Business Crime Defence 2015: Analysis

The 11th edition of Who's Who Legal: Business Crime Defence is our most far-reaching guide to this legal marketplace to date, listing 627 practitioners from 366 firms across 38 jurisdictions.

Litigation boutique Zuckerman Spaeder excels with leading practitioners positioned across the US, as do global heavyweights Sidley Austin, Jones Day, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, McDermott Will & Emery and Baker & McKenzie.

The Washington, DC offices of Baker Botts and renowned litigation boutique Williams & Connolly are considered exceptional for their strength and depth. Meanwhile, white-collar powerhouse Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello shines in New York.

Kingsley Napley leads the way in London, with business crime specialists Peters & Peters Solicitors and Corker Binning also performing outstandingly well in our research.

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom are two standout firms that have transatlantic listings.

The most highly regarded individuals in the US, England, the rest of the world and at the UK Bar are also recognised in this section.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Theodore Wells Jr Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, New York
Reid Weingarten Steptoe & Johnson, Washington DC
Michael Kim Kobre & Kim, New York
Mark Pomerantz Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, New York
Gary Naftalis Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, New York
Earl Silbert DLA Piper, Washington DC
Mark Mendelsohn Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, Washington DC
Joseph Warin Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Washington DC
Steven Kobre Kobre & Kim, New York
Brendan Sullivan Jr Williams & Connolly, Washington, DC
Peter Binning Corker Binning, London
David Corker Corker Binning, London
Brian Spiro BCL Burton Copeland, London
Monty Raphael QC Peters & Peters Solicitors, London
Richard Sallybanks BCL Burton Copeland, London
Louise  Hodges Kingsley Napley, London
Stephen Gentle Simmons & Simmons, London
Elizabeth Robertson K&L Gates, London
Ian Burton BCL Burton Copeland, London
Mark Beardsworth Brown Rudnick, London
UK Bar
Clare Montgomery QC Matrix Chambers, London
Adrian  Darbishire QC QEB Hollis Whiteman, London
David Perry QC 6 King’s Bench Walk, London
Alexander Cameron QC Three Raymond Buildings, London
Alison Pople QC Cloth Fair Chambers
Nicholas Purnell QC Cloth Fair Chambers
Rest Of The World
Paul Gully-Hart Schellenberg Wittmer, Geneva
Marc Henzelin Lalive, Geneva
Roberto Pisano Studio Legale Pisano, Milan
Kai Hart-Hoenig Dr Kai  Hart-Hoenig Rechtsanwälte
Stéphane Bonifassi Lebray & Associés, Paris
Saverio Lembo Bär & Karrer, Geneva
Gregory Glynn Arthur Cox, Dublin
Holger Matt Rechtsanwaltskanzlei Prof Dr Holger Matt, Frankfurt

Zuckerman Spaeder once again performs strongly in our research with nine listings in this edition. The US firm’s Washington, DC office is particularly well represented with five lawyers highly regarded. Founding partner Roger Zuckerman represents companies, corporate officers and directors in criminal disputes and his highlights include representing the president of Enron Energy Services for almost a decade throughout grand jury, Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and civil matters arising from the collapse of the company. William Taylor III is a “talented litigator” who has handled many high-profile cases through the course of his career to date. Paula Junghans specialises in federal tax litigation and white-collar criminal matters. She is “highly sought after” for her “practical and sensible advice”. Paul  Shechtman in New York has experience in federal and state criminal and regulatory investigations specialising in competition law, health-care fraud and insider trading, among others. Morris “Sandy” Weinberg Jr in Tampa is lauded for his “unsurpassed experience” in white-collar criminal matters. He is best known for leading the defence in one of the largest health-care fraud investigations in history. The “sensational” Gregg Bernstein in Baltimore recently spent a four-year term as the Baltimore City State’s Attorney managing an office of more than 400 prosecutors and support staff. His “intrinsic knowledge” of criminal proceedings wins him great favour with clients. 

Sidley Austin is represented by eight individuals, four of whom reside in the firm’s Washington, DC office. Thomas Green is a “renowned lawyer” who counsels corporates in connection with criminal investigations and has represented public officials in high-profile investigations of official misconduct. Chair of the firm’s executive committee Carter Phillips is a “talented litigator” who displays “the required instinctive qualities to truly excel” in this field. Karen Popp is a “well-reputed name” in the market who represents companies and individuals in high-profile matters. She has a “wealth of experience” in white-collar criminal defence work and is “highly sought after”. In Chicago, Scott Lassar’s white-collar criminal defence practice includes price fixing, anti-bribery, securities fraud, insider trading, environmental crimes, tax fraud and health-care fraud. He is a former US attorney for the northern district of Illinois. New York-based Timothy Treanor is the global co-leader of the white-collar criminal defence and investigations practice group. A former federal prosecutor, he boasts an “intricate knowledge” of criminal proceedings and clients appreciate his “insightful advice”.

Seven individuals are recommended at Jones Day. Head of the firms’ securities litigation and SEC enforcement practice Peter Romatowski represents companies and individuals in regulatory and criminal investigations of the full range of securities law issues. He is “astute” and a “bona fide expert” in white-collar crime defence. Daniel Reidy in Chicago specialises in handling high-profile criminal investigations and has tried criminal cases to bench and to jury in state and federal courts. Los Angeles-based Brian Sun is a “distinguished practitioner” whom peers “cannot praise highly enough”. His representative work includes representing a Chinese state-owned enterprise in reaching a settlement to which the US government dismissed an indictment for conspiracy, money laundering, smuggling and distribution of human growth hormone in exchange for a monetary payment and a guilty plea to one count of bringing an unapproved drug into the US. Charles Carberry chairs the business and tort litigation practice and is located in the firm’s New York office. He is described as “intuitive” and “extremely able”.

At London-based Kingsley Napley, seven individuals stand out in our research. Louise  Hodges is a “pre-eminent practitioner” who garners huge respect in the legal market for her “no-nonsense approach” and “excellent style of delivery”. Jonathan Grimes is “sensational” on matters relating to financial services crime and receives widespread praise for his “impressive depth of expertise” and “international mindset”. Head of the criminal and regulatory litigation group Stephen Parkinson “expertly handles” sensitive matters and is renowned for his “excellent attention to detail”. Jo Rickards is a “top name” in the sector who has recently been representing former News of the World editor Andy Coulson in respect of phone-hacking allegations at the Old Bailey. She operates a “sophisticated practice” and “instils clients with confidence”.

Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison achieves seven listings from across its New York and Washington, DC offices. Theodore Wells Jr co-chairs the litigation department at the firm and is “technically excellent” by all accounts. He is a “meticulous” lawyer who maintains a “calm demeanour”. Mark Pomerantz enjoys a “prestigious reputation” in the legal market and has counselled corporation and individuals including CEOs in proceedings brought by Department of Justice (DoJ) and the SEC. Mark Mendelsohn co-chairs the FCPA group; prior to joining the firm, he served as the deputy chief of the fraud section of the criminal division of the US Department of Justice. He is a “leading figure” in the sector and is known for his “forensic approach”. Roberto Finzi’s experience includes representing individuals and corporations in matters including stock options backdating, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, insider trading, accounting fraud, health-care fraud and criminal antitrust.

At Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, seven lawyers are highly recommended, four of whom are located in the firm’s New York office. David Zornow is the global head of Skadden’s litigation/controversy practice and is a “stellar” lawyer by all accounts. He represents corporations and individuals in federal and state grand jury investigations and at criminal trials and is lauded for his “invaluable sector experience”. Warren Feldman has more than 30 years’ experience representing clients in regulatory enforcement, white-collar criminal matters and internal investigations. He has a “resolute focus” and possesses “finely tuned skills”. Richard Marmaro heads the firm’s West Coast SEC enforcement and white-collar defence practice and is a “true star” in the field. Matthew Cowie in London is particularly well known for his work on overseas corruption and FCPA investigations.

Seven individuals at New York-based Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello garner recognition for their “outstanding abilities”. Robert Anello’s practice concentrates on representing defendants charged with a range of white-collar crimes. His clients include individuals and public and private companies including Fortune 500 companies and financial institutions. The “internationally renowned” Elkan Abramowitz enjoys a “prominent position” in the legal market for his “impressive depth of expertise” and “commanding presence in the courtroom”. Lawrence Iason is a “notable practitioner” in securities regulation and enforcement and white-collar defence, having successfully represented clients in investigations by the SEC, the DoJ and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Jonathan Sack spent 13 years as an assistant US attorney for the Eastern District of New York handling prosecutions in the areas of securities and financial institution fraud, RICO violations, money laundering and drug trafficking. He is a “great strategist” and is considered a “dean of the bar”.

Baker & McKenzie earns six inclusions in this year’s edition. Robert Tarun has over 30 years’ experience representing individuals, corporations, partnerships and pension funds in grand jury investigations and trials involving a range of crimes including securities fraud, FCPA, public corruption and tax evasion. Miami-based Lee Stapleton has “vast experience” in white-collar criminal defence and is “one of the elite”. Lawrence Finder in Houston has extensive experience in government investigations, corporate compliance counselling, federal grand jury, trial practice, internal investigations and business crimes. His “exceptional work ethic” is highly recommended by clients. Luca Bassi in Milan is a “true specialist” in white-collar crime defence. He represents companies and individuals and is “very effective”. 

At Washington, DC-based Williams & Connolly, six people are recommended. Brendan Sullivan Jr in Washington, DC is “one of the best lawyers” in the country and his experience handling high-profile white-collar crime matters is “unsurpassed”. John Villa co-chairs the firm’s financial services and banking and legal malpractice and ethics practice groups. He has represented a number of the largest law firms in the US in malpractice matters and is considered the industry’s “first port of call”. The “gifted” Robert Cary co-chairs the firm’s legal malpractice and ethics practice group specialising in high stakes litigation and negotiations.

London specialist firm Peters & Peters Solicitors is represented by six individuals. The “eminent” Monty Raphael QC is a “dean of the white-collar criminal bar”. He has “tremendous experience” in the industry earning him a “legendary status”. Head of the business crime team Michael O’Kane has experience handling international cases including cartels, economic sanctions, fraud, extradition and private prosecutions. He is “in a class of his own” according to our research. Neil Swift advises corporate and individual clients in respect of investigations brought by UK law enforcement agencies. He is “pragmatic” and a “reassuring adviser” according to clients. David McCluskey is particularly recommended for his representation of clients in large-scale frauds, money laundering, corruption and financial services investigations. “Extradition expert” Anand Doobay and Jasvinder Nakhwal are also highly recommended at the firm.

Six lawyers are listed from McDermott Will & Emery. In Chicago, David Rosenbloom is particularly well known for his defence of health-care providers and manufacturers in matters relating to health-care fraud and abuse compliance. Jeffrey Stone co-chairs the firm and chairs the management committee. His practice involves white-collar criminal defence and internal investigations; and he is deemed “first rate”. Los Angeles-based Gordon Greenberg has more than 30 years’ experience in the field and is recommended for his “comprehensive advice” and “solutions-oriented approach”. Michael Kendall in Boston heads the firm’s white-collar and securities defence practice group and represents clients in criminal and civil regulatory matters.

WilmerHale also garners six listings including a trio based in its Washington, DC office. Seth Waxman chairs the appellate and Supreme Court litigation practice group at the firm and is widely regarded as a leading trial lawyer. William McLucas chairs the securities department and specialises in corporate crises and related issues. He has been involved in numerous investigations of insider trading cases. Howard Shapiro chairs the litigation/controversy department and is recommended for his experience in white-collar criminal defence and securities enforcement matters. Stephen Pollard is a “distinguished player” in the London market whose experience runs the full gamut of business crime and securities enforcement work. He is “highly accomplished” and “has the ability to put clients instantly at ease”.

Hogan Lovells is represented by six lawyers. The Washington, DC office emerges as a stronghold of talent with four listings including Ty Cobb: an experienced practitioner who is “always well prepared”. Robert Bennett handles trial cases for corporations and individuals, including directors and officers, in criminal, civil, SEC enforcement and congressional matters. He is a “heavyweight litigator” who “knows his stuff inside out”. Antonin Levy in Paris is a “standout figure” in the market who has experience litigating fraud, anti-money laundering, anti-bribery and corruption, international sanctions and other matters.

At Baker Botts, six individuals are recommended from the firm’s Washington, DC office. William Jeffress Jr has “long-standing experience” in trial litigation specialising in representing and defending corporations and individuals under investigation for violation of criminal laws. Mary Spearing has an “impressive track record” and her experience includes representing the former CEO of Rite Aid in a securities fraud/obstruction of justice case brought by the DoJ. Stan Mortenson has over 30 years’ experience defending corporations, their officers and directors, public officials, law firms and accounting firms, and individual entrepreneurs in criminal matters. Among his accomplishments is achieving favourable non-criminal dispositions for clients being investigated for political corruption, tax fraud, industrial espionage, RICO, antitrust and environmental violations.

At DLA Piper, Earl Silbert concentrates on white-collar crime investigations and trials and is “first-rate” according to peers who note his “stellar reputation” and “unparalleled abilities”. Four further individuals at the firm are recommended representing the Chicago, Sacramento, Amsterdam and Frankfurt offices.

Five lawyers at London firm BCL Burton Copeland come highly recommended. Senior partner and founder of the firm Ian Burton is a “doyen of the white-collar criminal bar”. He has been involved in a significant number of business crime investigations and prosecutions brought by the UK authorities in the last two decades and is “simply sensational”. Brian Spiro specialises in business crime litigation and is widely regarded as a “top talent” in the market. He has a “diligent manner” and “astute legal mind”. Richard Sallybanks has vast experience in Serious Fraud Office matters and has also dealt with SFO requests for information pursuant to the mutual legal assistance regime with other jurisdictions.

Washington, DC-based Miller & Chevalier Chartered also garners five listings in this edition. Kirby Behre has more than 25 years’ experience representing companies and individuals in criminal prosecutions and regulatory matters. He is a former federal prosecutor and has “vast courtroom experience”. The “incredibly gifted” Barry Pollack specialises in criminal investigations and trials with a focus on litigation of complex financial matters given his past as a former certified public accountant. Richard Hibey has been involved in many high-profile trials and is highly recommended for his experience representing clients in white-collar crime matters.

Five lawyers are recommended at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher including Joseph Warin, chair of the Washington, DC office’s litigation department. Warin also co-chairs the white-collar defence and investigations practice group and is lauded by peers and clients alike for his “extensive experience and unwavering commitment to clients”. Lawrence Zweifach is based in the firm’s New York office from where he specialises in criminal matters including securities, SEC enforcement, white-collar criminal defence and internal investigations. He enjoys a “high profile” due to his “strategic thinking” and “commanding presence in the courtroom”. Debra Wong Yang in Los Angeles concentrates her practice in corporate crime and compliance and also represents companies and boards in internal investigations, compliance matters and criminal investigations.

In the Netherlands, Wladimiroff Advocaten enjoys a “stellar reputation” and five of its lawyers are singled out in our research. Jan Leliveld concentrates on assisting companies and who are suspected of fraud, corruption, market abuse and money laundering. Ed van Liere is a “seasoned expert” in criminal defence work and he specialises in economic, tax and environmental issues. The “terrific” Robbert de Bree has a particular focus on economic criminal cases, international fraud and corruption and competition sanctions.

Kobre & Kim achieves four listings in this year’s edition including namesakes Steven Kobre and Michael Kim. Kobre in New York is a “tremendous trial lawyer” who regularly deals with cases relating to FCPA, money laundering, tax, competition and securities law. Kim is “great on strategy” and is a “firm favourite with clients” due to his “strong technical skills and performance in the courtroom”.

At Corker Binning, a trio of lawyers are recommended. Peter Binning is “internationally renowned” for his criminal defence work and is a “top talent” in the market. He specialises in fraud and regulatory litigation and is particularly strong on international matters. David Corker is greatly respected by peers for his “intrinsic knowledge” of criminal investigations. He has been involved in a significant number of criminal fraud cases undertaken by the SFO and is many clients’ “first port of call”. Andrew Smith dedicates his practice to extradition, investigations and prosecutions brought by the UK authorities into fraud, money laundering, market abuse and bribery/corruption.

Reid Weingarten at Steptoe & Johnson in Washington, DC is a “standout figure” in the research whose recent representations include the former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers and the former Enron accounting officer Richard Causey. In the same office Lucinda Low is also recommended for expertise on US and international anti-corruption laws.

At Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel in New York Gary Naftalis is a significant figure in the market who advises corporations, officers, directors and individuals in high stakes criminal matters. He is a “stellar individual” according to peers who praise his “astute legal mind” and “bespoke solutions”. Barry Berke co-chairs the litigation department handling white-collar crime matters including allegations of securities fraud, accounting and bank fraud, RICO and FCPA violations, bribery, bid rigging, embezzlement and tax offences.

London-based Simmons & Simmons partner Stephen Gentle has an “innate ability to put clients at ease”. He “knows his stuff inside out” and is “one of the leading lawyers in the London market”. Nick Benwell at the firm is also recommended. He heads the firm’s crime, fraud and investigations group and concentrates on corporate crime, corruption and fraud-related matters with extensive experience in investigations.

Mark Beardsworth at Brown Rudnick’s London office is a “high-flyer” who has a “well-reputed name” in the market due to his “quick grasp of complex issues” and “impressive record”. Also in London, Tom Epps is noted for his “sensible and commercial advice” in relation to business crime and regulatory investigations. In the firm’s Washington, DC office Stephen Best chairs the white-collar defence and government investigations group and enjoys a “high profile” in the market.

Elizabeth Robertson at K&L Gates in London is “very strong” and praised for having built up a practice of “great repute”. Clients appreciate her “judgement and pragmatic approach”. She is joined by Christine Braamskamp and Steven Kowal in Chicago.

Switzerland is home to several leading lawyers in this field. Four individuals are recommended at Schellenberg Wittmer, including Paul Gully-Hart in Geneva: a “consummate professional”. He heads the white-collar crime and compliance group and is a “talented litigator” with a “commanding presence in the courtroom”. At Lalive, Marc Henzelin is a “true star” of the criminal bar and is praised for his “formidable reputation in court”. His colleague Sonja Maeder Morvant also garners recommendations. At Bär & Karrer in Geneva, head of the white-collar crime practice group Saverio Lembo is a “famed practitioner” who has “invaluable sector experience”.

Roberto Pisano of Studio Legale Pisano in Milan is a “technically excellent” criminal lawyer specialising in business crime and mutual legal assistance. He has successfully represented prominent individuals and entities in high-profile proceedings including a case alleging international tax fraud involving the Italian prime minister.

Kai Hart-Hoenig at his own firm in Frankfurt is a “true specialist” in business and tax crime with an “outstanding reputation” for his work in the field. He is “great on his feet” and provides a “hands-on approach”.

Holger Matt in Frankfurt is a “dedicated lawyer” specialising in criminal law. He is recommended for his “careful handling of matters” and is described as a “pleasure to work with”.

At Lebray & Associés in Paris Stéphane Bonifassi is an “acclaimed lawyer” who concentrates his practice on business crime law. He has experience in corruption, fraud, bribery, money laundering and compliance matters.

Gregory Glynn at Arthur Cox in Dublin has a “first-rate practice” advising directors and officers of corporations on their duties and obligations in relation to money laundering issues, legal mutual requests, search warrants, freezing orders, indictments, US extradition and European arrest warrants. 

UK Bar

Three Raymond Buildings demonstrates it “leading capabilities” in the sector with seven of its barristers selected for inclusion. Alexander Cameron QC advises and represents clients in relation to insider dealing, bribery, extradition, money laundering, corruption, market abuse and price-fixing cartels. He has a “great manner with clients” and is “sensational on his feet”. The “formidable” Hugo Keith QC is a “go-to silk” for criminal liability matters and is currently advising in connection with the Alstrom corruption inquiry and the SFO Barclays/Qatar investigation. Patrick Gibbs QC is noted for his “sharp intellect” and “insightful advice” in relation to criminal proceedings for commercial fraud, money laundering, tax evasion, insider dealing and corruption. Neil Saunders is “in high demand”. He represents individuals and companies being investigated or accused of crime, with his notable cases including representing Charlie Brooks (husband of former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks) as sole counsel in the eight-month phone-hacking trial.

Six names are recommended at Cloth Fair Chambers. The “incredibly talented” Alison Pople QC is “hardworking” and “efficient”. She is a “favourite among clients” due to her “excellent judgement” and “straightforward advice”. Nicholas Purnell QC also receives high praise for his experience in business crime matters. He advises clients under examination by global regulatory and prosecuting authorities including the SFO, FCA, the US DoJ and the SEC. The “stellar” John Kelsey-Fry QC has a “prestigious reputation” in the market for his work in business and financial crime matters.

At Matrix Chambers, five barristers are recommended including Clare Montgomery QC, a “pre-eminent” barrister who is “head and shoulders above the competition”. Tim Owen QC is highly rated for his expertise in business crime matters involving market abuse, bribery, sanctions offences, cartels, insider dealing and frauds. He is a “star individual” who is considered a “leading authority” in the sector. Julian Knowles QC is a “heavyweight silk” with a “remarkable depth of experience” in multi-jurisdictional criminal matters including money laundering, extradition and mutual assistance. 

Adrian  Darbishire QC is one of a trio of silks to be included from QEB Hollis Whiteman. He has a “keen eye for detail” and is “excellent with clients” due to his “calm demeanour”. 

At 6 King’s Bench Walk, David Perry QC possesses “unparalleled abilities” and is recommended for his criminal work including fraud, extradition and mutual legal assistance. He is “unflappable” and a “force to be reckoned with”.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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