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Highly-rated SFO GC to join Kingsley Napley while HFW breaks US duck

Serious Fraud Office (SFO) general counsel (GC) Alun Milford (pictured), who was widely tipped as the agency’s successor to former director David Green, is joining Kingsley Napley as a partner from next year.

Milford has a storied career in public prosecution, beginning at the Crown Prosecution Service in 1992. He then joined the Attorney General’s Office in 2004, where he dealt with contempt of court and unduly lenient sentences. Later occupying a role with the Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office, Milford subsequently became GC at the SFO in April 2012.

Milford has a strong reputation in white collar circles, with Kingsley Napley’s senior partner Stephen Parkinson earlier this year describing him as ‘the safe bet’ to succeed Green as SFO director. Green, who this month joined Slaughter and May, was ultimately replaced by former FBI deputy GC Lisa Osofsky in June.

Milford will be the firm’s twelfth criminal litigation partner, working on white collar crime, as well as international investigations, sanctions, compliance and enforcement matters. Department head Louise Hodges commented: ‘After a successful career encompassing some of the most senior roles prosecuting crime and fraud in England and Wales, Alun brings with him a unique perspective and experience which will complement the talented partners and lawyers in the team.’

The delay in Milford’s arrival until next year is likely due to regulatory approval, as illustrated by his ex-colleague Green’s protracted move to Slaughters, which was held up for six months by the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments.

Elsewhere, HFW has broken new ground by making its first ever US lateral hire. The firm announced today (24 September) it had appointed energy partner Derek Anchondo from Greenberg Traurig.

Anchondo will join HFW’s Houston office, which now consists of eight partners and 19 lawyers following a fully-integrated transatlantic merger with Legge, Farrow, Kimmitt, McGrath & Brown in January 2017.

He has experience advising public and private energy companies on M&A transactions, joint ventures, financing, upstream exploration and production activities. Anchondo said: ‘My clients will benefit from HFW’s considerable industry expertise and its extensive international network. I am also excited about the opportunity to help build the firm’s corporate and transactional practices in the United States.’