Al Taher focuses his practice on a range of regulatory compliance matters, white-collar crime and internal investigations, and commercial litigation.
Al comes to Kelley Drye from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), where he held multiple positions from 2012-2023. At DHS, Al served as a designated national security attorney with Top Secret/SCI security clearance, advising on matters arising under the national security and terrorism provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act and related authorities. Al has extensive experience working on national security matters, including matters involving individuals convicted or suspected of violating various export controls and economic sanctions authorities, such as the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Export Administration Regulations (EAR), and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions regulations.
Al utilizes perspectives gained at DHS to support Kelley Drye’s clients in a variety of industries, including banking and financial services, payment processors, and energy sector. Al works with clients to develop compliance programs to minimize risk exposure and ensure compliance with an ever evolving and complex regulatory landscape.
Most recently, prior to joining Kelley Drye, Al was Deputy Chief Counsel at the DHS Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement (ICE), Chicago Office of the Chief Counsel (OCC), where he managed the in-house counsel program for Homeland Security Investigations Chicago, providing legal advice and support to several hundred agents within multiple offices across Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. He advised on issues such as the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, privacy and information disclosure, border searches, administrative arrest authorities, asset forfeiture, and cyber-crime. Al also helped manage ICE’s denaturalization program, providing legal guidance, training, and oversight to over 100 designated denaturalization attorneys, special agents, and officers nationwide. Al’s unique perspectives are particularly helpful to clients who are the subject of government investigations and enforcement actions.
Additionally, at DHS, Al directly supervised and lead a team of approximately 15 attorneys and support staff, providing technical legal advice and ensuring quality control of written work product and litigation strategies. He supervised trial and appellate advocacy on a broad range of legal subjects, including immigration, citizenship, national security, asylum, fraud, and human rights. Al provided legal and case strategy advice to other DHS agency components, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. He also provided federal court litigation support to U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
Al also has experience prosecuting cases before the Executive Office for Immigration Review, appearing before the Immigration Court for immigration and bond proceedings, as well as the Board of Immigration Appeals. Al also served as an Associate Legal Advisor in the National Security Law Division in Washington, D.C., where he advised on national security matters arising under the Immigration and Nationality Act and related authorities. Prior to his government work, Al worked at a law office in Chicago.
Al’s breadth of experience at DHS handling a wide-variety of complex litigation and investigations offers the firm’s clients a valuable and insightful perspective.
Al is a fluent Arabic speaker and also possess cultural fluency having previously resided in the Middle East for two years. He is currently a candidate to become a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist® (CAMS) by the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists.
Advised a large pharmacy store chain on Anti-Money Laundering compliance issues related to its pre-paid access cards sold on Cash Apps, and reporting requirements stemming from money services business.
Representing an American sports equipment specialty retailer in an anti-trust investigation.
Advised a cloud-based software company on immigration compliance, including challenges related to H1-B visa, and review of the new I-9 Employment Verification Third Party Servicer Agreement.
Successfully defended client in an immigration matter involving deportation for crimes committed several as a minor. DHS cancelled the removal proceedings, allowing client to maintain lawful permanent resident status.
Successfully defended a restaurant supply retailer in federal and Illinois court against wage and hour claims.
Defending client in an immigration matter involving white collar crime – wire fraud conviction.
DHS Office of the General Counsel’s Excellence Award, 2016-2017.
Principal Legal Advisor’s Outstanding Achievement Award for Legal Writing, 2016.