This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2013
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FIRM OF THE YEAR- BUSINESS CRIME DEFENCE
Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC is hailed as a business crime defence “powerhouse”. Established in 1973, the litigation boutique specialises in white-collar defence, securities enforcement, regulatory and government investigations and civil litigation. With offices in New York and Washington, DC, the firm is strategically positioned to deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Furthermore, it has a long-standing relationship with these authorities and bodies with many of its lawyers having previously served as prosecutors or senior government advisers. The firm itself is relatively small in size, allowing its partners to work collaboratively on cases and engage in a constant exchange of ideas.
|MORVILLO ABRAMOWITZ GRAND IASON & ANELLO PC|
|TOTAL LISTINGS IN WHO’S WHO LEGAL: 7|
|Practice Area Breakdown|
|Business Crime Defence||7|
The firm has had a number of high-profile successes in the past year. In February 2012, the US DoJ announced that was abandoning its high-profile prosecution of 22 individual defendants in a weapons contract bribery case, US v Goncalves. Morvillo Abramowitz represented Israel Weisler, an executive in the military and law enforcement equipment industry accused of trying to bribe African officials to win contracts to sell armour, weapons and military gear. The case was the largest prosecution of individuals since the US DoJ began enforcing the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The firm also acted for Donald Drapkin in a breach of contract suit brought against his former employer, MacAndrews & Forbes. In January 2012, the jury found that Drapkin had adhered to the separation agreement when he left the company and was owed $16 million from that agreement. The past year has also seen the firm honoured by the Legal Aid Society as one of the recipients of the Society’s 2012 Pro Bono Publico Award in recognition of the firm’s outstanding pro bono service, dedication and commitment to The Legal Aid Society and its clients.
The combination of the firm’s experience and knowledge earns the firm the accolade of business crime defence law firm of the year for the third time. Seven lawyers from the New York office are selected for their exceptional white-collar crime practices. Lawrence Iason is singled out for his “superb” handling of complex and high-profile white-collar cases. In recognition of his “superior knowledge”, in October 2012 he was appointed a member of the newly created New York white-collar crime task force by the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York. The task force will be charged with examining New York’s anti-fraud and anti-corruption laws, with a goal of recommending legislative and executive changes to modernise enforcement of the law and increase efficacy. Elkan Abramowitz is a “celebrated” white-collar criminal defence lawyer and has built an “impressive reputation” for representing prestigious clients in and outside of the courtroom. Robert Anello has more than 30 years’ experience litigating in the federal and state courts and represents defendants charged with business crimes, regulatory and tax violations as well as civil fraud. Paul Grand is “exceptional”, according to our sources, and has represented clients in complex criminal and civil matters in state and federal trial and appellate courts throughout the country, including the US Supreme Court. Jodi Misher Peikin specialises in defending individuals and corporations under investigation or charges with misconduct by the DoJ, state and local prosecutors, the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Her experience includes securities fraud, accounting fraud, bank fraud, insider trading, health care and medicare fraud and theft of trade secrets. Jonathan Sack is “renowned” for his handling of complex civil and criminal cases and calls upon 13 years of experience as an assistant US attorney for the eastern district of New York. Richard Weinberg represents individuals and corporations in investigation by the SEC, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the US DoJ and state regulatory agencies. He is praised for his “careful handling of highly sensitive matters”.
Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC
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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