This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2012
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Firm of the Year – Business Crime Defence
Morvillo Ambramowitz Grand Iason Anello & Bohrer PC is universally acknowledged to be a white-collar criminal defence “powerhouse”. With just over 55 lawyers, this leading litigation boutique promotes quality over quantity, although expansion is in its sights: in April 2011 the firm branched out of New York and opened its second office in Washington, DC, which it expects to grow significantly in the next few years.
|MORVILLO ABRAMOWITZ GRAND IASON ANELLO & BOHRER PC|
|TOTAL LAWYERS LISTED IN WHO’S WHO LEGAL: 9|
Since 1973 Morvillo Abramowitz has acted for individual and institutional clients in complex matters spanning the full spectrum of white-collar crime, securities litigation and sophisticated business disputes. Recently the firm has had a number of high profile successes. March 2011 saw the culmination of six years of litigation, when Morvillo Abramowitz secured a complete dismissal of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s case against Afshin Mohebbi, the former president and chief operating officer of Qwest Communications International. The firm also acted for Kenneth Lipper and associated companies in connection with a FINRA arbitration award in Mr Lipper’s favour, rejecting all accusations of fraud, negligence and breach of fiduciary duties brought against Mr Lipper by the liquidating trustee of the hedge fund he managed. Current engagements include acting as counsel to a client in connection with the pending criminal indictment against the founders of the three largest poker websites (and eight others) charged with bank fraud and money laundering and representing executives in the military and law enforcement equipment industry accused of trying to bribe African officials.
With such illustrious briefs to its name, it is little wonder that Morvillo Abramowitz wins our award for Business Crime Defence Law Firm of the Year. Nine lawyers from the New York office are selected for their outstanding white-collar crime practices. As well as having “impressive” trial experience, Jodi Peikin has conducted internal investigations for corporations and brokerage firms. Peers describe her as “a brilliant strategist”. Lawrence Iason is lauded as an “incredibly bright attorney” whom sources are “happy to trust with the most complex matters”. Richard Weinberg has “phenomenal experience” in representing individuals and corporations in investigations by the SEC, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the United States Department of Justice and state regulatory agencies, and in conducting corporate internal investigations. “Few advocates can match his excellent standard,” according to one source. Jonathan Sack is a “top-notch” trial lawyer and impresses peers with his “sound judgment and deep understanding of the law”. Elkan Abramowitz has an “unrivalled reputation” in this sector and is “experienced, knowledgeable and a real pleasure to work with”. Paul Grand’s “fantastic” practice “commands great respect” while Barry Bohrer is “a favourite with judges and clients alike”. Counsel to the firm Gregory Morvillo has represented clients in numerous federal and state court actions and garnered many votes for his “outstanding written and oral advocacy”. Robert Anello has acted as independent, outside counsel to Deloitte & Touche LLP and Morgan Stanley in connection with their participation in SEC Look-Back programmes, which have included reviews of the firms’ internal compliance programmes. He is “thoroughly committed” to his clients and has a “gold-standard” reputation. National and international peers are united in their praise for Morvillo Abramowitz’s “premier” business crime defence practice, attesting to its status as “a small firm with a giant reputation.
For nearly 40 years, Morvillo Abramowitz has helped institutional and individual clients with complex white-collar matters, securities enforcement regulation and sophisticated business disputes. As a litigation boutique we are best known for our unmatched depth of experience and ability to deliver on a scale that is unique in the US legal market.
Our firm has a long history of dealing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the United States Department of Justice, state regulatory agencies and state law enforcement officials, and many of our partners have served as prosecutors and senior government advisers. These include positions in the offices of the United States Attorneys for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, including three Chiefs of the Criminal Division, two Chief Appellate Attorneys, a Chief of the Major Crimes Unit and a Chief of the Securities Fraud Unit. Our ranks also include a former Regional Administrator of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Primary Practice Areas: Civil and commercial litigation; government investigations; internal investigations; monitorships, integrity counsel and compliance; professional representations; regulatory enforcement and securities litigation; securities and financial services litigation; trial and appellate; and white-collar criminal defence.
Main Areas of Practice
White-Collar Defence: As trial attorneys, we represent clients at all stages of white-collar criminal litigation in federal, state, and local courts. Our services range from advising targets of grand jury investigations and witnesses who must appear before them, to guiding clients through the indictment, pretrial, and negotiation phases and representing our clients at trial and on appeal. Our cases frequently focus on economic crime, but we also are experienced in handling complex matters concerning allegations of accounting fraud, business fraud, market manipulation and tax fraud; defence contractor fraud, government fraud and export control; health-care fraud and violations of the False Claims Act; violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and federal and state antitrust laws; and bribery and political corruption.
Securities Enforcement, Regulation & Government Investigations: The firm has substantial expertise in securities litigation and enforcement proceedings. We have represented numerous individuals and corporations either under investigation or charged with violations of federal and state securities laws and federal commodities laws. The firm frequently is engaged to counsel officers and directors of public corporations concerning their legal obligations, including their duties under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Dodd-Frank. The firm regularly represents clients in investigations and administrative proceedings brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Reserve Bank and self-regulatory organisations, including the New York Stock Exchange and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The issues in these investigations range from insider trading to options backdating, stock manipulation, and improper sales practices, and from complex accounting questions to misrepresentations and omissions in sales materials.
Business and Civil Litigation: We have litigated a wide variety of high-profile and complex civil cases, drawing on our reputation and skills as trial attorneys to win the best results for our clients regardless of whether the case ultimately goes to trial. We have represented prominent financial institutions and public companies, officers and directors of major corporations, and numerous smaller organisations and individuals. We have handled securities fraud, RICO and antitrust litigation; employment discrimination cases; copyright, trademark and trade secret disputes; partnership disputes; real estate litigation; and claims of fraud, breach of contract and business torts. We also frequently represent attorneys, accountants and other professionals required to respond to allegations of misconduct, including allegations brought by adversaries during pending litigation, by dissatisfied clients and by regulators in proceedings before administrative bodies or disciplinary committees. In addition, we frequently litigate cases before domestic and international arbitration panels and assist our clients with mediation and other alternative dispute resolution techniques.
Internal Investigations and Counselling: Institutional clients often retain the firm to conduct sensitive internal investigations aimed at uncovering or resolving allegations of officer, director, trustee, or employee misconduct at companies and not-for-profit organisations. In the course of these internal investigations, we often advise corporate clients seeking clarification and counsel regarding the necessity and wisdom of referring individual criminal cases to law enforcement, or engaging in voluntary cooperation with and disclosure to government authorities under agency rules, Department of Justice guidelines or the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
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