Legal Business Blogs

Morgan Lewis latest to boost white collar offering with two NRF partners

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius has hired Norton Rose Fulbright‘s global head of investigations Chris Warren-Smith and litigation partner Melanie Ryan to boost its white collar offering in London.

Warren-Smith will pick up a leadership role at Morgan Lewis in its global white collar, corporate investigations, and sanctions practice. The firm will gain his experience advising clients on corruption, fraud, financial crime, and other regulatory and compliance issues.

Ryan has represented corporations, financial institutions, professionals, and other clients in corruption and securities investigations with significant experience in corporate and regulatory investigations and related enforcement proceedings.

The appointments follow recent partner and team additions to the firm’s practice in China, Dubai, Singapore, and the United States. In March the US firm took on Simmons & Simmons partner K. Lesli Ligorner with an employment and corporate investigations team of four lawyers in Shanghai.

The pair are the first white collar lawyers to join the London office and will be joining three other litigation partners.

London head Frances Murphy (pictured) told Legal Business: ‘In terms of their focus around financial institutions, corporates, and on the insurance, regulatory and coporate investigations, it dovetails very nicely with what we do on a global basis and our increasing presence in the competition litigation space. It’s a perfect fit.’

‘We expect more growth in London, we’ve been growing very quickly and we’re emulating the growth the firm is displaying in Asia in this space.’

Earlier this month Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer hired  the Serious Fraud Office’s (SFO) joint-head of bribery and corruption Ben Morgan to its corporate crime and global investigations practice.

Morgan, who will join the firm’s London office, was seconded to the SFO from Norton Rose Fulbright in 2012. A year later he was promoted to his co-head position reporting to SFO director David Green QC. During his time at the criminal law agency, Morgan has led investigations into Rolls-Royce, Airbus and GlaxoSmithKline.

Paul Hastings has also bulked up its corporate crime and investigations offering with the lateral hire of DLA Piper’s tax investigations head Simon Airey.

Airey has extensive experience advising clients on global investigations, financial and regulatory crime, bribery and corruption, money laundering, tax and fraud inquiries, dawn raids, corporate compliance, and reputation management issues. He will join the firm’s London office on 2 May.