistant U.S. attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Department of Justice. Before attending law school at the UVA, Heaphy was a staff member for then-Senator Joe Biden. As part of his dedication to criminal justice reform, he is the founder and chairman of nonprofit organization the Fountain Fund, which provides low-interest loans to formerly incarcerated people. Additionally, he is a lecturer at the UVA School of Law, where, since 2003, he teaches legal courses, including federal criminal practice, criminal justice reform, and law and riots.

Prior to his appointment as the lead investigator of the House Select Committee, Heaphy was general counsel for the University of Virginia from 2018-2022, where he headed the legal response to issues pertaining to the future of education — including the relevance of race in college admissions, the increasing professionalization of college athletics, ongoing issues in free speech, and the impact of online content delivery. Heaphy also has extensive experience in private practice, where he focuses on a wide range of issues, most notably complex civil litigation and white-collar criminal defense cases.

Today, Heaphy is the co-chair for the compliance, investigations, and enforcement practice at international law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher, following the completion of the January 6 House Select Committee. In addition to being a leader in American law, he is active in the business community and as a humanitarian.

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Speaker Video

Democracy in America: Lessons from January 6 & Charlottesville

The Art of Building Bridges as a Leader. A champion for principles over politics when it comes to carrying out the law, throughout his career as a leader, Timothy Heaphy has created unity where there was once division in order to bring landmark legal proceedings to equitable and just outcomes. As he led through conflict and navigated through divisiveness in pursuit of justice, he was peerless in his ability to transcend partisan divisions in the interest of the greater good. In this talk, Heaphy draws from his experiences as the lead investigator for the January 6 House Select Committee, general counsel for the University of Virginia, and a U.S. attorney for several other high-profile cases to demonstrate proven strategies for how leaders can facilitate clear communication and consensus within their teams, and align each individual to a shared vision and mission.

Democracy in America: Lessons from January 6 & Charlottesville. In this keynote session, Timothy Heaphy, lead investigator for the January 6 House Committee and the former general counsel for UVA, draws upon his experiences as a U.S. Attorney and independent investigator to explore the challenges that pose a threat to American democracy following transformative events, including the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot and the 2017 rally in Charlotteville. Having led the investigations in the aftermath of both events, Heaphy provides audiences with an unbiased breakdown of what really happened amid the chaos of these events, while discussing the importance of strengthening our democratic institutions, promoting civic engagement and dialogue, and holding people who threaten public safety — and our republic — accountable for their actions. Drawing on his extensive legal and investigative experience, Heaphy offers practical recommendations for policymakers, civic leaders, and citizens to uphold the values and integrity of democracy in America.

From Punishment to Rehabilitation: Transforming Criminal Justice Reform. An advocate for sweeping criminal justice reform in America, nationally respected attorney Timothy Heaphy offers audiences insights on what works and what doesn’t work within the current system and puts forth sensible strategies for fixing the system’s shortcomings in a way that benefits all people, regardless of their backgrounds. Through his compelling, data-driven analysis, Heaphy examines the root causes of mass incarceration and offers innovative alternatives and solutions for addressing complex issues in criminal justice that promote fairness, accountability, and due process for all.

The Intersection of Society, Business, and the Law. As one of the U.S.’s leading legal experts and practitioners, Timothy Heaphy possesses encyclopedic knowledge of the merits and shortcomings of our legal system, and contextualizes them with firsthand anecdotes and accounts from working at the center of some of the most transformative cases in our nation’s history. In this talk, Heaphy explores the interconnected relationships between business, society, and law and offers practical insights for the steps that can be taken to evolve to a legal system that transcends ideological divides and acts to provide fair and sensible outcomes for all. Heaphy draws groups in as he takes them behind the scenes of landmark legal proceedings — including the January 6 investigation. His comprehensive analysis of multi-faceted issues in today’s legal and business environments, and the challenges they present, provide audience members with a starting point for how to adapt their organizations accordingly.

Tackling the Top Legal Challenges of the 21st Century. With experiences ranging from private practice and public interest law, all the way to serving as general counsel for UVA the lead investigator for the January 6 House Select Committee, Timothy Heaphy’s expertise is highly sought after by government, industry, and social leaders seeking advisement on today’s top issues in law and how they trickle into society, business, and all aspects of life. Able to speak with the utmost depth on matters related to the relationships between law and our democracy, business, criminal justice reform, societal challenges, and various other far-reaching topics within our complex justice system, Heaphy provides a balanced and coherent analysis of today’s top challenges in law and why they should matter to organizations and individuals.

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