Investigations 2016: Analysis

Who’s Who Legal and its sister publication Global Investigations Review have combined to identify the leading lawyers, forensic accountants and digital forensic experts in this sector for the third time. In total we pick out 507 lawyers, 83 forensic accountants and 49 digital forensic experts from 37 countries.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Mark Mendelsohn Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, Washington DC
Joseph Warin Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Washington DC
Karen Patton Seymour Sullivan & Cromwell, New York
Stephen Gentle Simmons & Simmons, London
Samuel Seymour Sullivan & Cromwell, New York
Stephen Pollard Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, London
David Zornow Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, New York
Martin Rogers Davis Polk & Wardwell, Hong Kong
Lawrence Zweifach Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, New York
Marc Henzelin Lalive, Geneva

Twelve lawyers from Skadden are selected for this edition, more than from any other firm. David Zornow in New York is global head of the firm’s litigation/controversy practices as well as founder of its white-collar practice. Described to researchers as “quite brilliant”, he has experience of investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as state attorneys general, and he is much sought after for conducting corporate internal investigations. Alongside him, Keith Krakaur scores highly for his representation of corporates and individuals in global investigations relating to economic sanctions, and corrupt practices. John Carroll is described as “the first port of call” for financial institutions and their senior officers in their investigations-related matters, and the “superb” Warren Feldman is “as good as it gets for FCPA-related issues”. Richard Marmaro is head of the firm’s West Coast SEC enforcement and white-collar defence practice and has a “first-class reputation” in this field. Jack DiCanio in Palo Alto is a “tremendous litigator” whose investigations counsel is much valued by clients, while Gary DiBianco in DC is an “FCPA guru” with a reputation that extends internationally. Patrick Fitzgerald is a “big name in Chicago” as its longest-serving US attorney ever, and clients spoke admiringly of his counsel and advice. Outside the US, Matthew Cowie is one of the most highly recommended experts in England and is highly respected as a former prosecutor at the UK Serious Fraud Office, while Ryan Junck leads the London-based corporate investigations practice and is internationally recognised for his work leading investigations into insider trading, financial fraud, FCPA matters and economic sanctions laws. The breadth of the firm’s expertise is demonstrated by further nominees in Germany, where Bernd Mayer leads Skadden’s German corporate governance practice, and in Russia where Dmitri Kovalenko gives clients “a valuable local perspective”.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer grows its recognition significantly in this edition and has 10 nominees selected across four countries. The London office is particularly strong with five highly rated individuals, including the “eminent” Paul Lomas and the internationally recognised Raj Parker.  Matthew Bruce is “building a fantastic reputation that is fully deserved”, while Geoff Nicholas is renowned for both his “market-leading” investigations expertise and his multi-jurisdictional disputes practice. Ali Sallaway was praised for her “insightful and precise” work on behalf of clients in the financial services, consumer and construction industries. Dimitri Lecat in France was described as the “first port of call” for financial institutions in relation to criminal and regulatory investigations, and Norbert Nolte is similarly well respected in Germany and was praised for both his “tremendous commercial awareness and valuable strategic insight”. In the US, Benito Romano is a “major figure” in DC for his disputes, investigations and regulatory work, while Aaron Marcu in New York is regarded as a “pleasure to work with” by his peers and was repeatedly recommended for his work on behalf of financial institutions. Adam Siegel was also much praised to researchers – “he is exceptionally bright and client-friendly” – and received votes from across the US and beyond.

Joseph Warin at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher in Washington DC is one of the most highly nominated practitioners in our worldwide research. A “favourite” of audit and special committees of public companies in a wide range of industries who have hired him to conduct internal investigations, he is also “phenomenally good on all things FCPA”, and he has conducted related investigations relating to business in 35 countries. Also based in DC, Richard Grime is “brilliant” for conducting internal investigations and for his counsel on compliance and corporate governance. The “excellent” David Burns was highlighted to researchers for his work across federal, state, and regulatory investigations. Lawrence Zweifach is one of the foremost experts in New York and recently represented UBS AG in relation to LIBOR investigations. The firm is strong in California with three nominees, led by the highly rated Debra Wong Yang who is deemed by her peers to be “terrific in all areas”. Nicola Hanna and Marcellus McRae are both selected for the first time in this edition due to their strong showing in this year’s research. Further afield, Kelly Austin in Hong Kong is well known as a former compliance and litigation counsel for General Electric in Asia and very well regarded by clients and peers across Asia, while Graham Lovett is an “excellent choice” for anyone looking for counsel in this sector in the UAE.

Nine Clifford Chance lawyers are selected for inclusion from four countries. Judith Seddon is “one of the foremost experts in London” and her work on behalf of financial institutions is “market-leading”. She has represented Barclays in relation to Serious Fraud Office and Financial Conduct Authority investigations, and also advised the board of Serco in relation to SFO investigations. Roger Best is praised for his “all-round skills”, while Carlos Conceicao is “very knowledgeable” as a former head of the FSA’s wholesale group in enforcement. Luke Tolaini scores highly for his compliance practice and recently advised on parallel criminal fraud and regulatory investigations of a FTSE 100 company by the SFO and FSA. Heiner Hugger in Germany is rated as a “real expert”, while Wendy Wysong leads the leads the firm’s Asia Pacific anti-corruption practice and is said to be a “very fine lawyer”. The firm is also strong in the US, with three nominees selected from the New York offices. Edward O’Callaghan is famed for his work on domestic and international regulatory investigations work, while Christopher Morvillo is a “real specialist” who was commended for his work conducting “insightful and penetrative” internal investigations for corporate clients in areas such as possible corporate espionage, insider trading and embezzlement. David Raskin is “justly famed” for his previous work as a prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, and is much sought after for his conducting of internal investigations.

Hogan Lovells sees eight nominees selected in this edition. Ty Cobb in Washington DC is “as good as it gets”, and was praised for his FCPA investigation work worldwide. Robert Bennett is very well regarded for his internal investigation work as well as for his representation of Enron. Peter Spivack is a former global co-head of the firm’s practice in this area and “first-class” for his work relating to the FCPA, the UK Bribery Act and other anti-bribery laws. Marty Steinberg joined the firm’s Miami office in 2015 in what was viewed as a “major coup” for the firm. Michael Shepard in San Francisco, completing the firm’s US representation, is nationally recognised for his skills in this field. Luis Enrique Graham is the foremost nominee in our Mexico research, and Eugene Chen in Shanghai occupies a similar position in our China section – he provides “valuable counsel” to domestic and international clients alike. The “outstanding” Antonin Lévy in Paris is also very highly regarded.

Kingsley Napley is the leading firm in England with seven nominees selected in London. Louise Hodges is a “market leader”, praised by clients and peers alike for her “calm, insightful and effective counsel” in relation to FCA, SFO and HM Revenue and Customs investigations. Jo Rickards is “loved by her clients” and praised by her peers for her work in relation to FCA investigations as well as those into Libor and Forex trades. Stephen Parkinson is head of the firm’s criminal and regulatory litigation group and another with a “client list to die for”. “He is a lawyer of the highest calibre,” said one interviewee. Michael Caplan QC is a “formidable figure” with an “incredible legal mind”, and he known across the market both at home and abroad for the quality of his work.  The “superb” Angus McBride is sought after for his work across the full spectrum of criminal defence, and Jonathan Grimes is “hugely experienced”, having worked on investigations made by the SFO, the FCA and HMRC. Eve Giles is praised for her “advice that demonstrates a real knowledge of the law and commercial reality”, and she was commended for her counsel to corporates and individuals relating to ant-bribery compliance.

Seven nominees are selected from Sidley Austin, with the US office particularly strong. Kimberly Dunne in Los Angeles is co-chair of the white-collar: government litigation and investigations group and “the one you want on your side if you get the dreaded call”. In DC, Thomas Green is renowned as a “fearsome litigator”, and the “tenacious, dedicated and all but unbeatable” Karen Popp impresses peers and clients alike. Scott Lassar is one of the foremost investigations lawyers in Chicago, while “directors and officers love” David Anderson in San Francisco. In Brussels, Michele Tagliaferri is praised for his work on anti-bribery compliance and cross-border investigations and the firm also has a presence in our Asia research through the inclusion of the highly rated Yuet Ming Tham, described to researchers as “great to work with and tremendously effective”.

Debevoise & Plimpton is home to seven nominees in this edition, including Bruce Yannett in New York who was commended by his peers as a “superstar of the FCPA bar”. Chair of the white-collar and regulatory defence practice group, he is “equally adept” and conducting internal investigations and defending companies and executives. Matthew Fishbein is similarly well regarded for his government investigations work. Mark Johnson is one of the foremost experts in Hong Kong, and has represented companies and their boards in investigations by the HK Stock Exchange, Securities and Futures Commission and other local enforcement agencies. John Missing and Karolos Seeger are both selected in the competitive London market in recognition of their work in this sector, and the firm is further represented in France and Germany.

Jones Day is strong in this sector with seven nominees, including five in the US led in the voting by Brian Sun, partner-in-charge of the Los Angeles office and famed for his wide-ranging defence practice. Peter Romatowski oversees the firm’s securities litigation and SEC enforcement practice and is held in high esteem by the market for his FCPA work. Daniel Reidy in Chicago was praised for the “rigour and accuracy” of the internal investigations he has conducted as well as for the quality of his criminal defence practice. In London, Sion Richards was commended by one client as “the best investigations lawyer in the City; one of the top investigative lawyers around” and described as “a lawyer with unimpeachable integrity, no-nonsense and straightforward; an excellent decision-maker and adviser”. Aldo Verbruggen in Amsterdam is outstanding for corporate, criminal and civil investigations.

The breadth of expertise that Baker & McKenzie can offer to clients is demonstrated by its presence in six countries in this edition and seven nominees overall. Former US deputy attorney general Paul McNulty is a “thought leader in this practice area”, while Robert Tarun is similarly well respected in San Francisco. Lawrence Finder in Houston is internationally recognised for his investigations work and further nominees from Canada, Austria, England and Spain are also selected for inclusion.

Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison is one of the leading firms in this sector and home to some of its leading exponents. Mark Mendelsohn in DC is one of the most highly nominated individuals in our global research, and the co-chair of the firm’s FCPA group. He has represented public and private companies as well as individual executives and was described to researchers as “the best of the best”. Alongside him in DC, Beth Wilkinson is famed for her litigation practice as well as for her knowledge of internal investigations while four further nominees are selected in New York. Theodore Wells is internationally recognised for his high profile investigation work and described as “one of the best in the business”, while Daniel Kramer is said to be “as good as it gets” for securities related work. The “legendary” Mark Pomerantz is fêted for his work relating to all facets of alleged corporate misconduct, and Michele Hirshman is one of the leaders of the NY bar and “justly famous” for her work in this sector.

The five selected nominees from Sullivan & Cromwell are extremely well regarded in the market. Four are based in the US, where Karen Patton Seymour is among the most highly regarded individuals in our global research overall and “the only choice” for some of the world’s leading financial institutions, corporations and individuals. She is a former chief of the Criminal Division for the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and supervised the investigation of corporate fraud involving WorldCom. Samuel Seymour was integral to the resolution of government investigations for the Bank of New York, UBS and Moody’s Investors Service among others, and is a “premier quality lawyer”. Steven Peikin has represented clients such as Barclays Bank and the Goldman Sachs group, and is “incredibly skilled, I learn something every time I work with him” in the words of one fellow lawyer. Nicolas Bourtin is the “go-to guy” for US and international financial institutions for both criminal and regulatory investigations, while Louise Delahunty in London is said to be “outstanding in all that she does” and praised for her work on behalf of individuals, corporates and financial institutions.

Stephen Gentle at Simmons & Simmons in London is “absolutely first-class”. One of the most highly nominated lawyers in our research worldwide, he is praised for his anti-bribery compliance, overseas investigations and FCA work, particularly in relation to international regulatory issues. He is listed alongside the “very fine” Nick Benwell in London, and the firm has two further respected nominees in its Shanghai office. Lesli Ligorner is a real asset to clients who praise her anti-corruption work, particularly in relation to FCPA and UK Bribery Act matters, and Paul Li also scores highly.

The six-strong contingent from Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr includes one of the foremost practitioners in our UK research in Stephen Pollard. Rated as the “leading expert” on FCA and SFO investigations, he is currently representing individual clients in SFO/DOJ Libor and FX investigations and ongoing FCA insider dealing proceedings. Five further nominees are selected in DC, including William McLucas, a former director of enforcement for the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, and Howard Shapiro, chair of the litigation/controversy department and a former general counsel of the FBI.

Davis Polk & Wardwell also sees six of its lawyers selected. Martin Rogers is based in Hong Kong and is one of the most highly recommended lawyers in our research in Asia, and indeed worldwide. Well known for his counsel to domestic and international financial institutions and corporations, as well as regulators, he is “as good as it gets” in the eyes of his peers. The firm’s New York office is predictably strong, with the “incredibly skilled” Scott Muller scoring highly – he represented Morgan Stanley in the first publicly announced decision by the SEC and DOJ not to prosecute a corporation for FCPA violations, due to its compliance program and handling of the investigation.

Also in New York, the two nominees from Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz score highly. Interviewees cannot speak highly enough of Lawrence Pedowitz: “They don’t come any better, we all look up to him”. John Savarese is also held in the highest esteem by by clients and peers alike. Also in New York, Richard Strassberg of Goodwin Procter is outstanding for white-collar criminal work as well as FCPA and SEC enforcement issues, and his colleague Joseph Savage was universally praised in our research as “insightful and exceptionally responsive”.

Gowling WLG is one of the top firms in our Canadian research; Glen Jennings is among the foremost experts in the country for criminal and regulatory work as well as internal investigations, while Kristine Robidoux QC is the most highly recommended expert in our Alberta research.

Marc Henzelin at Lalive in Switzerland is “one of Europe’s foremost experts” for asset search, recovery and compliance-related investigations, and he garnered sufficient recommendations to earn a place on our list of the most highly regarded practitioners worldwide. Elsewhere in Switzerland, Daniel Tunik at Lenz & Staehelin is recognised for the quality of his disputes and investigations work in the banking sector; Miguel Oural, meanwhile, is sought after for his perceptive and practical advice in relation to investigations.

Roberto Pisano at Studio Legale Pisano in Milan is a real expert in all facets of this sector, and the leading lawyer in this year’s Italian research. Gönenç Gürkaynak at ELIG Attorneys at Law in Istanbul is one of Turkey’s foremost lawyers across numerous disciplines, and as such is also recognised in our competition edition.

In Singapore, Hri Kumar Nair SC at Drew & Napier was described as “extremely rigorous and effective” in fraud and other investigations for both private and listed companies, and his colleague Davinder Singh SC is revered throughout Asia for his work across numerous sectors.

Babajide Ogundipe at Sofunde Osakwe Ogundipe & Belgore in Nigeria is the foremost expert in our Africa research, and interviewees were effusive in their praise for him: “He is a reference point for every young lawyer and has tremendous experience that sets him apart,” said one.

Antenor Madruga of FeldensMadruga in Brasília is internationally recognised as one of the leading experts in Latin America, and Martin Kenney in the British Virgin Islands has a global reputation for the quality of his private investigations work, as well as for his expertise in related disciplines such as asset recovery.

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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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