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‘GCs are becoming much more discerning’: CPS special crime head Vamos to join Peters & Peters

Disputes and business crime boutique Peters & Peters has today (19 July) announced that the former head of special crime at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Nick Vamos, will become a partner at the firm.

Vamos, a qualified barrister, will join the firm as a partner on 4 September. He has significant criminal law experience, specialising in international criminal investigations, corporate manslaughter cases and political and police corruption.

Most recently, Vamos (pictured) oversaw the election campaign expenses cases and managed the prosecution team dealing with the investigations into the Hillsborough disaster. In the last decade Vamos has held the three most senior posts dealing with international criminal prosecutions: head of extradition; head of the UK Central Authority for Mutual Legal Assistance; and the UK liaison prosecutor in Washington DC.

Michael O’Kane, senior partner and head of business crime, highlighted the importance of Vamos’ perspective for the practice, as he pointed to firms generally recruiting prosecutors from the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), whereas Vamos’ experience lies across the entire spectrum of high-profile criminal investigations.

He also said there will be more organic growth to come at the firm, which has been ‘busier than ever’. He attributed this growth to increased instructions from corporate clients, and an increase in international mandates.

‘In the past, a boutique practice like ours might have been seen only suitable to represent individuals, but we’ve seen a big rise in corporate instructions. GCs are becoming much more discerning, ensuring those who represent them have real depth, with both criminal and civil experience.’

He added: ‘Although the Magic Circle say they have criminal expertise, they may only have a few lawyers. Clients want a firm that has got decades of doing this sort of work and lawyers who do nothing but.’

The Legal 500 recommends Peters & Peters in eight practice areas, with both the civil fraud and white-collar crime fraud practices gaining a tier 1 ranking. The firm has 39 lawyers in total, including nine partners, with the business crime unit accounting for six partners once Vamos joins.

Most recently, the firm has been advising Barclays’ ex-European head of financial institutions Richard Boath, one of those charged by the SFO last month alongside Barclays with conspiracy to commit fraud, false representation and unlawful financial assistance in arranging a £7.3bn Qatar funding deal at the height of the financial crisis.