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Financial Fraud Law

A Clue About #8 in Financial Fraud Law for the Year: Look at Bryan Cave’s Next Firm-Wide Leader

 As the Financial Fraud Law Blog continues its countdown of the Top 10 in Financial Fraud Law for the year, we are going to begin with a clue:  Bryan Cave.

Give up?

The clue is relevant to our Top 10 list because the international law firm has just named its next global chair: Therese D. Pritchard. Notably, when she takes over next October 1, she will be the first woman to head the firm in its 140-year history.

But for purposes of the Financial Fraud Law Blog Top 10, it is important to recognize that Pritchard is the leader of Bryan Cave’s White Collar, Securities Enforcement and Litigation Client Service Group. In other words, Pritchard, based in Washington, D.C., is a financial fraud lawyer.

And that brings us to #8 in Financial Fraud Law for the year:

#8: The explosive growth in financial fraud law practices at law firms.

There is no practice area that has seen more growth in law firms in recent years – and that will see as much growth in upcoming years – as financial fraud law. Financial fraud law encompasses the broad scope of white collar criminal defense, securities enforcement, government investigations, money laundering, and the full range of civil and criminal matters that regularly are discussed, examined, analyzed, highlighted, and reviewed in the Financial Fraud Law Blog and in articles in the Financial Fraud Law Report,

Indeed, of all the legal issues that banks, financial institutions, and other corporations must face to compete and succeed in today’s economy, none is more significant than the law relating to financial fraud. Financial fraud law requires that companies operating in the U.S. and overseas adopt policies and procedures to comply with federal and state laws and regulations. They must limit their risks to fraud from third parties and employees. They must take appropriate steps so that financial fraud does not affect their customers. They must obtain insurance to protect against losses and take all appropriate actions to stem losses and keep premiums reasonable. And, when something goes wrong, they must deal with and defend civil claims and criminal charges brought against the businesses themselves and their officers, directors, and employees; retain outside counsel to perform internal investigations and defend them; revise and update their practices to better comply with applicable laws, rules, and standards; settle or litigate court and regulatory actions; and explain the losses and management failures to shareholders and owners.

Law firms, naturally, have taken notice. They are recruiting financial fraud lawyers from the government, poaching lawyers from competing firms, and expanding and devoting significant resources to their financial fraud law practices in a big, big way.

Mega-firms and large, medium, and small firms all are jumping in and growing their financial fraud law capabilities. Bryan Cave is one example; here’s another: Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP has just recruited Jocelyn E. Strauber, an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, to the firm’s White Collar Crime Group as counsel, where she will represent companies and individuals in criminal and civil enforcement matters.

And consider just these five recent posts from the Financial Fraud Law Blog:

-           Trial Lawyer John P. “Sean” Coffey Joins Kramer Levin

-           Federal Prosecutor Matthew Axelrod Joins Plaintiffs’ Law Firm, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll

-           Former Assistant U.S. Attorney David Massey, Who Prosecuted Swiss Bank, Joins Richards Kibbe & Orbe

-           Financial Fraud Law Boom Continues for Law Firms as Former US Attorney Joins Davis Polk

-           Federal Prosecutor Jeffrey Alberts to Lead Pryor Cashman’s White Collar Defense Practice

For all of these reasons, the explosive growth in financial fraud law practices at law firms is #8 in Financial Fraud Law for the year.

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#9 in Financial Fraud Law for The Year Is…

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