Business Crime Defence 2017: Analysis

The 2017 edition of Who’s Who Legal: Business Crime Defence includes over 1,000 listings from 400 firms across 34 jurisdictions in the areas of corporate defence and individual defence.


Thought Leaders
Corporate Defence
1. Gary Naftalis Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, New York
2. Elkan Abramowitz Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello, New York
3. David Zornow Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, New York
Individual Defence
1. Elkan Abramowitz Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello, New York
2. Gary Naftalis Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, New York
3. David Zornow Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, New York
4. Robert Hotz Jr Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, New York
The Thought Leaders are those individuals who received the highest number of nominations from peers, corporate counsel and other market sources this year. Our research has identified them as being truly outstanding practitioners and the very best in their field

Leading Firms

Who's Who Legal does not list law firms, only individual lawyers. The leading firms are those in each region whose listed practitioners received the most total nominations in our research.

SKADDEN ARPS SLATE MEAGHER & FLOM boasts the foremost white-collar crime team in the US, achieving an impressive 16 listings this year across five offices.
Thought leader David Zornow is highlighted for his representation of both corporate and individual clients and is recognised as one of the leading practitioners in the space.
Richard Marmaro leads the firm’s West Coast white-collar defence team. He is a highly respected figure throughout the US and focuses his top-tier practice on government enforcement, anti-bribery matters and cross-border investigations.
Steven Glaser possesses almost 20 years’ experience in the space and draws widespread praise from sources for his invaluable business crime expertise.
David Meister heads the government enforcement and white-collar crime group in the New York office, and stands out for his great trial experience.

SIDLEY AUSTIN also performs well this year with 14 nominations across the US.
Timothy Treanor is highly regarded for his first-class corporate defence practice and is well versed in handling matters relating to both federal and state enforcement agencies.
David Anderson continues to impress market sources with his outstanding work for major clients including Chevron, AT&T and Facebook.
David Rody is a well-recognised name in the US market and is known for his expert handling of litigation matters and investigations.
Thomas Green focuses his practice on government investigations and corporate criminal defence and is considered a fantastic trial lawyer.

Washington DC-based law firm MILLER & CHEVALIER demonstrates its prominent position in the US domestic market with 13 lawyers nominated this year.
Mark Rochon is internationally recognised as a real expert in the area of white-collar crime, and stands out particularly for his work on internal investigations on behalf of multinational corporate entities.
Kathryn Cameron Atkinson is highly sought after by clients, one of whom describes her as “a brilliant strategist”.
James Tillen is commended for his first-rate international law practice and specialises in money laundering, corruption and corporate compliance.
Homer Moyer Jr is well known both in the domestic and international market for his superb work defending corporate clients.

GIBSON DUNN & CRUTCHER impresses this year as six US lawyers are noted for their expertise in the space, achieving 11 listings between them.
Los Angeles-based Debra Wong Yang draws praise for her work advising both corporates and individuals in relation to internal investigations, crisis management and compliance matters.
Lawrence Zweifach is “an excellent practitioner” well regarded in the market as a leading corporate crime litigator.
Joseph Warin is “terrific” according to sources, one of whom effuses: “He was balanced, thoughtful and completely unflappable.”

KRAMER LEVIN NAFTALIS & FRANKEL’s Gary Naftalis is one of the pre-eminent practitioners in the US market, and is incredibly well respected by peers and clients alike for his exceptional trial work.
The “excellent” Barry Berke also features prominently in our research this year, and wins praise from sources for his outstanding work on a wide array of corporate crime matters from bribery to fraud.
Paul Schoeman is also highlighted for his impressive work in the space.

Other Leading Individuals

We highlight individuals at other firms who also scored very highly in our research.


Elkan Abramowitz at MORVILLO ABRAMOWITZ GRAND IASON & ANELLO is considered by peers to be “one of the deans of the white-collar crime bar”. His world-class practice spans both corporate and individual defence work.

AKIN GUMP STRAUSS HAUER & FELD’s Robert Hotz Jr is “an incredibly skilled and ethical practitioner”. One source notes: “Robert is a smart lawyer who really gets to the details of the case.”

At CLIFFORD CHANCE in New York, Christopher Morvillo is known for his impressive white-collar crime and regulatory enforcement practice which encompasses the whole gamut of related matters from internal investigations to allegations of insider trading and corruption.

BRACEWELL’s Paul Shechtman is “an outstanding lawyer and highly respected in New York”. One respondent comments, “Paul is without a doubt the smartest person I have ever worked with.”

Jan Lawrence Handzlik at HANDZLIK & ASSOCIATES stands out in our research as prominent figure when it comes to individual defence work. He is frequently engaged in related trial proceedings and investigations matters. 


Thought Leaders
Corporate Defence
1. Judith Seddon Clifford Chance, London
2. Stephen Gentle Simmons & Simmons, London
3. Louise Hodges Kingsley Napley, London
4. Nicholas Purnell QC Cloth Fair Chambers, London
5. Jo Rickards Mishcon de Reya, London
Individual Defence
1. Peter Binning Corker Binning, London
2. Louise Hodges Kingsley Napley, London
3. David Corker Corker Binning, London
4. Stephen Pollard WilmerHale, London
5. Tom Epps Brown Rudnick, London
6. Michael O’Kane Peters & Peters Solicitors, London

Leading Firms

KINGSLEY NAPLEY stands out as a leading firm in the UK market and sees four practitioners highlighted for their exceptional work in both corporate and individual defence work.
Thought Leader Louise Hodges is “hugely respected and admired” by peers and clients alike. She is “one of the best out there, especially when it comes to cross-border cases”, according to sources who also note that “she is excellent to deal with”.
Stephen Parkinson leads the firm’s criminal litigation group and draws high praise from a range of international sources for his world-class practice.
Eve Giles is a firm favourite among clients, one of whom effuses: “Eve stands out as extremely attentive and very efficient with a pleasant but clear and firm style.”
The “terrific” Jonathan Grimes is well known for his strong expertise handling investigations of authorities from the SFO to the FCA and HMRC.

PETERS & PETERS SOLICITORS also achieves eight listings this year across both chapters.
Michael O’Kane is “one of the top practitioners in the field” and is particularly noted for his exceptional expertise in criminal cartels, corruption and investigations.
“Senior statesman” Monty Raphael QC boasts over 50 years’ experience in the legal world and focuses his internationally-renowned practice on corruption, regulation and money laundering matters.
Hannah Laming is “an exceptionally clever and pragmatic practitioner” recognised for her “excellent” work in the space.
Neil Swift wins praise from respondents for his precise and meticulous work in relation to corporate crime and related investigations.  

CLOTH FAIR CHAMBERS boasts the leading business crime defence offering at the UK Bar, achieving a strong 10 listings in our research this year.
Head of the set, Nicholas Purnell QC is “one of the stars of the Bar” according to respondents. He wins praise as “a standout business crime advocate” and boasts over 40 years’ experience in the field.
John Kelsey Fry QC draws high praise from international sources for his impressive work handling high-profile business and financial crime matters.
The “fantastic” Alison Pople QC is a firm favourite among clients who describe her as “a brilliant practitioner” who is “absolutely excellent at dealing with people”.

Leading criminal defence firm CORKER BINNING sees its two name partners recognised as Thought Leaders in the practice area.
Peter Binning is “a real standout name” in the field of business crime defence, and is highly recommended for his “absolutely stellar work”.
David Corker is “highly specialised in business crime defence work” and is greatly admired by peers, one of whom notes, “He will 100 per cent fight for his client’s interests”.

THREE RAYMOND BUILDINGS performs well with eight listings in this edition.
“Extradition specialist” Hugo Keith QC is known for his “unparalleled expertise” in the area. One client notes: “He is supremely articulate and user-friendly.”
Patrick Gibbs QC is highly regarded by a wide range of sources who highlight his “truly burgeoning practice”. He provides clients with “a touch of magic with his advocacy” and is considered “excellent on the detail; focused and strategic.”
Alexander Cameron QC is “at the top of the Bar” and impresses with his “great manner in court” which many describe as “incredibly strategic and relaxed”.

At BCL, Richard Sallybanks is “absolutely first class” and a practitioner that peers “would definitely refer work” to. He focuses his top-tier practice on business crime and regulatory defence work.
Harry Travers is widely recognised for his outstanding work on high-profile corporate crime cases including those related to LIBOR and Standard Bank. 

Tom Epps at BROWN RUDNICK enjoys “an excellent reputation” in the market, and continues to impress peers and clients alike with his work on high-profile fraud investigations.
Mark Beardsworth is also noted for his top-tier work in the field. He is highly sought after by clients, one of whom notes that when it comes to investigations work, “He absolutely knows what he is doing.”

Other Leading Individuals

CLIFFORD CHANCE’s Judith Seddon is “a lawyer of the first order” according to peers who rate her very highly for her work on major corporate corruption matters. One respondents highlights “her very trusted judgement and lovely manner”.

Stephen Gentle at SIMMONS & SIMMONS boasts a great reputation as “a first-class criminal lawyer”. Peers consider him “technically brilliant and cerebral” and praise him as “one of the best around”.

At MISHCON DE REYA, the “incredibly bright” Jo Rickards is commended for her “outstanding” work dealing with cartels, corruption matters, fraud and money laundering.

Stephen Pollard at WILMERHALE is “a truly fabulous lawyer”. He is recognised for his “excellent” handling of white-collar crime and securities enforcement matters, as well as his “great judgement”.

At MATRIX CHAMBERS, Clare Montgomery QC is “everybody’s first choice”. She is highly sought after for her “pragmatic advice” and “great ability to digest information and respond exceptionally quickly.”

Adrian Darbishire QC at QEB HOLLIS WHITEMAN is “in high demand” according to peers, who praise his “great manner with judges” and excellent advocacy work which puts his “right up there with the best”.

Rest of the World

Thought Leaders
Corporate Defence
1. Saverio Lembo Bär & Karrer, Geneva
2. Paul Gully-Hart Schellenberg Wittmer, Geneva
3. Marc Henzelin Lalive, Geneva
4. Stéphane Bonifassi Bonifassi Avocats, Paris
5. Stéphane de Navacelle Navacelle, Paris
Individual Defence
1. Saverio Lembo Bär & Karrer, Geneva
2. Paul Gully-Hart Schellenberg Wittmer, Geneva
3. Stéphane Bonifassi Bonifassi Avocats, Paris
4. Ilias Anagnostopoulos Anagnostopoulos, Athens

Leading Firms

International firm CUATRECASAS GONÇALVES PEREIRA sees six of its practitioners nominated this year for their top-tier corporate defence work.
Paulo de Sá e Cunha is well versed in the field of corporate compliance and criminal law, and is highly respected in the market for his “practical and solution-driven approach”.
Miguel Coutinho is a fantastic criminal lawyer highlighted for the “original and innovative solutions” that he delivers to corporate clients.

Leading Norwegian firm ADVOKATFIRMAET HJORT DA boasts the country’s top white-collar crime team.
Erling Lyngtveit is a widely recognised figure in the market, and stands out for his impressive understanding of criminal law proceedings.
Erik Keiserud is a first-rate corporate crime litigator, known for his impressive trial advocacy work.

In Hong Kong HALDANES SOLICITORS & NOTARIES sees three leading practitioners nominated for their excellent work in the space.
Felix Ng “always goes the extra mile” for clients, who praise his “exceptional qualities” and “ability to diagnose key winning elements in a case”. One source notes: “Mr Ng has impeccable experience in handling international corruption and bribery cases, in both criminal investigations and court proceedings.”
Jonathan Midgley boasts over 30 years’ experience in the field and is renowned for his expert handling of white-collar crime matters including money laundering and SFC prosecutions.
Andrew Powner also gains recognition in this edition and is internationally regarded as a leading name in the market.

Full-service Swiss firm SCHELLENBERG WITTMER sees four practitioners highlighted for their exceptional business crime expertise.
Paul Gully-Hart leads the firm’s white-collar crime offering, and frequently represents both corporate entities and individuals in related matters. He enjoys a stellar reputation as one of the leading practitioners in the country, and is highlighted for his world-class practice.
Benjamin Borsodi is “a vastly experienced criminal litigator who always delivers prompt and effective solutions.” He is noted for his particular expertise handling fraud and money laundering matters.

Other Leading Individuals


In Paris, Stéphane Bonifassi at BONIFASSI AVOCATS is “a fantastic lawyer” recognised for his exceptional work handling both domestic and international corporate crime litigation.

NAVACELLE’s Stéphane de Navacelle wins praise for his “tremendous understanding” of white-collar crime proceedings. His practice spans both corporate and individual defence, and he is respected for his expert work on major investigations.


Ilias Anagnostopoulos at ANAGNOSTOPOULOS is “absolutely the go-to guy in Greece” regarding corporate crime matters. He wins widespread international recognition as a standout name in the field, particularly when it comes to global investigations work.


In Italy, at STUDIO LEGALE PISANO, founder and managing partner Roberto Pisano is “everyone’s favourite” according to clients who commend him as “a top practitioner”.


Saverio Lembo at BÄR & KARRER is highly recommended by market sources who consider him “an international specialist in white-collar crime and banking dispute resolution”.

LALIVE’s Marc Henzelin is “one of the best” when it comes to white-collar crime and compliance matters. His first-class practice encompasses financial crime, extradition, asset recovery and related litigation. 

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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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