Nov. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Workplace law firm Jackson Lewis LLP is forming a white-collar and government enforcement practice group and is hiring a former assistant U.S. attorney in Denver to bolster the practice.
James M. Lord joined the firm’s Denver office as a partner. He will help start the new practice, which will be led by Jackson Lewis partner and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Kelly in the Boston office.
The white-collar and government enforcement practice will assist clients in strengthening compliance programs, responding to government inquiries and investigations and defending subsequent legal actions where necessary, the firm said.
The attorneys in the practice, which draws on former federal and state prosecutors and enforcement lawyers, also includes Kevin Lashus in Austin, John Commisso and Sarah Walsh, in Boston, Larry Shulman in Detroit and Stacey Bastone in Long Island.
“In today’s highly regulated environment, employers are facing increased scrutiny resulting in government investigations, enforcement actions and criminal proceedings,” Jackson Lewis Chairman Vincent A. Cino said in a statement. “We have an outstanding group of litigators across the country with prosecutorial experience and are extremely pleased that Jim Lord, a successful federal prosecutor, will be joining this team and helping launch our white-collar and government enforcement practice group.”
Cino said in an interview that the firm has been working on forming the group for the last year, but that Lord’s hire prompted it to formalize the practice. “I think within a few years there will be 25 attorneys handling this work,” he said.
Kelly, hired last May, was formerly executive director of the National Hockey League Players’ Association. In addition to his white-collar leadership, he is also co-chairman of the firm’s collegiate and professional sports industry practice group. He said he began handling white-collar work on day two of his hire.
“The landscape out there for employers is getting more difficult to navigate given the volume of federal and state regulations and the increasing number of enforcement actions,” he said in an interview.
The attorneys in the new practice have experience in criminal and enforcement matters related to workplace law, like corporate compliance and governance, immigration and worksite enforcement actions, health care fraud investigations, and tax matters. They also advise clients on antitrust matters, fraud charges, professional license and disciplinary proceedings, securities violations, money laundering and environmental enforcement.
Lord was an assistant U.S. attorney in Seattle for more than 20 years. During his tenure as a federal prosecutor, he was chief of the Organized Crime Strike Force, coordinator of the Corporate Fraud Task Force, a member of the Financial Investigations Review Team, an asset forfeiture and money laundering attorney and a computer-hacking and intellectual-property attorney for the Western District of Washington.
After leaving the Justice Department in 2011, Lord was a senior director at the consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal. There his practice focused on conducting risk assessments and compliance reviews, internal investigations, regulatory training for multinational companies and foreign sovereigns, and managing international due-diligence investigations.
Lord’s practice at Jackson Lewis will concentrate on white-collar criminal defense, False Claims Act defense, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act matters, internal investigations, corporate governance and compliance issues, among other matters.
Jackson Lewis has 765 attorneys in 54 locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
Secrets Said to Stall Swaps Probe as EU Readies Libor Fines
The European Union’s antitrust probe into credit derivatives trading by 13 of the world’s biggest banks stalled after the lenders’ lawyers won the right to see confidential information compiled by investigators.
The banks asked to see business secrets about their rivals in EU files to help them fight a formal antitrust complaint sent in July, according to five people familiar with the probe who asked not to be identified because the process isn’t public. Meeting the requests may add about four months to the investigation, after the EU extended its deadline for responses to the statement of objections, two people said.
“A decision before the end of Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia’s term would be possible, but in reality pretty difficult,” said Jacquelyn MacLennan, a lawyer at White & Case LLP in Brussels who’s not involved in the case. “This is not a settlement case but a full procedure,” so wrapping it up before Oct. 31 next year “is a challenge.”
The credit-default swaps probe, which includes HSBC Holdings Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc., is one of two priority EU investigations into financial institutions. Almunia is poised to fine many of the same banks for rigging benchmarks including the London interbank offered rate in a scandal that’s tarnished the reputation of lenders seeking to recover from the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression.
Antoine Colombani, Almunia’s spokesman at the European Commission in Brussels, declined to comment.
The commission was required to grant access to potentially confidential data after lawyers in the CDS probe argued the information was vital given the complexity of the case, the people said. Such data would be evidence in the commission’s file, such as e-mails and other messages for which business secrecy was claimed, one person said.
After lengthy discussions, the EU agreed to distribute DVDs to lawyers with the sensitive data in exchange for pledges to protect the information. This process, known as a virtual data-room, is used only in exceptional circumstances, according to EU guidelines.
Once lawyers have finished reviewing the information they would go back to the commission and seek further permission for parts of it to be shared with their clients, said the person. It’s then up to the commission to allow this or not.
In the underlying probe, the EU accused the 13 banks as well as Markit and ISDA of working together to prevent Deutsche Boerse AG and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange from entering the credit-derivatives business from 2006 to 2009.
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London’s Second Female Lord Mayor Says Banks Must Regain Trust
Fiona Woolf, the second woman to head the City of London in 800 years, said bankers in her district must keep working to regain the public’s trust and backed the Bank of England’s latest move to support lenders.
“If you are in a role that is promoting London and the whole of the U.K. services sector, it makes it much more difficult to promote it when there are these reputational issues hanging over us,” Woolf said in an interview at London’s Guildhall. “I’m hoping to be able to say that we are well regulated. You can only earn trust. You can’t buy it.”
Woolf, 65, who started as the 686th lord mayor Nov. 8, was law firm CMS Cameron McKenna’s first female partner in 1981. She has advised more than 28 governments and the World Bank on privatization and energy reforms. She will oversee about 3,500 staff that manage the British capital’s historic core and promote the financial-services companies based in the Square Mile. The City is also home to the Bank of England, whose governor, Mark Carney, last month unveiled an overhaul giving banks cheaper liquidity insurance and letting them use a broader range of collateral to access money.
“It’s a very open and pragmatic way for the BOE to provide finance,” Woolf said. “It sounds like a nicely balanced approach. The banks have to be able to do business, and liquidity in the market is important.”
Woolf, who qualified as a solicitor in 1973, follows in the footsteps of Mary Donaldson, who became the first female lord mayor in 1983.
As lord mayor, Woolf assumes a yearlong ambassadorial role representing financial and business-services firms after serving as an alderman and City sheriff. She replaced Roger Gifford, a former chairman of the Association of Foreign Banks in London. The post is separate from that of London Mayor Boris Johnson, who represents 8 million people and is directly elected by voters in all of the city’s boroughs.
London is home to about 251 foreign banks and sees about $1.9 trillion in foreign exchange turnover each day, or more than a third of global market share, according to the City of London’s website. The U.K. is also the second largest fund-management center, providing employment to about 60,000 people.
Woolf said one of her priorities is to encourage firms in the City to hire more women and people from minority backgrounds. The U.K. Office for National Statistics published figures last week showing that for every 158 males entering the City for work daily, only 100 females do the same.
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Former Bingham Life Sciences Co-Chairman Joins Brown Rudnick
Brown Rudnick LLP announced that Robert C. Funsten has joined the firm’s Orange County, California, office as a partner and co-chairman of the global life sciences group. Funsten was previously a partner and co-chairman of Bingham McCutchen LLP’s life sciences practice.
Funsten has experience in licensing and development deals, strategic alliances and collaborations, mergers and acquisitions, private and public securities and debt offerings, and other business transactions. He also counsels companies on intellectual-property and litigation strategies, the firm said. He previously worked as the senior vice president, general counsel and secretary of Watson Pharmaceuticals, now Actavis Group.
“While our Orange County office, formally Rus, Miliband & Smith, has long been recognized for its excellence in complex commercial litigation, our strategic plan for that office includes developing a strong corporate and life sciences presence as well,” Joseph F. Ryan, chairman and chief executive officer of Brown Rudnick, said in a statement. “An experienced industry adviser with sophisticated expertise, Rob will enhance greatly our life-sciences practice in Orange County and firmwide.”
Funsten is the second recent lateral addition to the Orange County office. Numan J. Siddiqi joined the firm as a partner in the global Corporate Practice.
Brown Rudnick has 200 lawyers in the U.S. and Europe.
Former U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton Joins Steptoe & Johnson
Steptoe & Johnson LLP announced that Paul Charlton, the former U.S. attorney for the District of Arizona, has joined the firm as a partner from Gallagher & Kennedy. He will be based in the Phoenix office and will practice in Steptoe’s commercial litigation and white-collar criminal defense groups.
Charlton concentrates his practice on complex litigation, internal investigations and white-collar criminal defense. He has also represented American Indian governments and tribal leaders.
A former federal prosecutor, Charlton was nominated by President Bush as U.S. attorney for Arizona in 2001 after serving as an assistant U.S. attorney for 10 years. During his six years as the U.S. attorney, Charlton established the Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council, the firm said. He also established a national security division within the U.S. Attorney’s Office to work with law enforcement agencies on terrorism related criminal cases.
“Paul’s arrival represents an important addition to our Phoenix office, by continuing the growth of practices in Phoenix that have local, national and global reach,” Bruce Converse, managing partner of Steptoe’s Phoenix office, said in a statement. “Paul joins two recent exciting additions to our office, former Congressman John Shadegg and former FERC Commissioner Marc Spitzer.”
Steptoe & Johnson has more than 500 lawyers and other professionals in Beijing, Brussels, Century City, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix and Washington.
Venture Capital Attorney Mirkin Joins Rimon in Palm Beach Office
Rimon PC added early-stage venture capital partner Mark H. Mirkin as a partner in its new Palm Beach County, Florida, office. Mirkin joins Rimon from the firm of Hicks, Motto & Ehrlich, where he also worked as a partner.
The Palm Beach County location is Rimon’s 13th office and the first opened in the Southeast.
Mirkin focuses his practice on early-stage financing transactions, representing entrepreneurs and emerging growth companies in private placements and public offerings of equity, debt and convertible securities, venture-capital financings, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures.
In addition to his financing work, Mirkin handles work in the startup world, advising companies on how to structure and organize and helping them in forward-thinking business planning, the firm said.
“Mark is a great choice to head our expansion into the Southeast.” Michael Moradzadeh, CEO of Rimon, said in a statement. “He has assisted countless early stage companies to get the financing they need to move up to the next level. He will fit right into our team of attorneys who know how to help entrepreneurs take flight.”
Rimon has offices in the U.S. and Israel.
Nelson Mullins Hires Health-Care Partner Ruggio in Washington
Mike Ruggio joined Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP as a partner in its Washington office. He joins from LeClairRyan along with another attorney.
Ruggio has represented clients in health-care antitrust matters, anti-kickback, Stark and HIPAA matters. He has been involved in pharmaceutical, e-health technology and bio-health cases concerning average wholesale pricing issues, reimbursement fraud, medical necessity, and other related matters, the firm said.
Nelson Mullins has more than 500 attorneys and other professionals at offices in Washington, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Why Milbank Sends 4th-Years to Harvard
David Wolfson, partner at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy and chairman of the firm’s professional development committee, talks with Bloomberg Law’s Lee Pacchia about the Milbank@Harvard program.
The weeklong course at Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School takes midlevel Milbank associates through a wide range of professional development courses.
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